If parting ways with head coach Frank Reich following a loss to the New England Patriots in Week 9 weren’t enough, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay sent shockwaves across the NFL when he hired former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday to take his place. All things considered, this was an unorthodox move and it caught the eye of former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, who would also want to have a direct path to a head-coaching job in the NFL.
Not long after finding out that Irsay had made Saturday the interim head coach, Taylor said on social media that was ready to become a head coach in the NFL even though he had no prior experience coaching in the pros. Here’s the message he posted on Twitter:
"I’m ready to take my talents straight to the HEAD coaching ranks of the @NFL. Don’t worry about my coaching experience. I’m ready."
Taylor capitalized HEAD in ‘head coaching’ to emphasize that he wasn’t interested in an assistant or coordinator job. Rather, he’s aiming to become a head coach. It’s possible that the Jaguars legend was joking around but given that Saturday’s only coaching experience came at the high school level, this is no longer farfetched.
More often than not, head coaches in the NFL have experience either as coordinators in the pros or were previously head coaches at the college level. That’s the way the Houston Texans raised eyebrows when they hired Baltimore Ravens wide receivers coach Dave Culley as their head coach in 2021 and refrained from hiring Josh McCown for the position. But regardless of Saturday’s experience or lack thereof, Irsay believes he’s the right man for the job. Here’s Taylor’s tweet in case you want to see it.
Former Jaguars RB Fred Taylor might have a hard time becoming an NFL HC
It’s highly unlikely that other NFL owners will follow in Irsay’s footsteps and will start hiring former players without previous experience for head-coaching positions, so even if Taylor is serious, he may not be able to follow Saturday’s path to coaching in the pros.
Taylor’s chances of becoming a head coach in the NFL would increase if he had experience as a position coach. Other former Jaguars alumni have gone on to become position coaches. Mark Brunell comes to mind and so does Keenan McCardell. Tony Gilbert, the Jags linebacker coach wore played for the Black and Teal for five years and had to join the college ranks before getting a shot to be an assistant and later a coach in the NFL.
Of course, if Taylor were ever interested in becoming a position coach, he would have no shortage of suitors, as his NFL resume stacks up favorably to anyone. During his 11-year tenure in Jacksonville, the ninth overall pick in the 1998 draft appeared in 140 games with 136 yards and racked up 2,428 yards for 11,271 yards with 62 touchdowns, so if anyone knows about running backs, it’s Taylor.
While the Jaguars legend might not be able to get a head-coaching job in the NFL, he should be a strong candidate to join former All-Pro left tackle Tony Boselli in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.