We weren’t aware of the rumors/speculation/whatever linking Alabama coach Nick Saban to the Cleveland Browns until Dan Patrick mentioned the chatter on his national radio/TV show this morning.
While we’re not as quick as DP to dismiss the Browns as a possibly attractive destination for a coach, Saban isn’t the guy.
Saban left the Dolphins after only two years, not because he felt compelled to take the Alabama job, but because Saban was miserable at the NFL level.
We’d heard for weeks in advance of Saban’s departure that he was worn down and beat up by the pro game, and that he realized midway through his second season on the job that he wanted out. Many scoffed, especially after Saban publicly declared that he won’t be the Alabama coach.
And then he became the Alabama coach.
Saban, a supreme control freak, didn’t like coaching in the NFL because he couldn’t stack the deck via his exceptional recruiting skills. The salary cap and the competitive balance it creates makes it much harder to win — and much harder for the coach to make a real difference.
It’s been several years, but the reality is that Saban quit the NFL. He wasn’t fired. He walked out.
And it would be a shock if he chooses to walk back in, especially to a team like the Browns, where new CEO Joe Banner is sufficiently plugged in to know the realities of having the man known not-so-lovingly in South Florida as “the Nicktator” on the sidelines.
Could Saban decide to take one more shot at the highest level of the game if the price is right? Maybe. Or maybe he welcomes the scuttlebutt, since it could get him a better deal in Tuscaloosa.