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INDIANAPOLISThe results would tell you the Colts were not responding to their head coach.

Early-game urgency was lacking, hence 11 straight halftime deficits under Frank Reich.

A head coach, who also served as the offensive play-caller, was guiding a unit having yet to score on an opening drive all season long. They had eclipsed more than 20 points once in their past 11 games.

Overall, the wins weren’t coming either, victorious in just 3 of their previous 11 games, despite not facing a scheduling gauntlet during that stretch.

Was the message no longer resonating in Reich’s 5th NFL season?

Recent results would point to that being true.

So, Jim Irsay stepped in, canning Reich, and deciding to go with Jeff Saturday as the interim head coach.

The decision was unprecedented, with Saturday having no coaching experience in college or the NFL.

Colts players were stunned by the move.

But many in that locker room will admit they have already felt the reason Irsay thought Saturday had the necessary makeup for a team going down the wrong path.

“Jeff has definitely brought a different sense of urgency,” fourth-year wideout Parris Campbell says. “Maybe that’s because where we were at as a team, as an organization. Or maybe that’s just who he is.

“I think it’s both of those.”

Saturday definitely carries himself as a different type of leader than Reich.

The message is now a tad louder, with a bit more intensity and directness behind it.

Probably more than anything though, the voice is different, which brings quite a wake-up call felt after the benching of Matt Ryan, the firing of Marcus Brady and then letting go Reich.

Campbell adds he wasn’t surprised by Reich’s in-season firing—he understands when you have such a poor performance like the Colts did in New England, the nature of the business calls.

He also points out, on more than one occasion, the locker room certainly didn’t hold up its end in playing better football.

But as soon as Saturday walked into his first team-meeting last Wednesday, Campbell felt a new tone.

And he’s a big fan of it.

“I’ve, absolutely, 100% loved it,” Campbell says of Saturday’s new tone. “He just brings a different level of accountability each and every day. Number one, he’s going to keep it 100 percent real with you. Just the way he holds everyone accountable, no matter if you are on the top, or bottom, of the roster. Everyone has a job to do. He’s going to let you know if you are failing to do your job, or if you are doing a good job.

“One thing I appreciate about Jeff is he came in day one and he was just being himself. He’s not trying to be someone he’s not. You can see that fiery player he used to be and see that coming back out with his passion for the game. You can tell he wants us to succeed and wants us to win. He just brings a different level of passion, different accountability to the team. I appreciate it. I love it.”

As the new head coach, Saturday made a few tweaks to practice. But more than anything it’s a new attitude from the Colts leader.

He’s spent the bulk of his time in the offensive meetings, calling out his old unit, an underperforming offensive line group.

He addressed the Colts leaders specifically: ‘How do you want this 2022 season remember?’ With the leadership element always on his mind, Saturday opted to turn back to Ryan at quarterback (and, unlike with Reich, the Owner let him do that).

While in-game management appeared to run very smoothly against the Raiders, Saturday points out he should have been quicker in telling the offense to get to the line of scrimmage to run a play following the iffy Alec Pierce reception on the game’s opening drive.

Still, to see the Colts as the far more disciplined team on Sunday, one with hardly any issues in terms of substitutions, timeouts and challenges, was a strong reflection of the early Saturday impact.

Making those subtle scheduling changes last week is what Saturday calls his biggest challenge leading into game day.

On game day itself, Saturday couldn’t believe how fast the game moved. As a player, Saturday said he got used to the breaks in-between series. That’s not the case when you are the head coach. More than anything though, he craved feeling that competition again, the back and forth and need to respond, in order to earn a road victory.

Now, the question becomes: Was this an emotional jolt you often see with an interim coach?

Sustaining it, especially with the NFL’s 2nd hardest schedule to end the season, is the next challenge.

For now though, Saturday has brought a transparency and passion that’s been welcomed inside of the Colts locker room.

What will that mean for the final 7 games?