As the Indianapolis Colts search for their next head, a team member is rooting for the guy who was surprisingly named interim head coach in week 10 of the 2022 NFL season.

Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard praised Jeff on Saturday Friday, telling Pat McAfee that the interim head coach would be in a «great place» if he had a full offseason to prepare for.

Shaquille Leonard, #53 of the Indianapolis Colts, on the field before the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Shaquille Leonard, #53 of the Indianapolis Colts, on the field before the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

«Jeff’s a great coach, man. Give it up,» Leonard said when McAfee said he’d heard Saturday was a bad coach. «I can’t stand that. It makes me very angry.»

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«Jeff came in with the right mindset that he wasn’t going to sit around and allow only bad play. It was more that he demanded excellence from everyone. That offensive line, of course, everyone would criticize that offensive line. You see, they got better, huh? He went in and made sure everyone knew exactly what was at stake and what he wanted from each and every player.»

Saturday was named interim head coach after Frank Reich was fired following a Week 9 loss to the New England Patriots.

Shaquille, Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts, looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 26, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Shaquille, Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts, looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 26, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The hiring was met with a wave of criticism as Saturday had no coaching experience in the collegiate or professional ranks.

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Saturday, who played 13 seasons with the Colts, he went 1-7 as interim head coach and finished the 2022 season on a seven-game losing streak.

Leonard told McAfee that on Saturday he held players accountable, saying it was unfair to judge him solely on the eight games he coached during the 2022 season.

Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday on the sidelines in the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.

Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday on the sidelines in the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/David Becker)

«I hate that he gets a lot of hate,» Leonard continued. «Coming in Week 8, Week 9 and not knowing a coach on your staff … how do you expect him to go in and out 8-0, 9-0, whatever? Give him a full offseason, give him his coaching staff or whatever the case may be, and I think he’ll be in a great place.»

While Saturday clearly has the support of one of his best players, it would be a surprise if he were named full-time head coach.

Saturday is one of four candidates still vying for the job, with Eagles offensive coordinator Shane SteichenRams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Lions DC Aaron Glenn are ready for the job, according to NFL Network.