During his show on Monday, Pat McAfee clapped back at Joe Thomas and Bill Cowher for their harsh criticism of the Indianapolis Colts’ decision to hire Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach. McAfee called Thomas a “puppet” and told Bill Cowher to “shut the f*** up.” McAfee was teammates with Saturday in Indianapolis, so it’s a little personal for him. He’s also good friends with owner Jim Irsay.
The former Cleveland Browns offensive tackle and future Hall of Famer, Thomas, said on “Good Morning Football” that the Colts’ hiring of Saturday was the most egregious thing he can ever remember happening in the NFL Thomas also accused Irsay of hiring one of his “drinking buddies.” Cowher said on the CBS pregame show that it was “a disgrace to the coaching profession.” Cowher was so outraged that his chin started to come out, which probably hasn’t happened since he roamed the Steelers’ sideline.
“It’s been difficult not to just start diving into the hypocrisy of the f***ing losers on television who felt the need to be puppets,” McAfee said.
McAfee has a lot of respect for Thomas and all that he did in his career, but he finds it hypocritical that Thomas once said on McAfee’s show that he wanted to become the head coach of the Browns when the position was vacant in 2020. It’s not clear if Thomas said it in jest or was serious.
“I don’t think Joe Thomas is a bad guy,” McAfee added. “I think he’s a puppet; I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he felt obligated to say something, because somebody told him how disrespected they felt instead of looking at it from a realistic point of view.
“This is an interim head coaching role. The Indianapolis Colts have underwhelmed everybody on earth including their fanbase, literally since the jump this season when they tied the f***ing Houston Texans in Houston, and the Houston Texans are the Houston Texans.”
McAfee, who’s from just outside of Pittsburgh, was a little bit more blunt with Cowher.
“He got hired at 34 in his hometown to be the head coach of the f***ing Pittsburgh Steelers,” McAfee said. “So if he maybe caught a bunch of fire whenever he got hired for not earning and deserving the job that he took, and he now wants to project that on Jeff Saturday, he can take that up with himself.
“But Bill Cowher, shut the f*** up, dude. He said why didn’t John Fox get the job? Why didn’t Gus Bradley get the job? It’s their first year in the building, and to be honest, the team has stunk since they got there.
“You think Jim Irsay, who wants to hire an interim coach, goes, ‘You know what, these guys just got here and although they’re doing OK, the defense isn’t bad. Do I want to hire these guys who don’t know anybody here? They’re just working with the D. They don’t know the building. They don’t know how we operate. They literally just f***ing got here, and our team hasn’t been good.’ Jim Irsay says, do I want to hire them or does Jim Irsay say, ‘You know what, give me a guy who played 13 years here. Give me a guy who is in our Ring of Honor. Give me a guy that has won a Super Bowl here. Give me a guy that has sweat, bled and puked on this field for this program, who has built the Lucas Oil Stadium, the stadium in which we call home, alongside Peyton Manning and others. Give me a guy who wants to be a coach, has been a coach and maybe understands what this program is supposed to be and he hires him, and they all take shots.”
McAfee thinks the backlash was just absurd for an interim head coach position. Saturday ended up leading the Colts to a 25-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in his coaching debut.
“It was a wild week last week,” McAfee said. “Everybody was taking shots at a couple of friends of mine in the organization, and they get a f***ing win, the other quarterback’s crying at a press conference, I mean this is a lot better than where we had been, so congrats to Jeff, and f*** off to all you parrots and on TV.”
Following the Colts’ win over the Raiders, NBC Sports’ Peter King asked Saturday if he heard about Thomas and Cowher’s remarks.
“I had no idea that he said that,” Saturday said of Thomas’ comments. “I can assure you, I have never gone drinking with Jim. I don’t even know that Jim drinks. I don’t drink very much either.
“I don’t know Joe. I’m not worried about what Joe thinks about me or anybody else. Like I told you, the Lord will defend. I feel like I’ve been called to do it, so I made the decision to do it. Again, no disrespect to either of those men. They are who they are and said what they said. It will not sway me.”
In regards to Thomas and Cowher scrutinizing, Saturday doesn’t think he has to defend himself
“Here’s the thing. God is my defender, man,” Saturday said. “I don’t have to defend myself. I am absolutely comfortable in who I am. I respect all those guys. Whoever has whatever negative opinion, I can assure you, it’s not gonna change who I am or what I believe I’m called to do. I have no idea, and I still don’t, how successful I’ll be, but we’re gonna work hard at it and I believe I can lead men and lead the staff. I’m excited about the opportunity.”