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Nick Saban talk not going away in Cleveland

Nick Saban AP

As Alabama coach Nick Saban prepares to coach in the college football national championship game on Monday night, he can expect to hear some questions about whether it will be his last game at Alabama.

That’s because new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is believed to be enamored with Saban and interested in hiring him to be the next head coach of the Browns. In fact, the Akron Beacon Journal published a column today saying it’s “obvious” that “Saban is the man Haslam is targeting.”

Frankly, that statement seems like a stretch: There’s no inside information that Haslam actually wants to hire Saban, and there’s no word on whether Saban would be interested. And while it may be obvious to the Akron Beacon Journal that Saban is Haslam’s man, it isn’t obvious to other reporters who cover the Browns, some of whom have reported that Oregon’s Chip Kelly is the man Haslam is targeting.

But while the statement may seem like a stretch, that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of it happening. Haslam has long been known as a big booster of Tennessee football and a fan of the SEC, so he has surely been impressed with what he’s seen of Saban. And Saban has always looked for new challenges as a coach, going from the head coach at Toledo to the defensive coordinator of the Browns to the head coach at Michigan State to the head coach at LSU to the head coach of the Dolphins to the head coach at Alabama, and never staying anywhere longer than five years. Never, that is, until Alabama, where he’s concluding his sixth season.

If Saban is getting the itch to take another shot at the NFL, Haslam may very well be willing to give him that shot. The question is whether Saban wants to leave a place where he can compete for the national championship every year to coach an NFL franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs in a decade.

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49 Responses to “Nick Saban talk not going away in Cleveland”
  1. hoops737 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:04 PM

    Is Brandon Weeden still quarterbacking? Stay away Nick, stay away

  2. rajbais says: Jan 1, 2013 1:09 PM

    Hopefully this distracts Alabama so the Fighting Irish can win.

  3. hoopieguy says: Jan 1, 2013 1:10 PM

    I don’t want him. Call me crazy, but I have been a life long (52 years) Browns fan, and the guy has no personality. I would go so far as to say he’s a prick. Sorry, I don’t want that. We’ve had it before. There are too many other guys out there that are good and personable too.

  4. klumpofbrownsadness says: Jan 1, 2013 1:10 PM

    As a life-long Browns fan, I hope to soon hear Saban saying “I will not be the next coach of the Cleveland Browns”. All the parts & pieces are in place for him to atone for the only blemish on an otherwise stellar coaching resume (i.e. Dolphins). Can’t really say there are any other prospects that have the impact of this one – don’t expect it to happen, but it would give Cleveland some hope.

  5. patriotsdefense says: Jan 1, 2013 1:10 PM

    Jimmy Haslam might end up being the worst owner in the NFL. He is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Jets owner Woody Johnson wrapped into one mess. I honestly feel terribly for the Browns. They don’t deserve this.

  6. purplegreenandgold says: Jan 1, 2013 1:10 PM

    Nick Saban talk not going away in Cleveland
    ======================================
    should read… Nick Saban to Cleveland ” NOT “

  7. jonsilver1947 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:10 PM

    Hiring this piece of garbage would definitely be a way to make sure the Browns never become an organization you can look up to.

  8. pushingiron says: Jan 1, 2013 1:11 PM

    I would be suprised if Saban left Alabama. He already makes a ton of money, has racked up CFB Championships, and has the world at his feet at ‘Bama. I think he does a lot better with college kids than with pro players. I am not a ‘Bama fan but he is already one of the greatest college coaches of all time, why tarnish it with coaching a crappy NFL team? Now if it wasn’t for those pesky Texas Aggies and that spread offense……

  9. tashkalucy says: Jan 1, 2013 1:12 PM

    This is the time of the year Browns fans so love. This and the draft.

    The fans never have to worry about an upcoming playoff game. It’s always about what new coach or player is going to show up and lead the Browns to the Super Bowl….in the next yer or two. Meanwhile the “tradition laced” Cleveland Browns have won 4 playoff games since 1968 – that’s right, they’ve won 4 playoff games 44 years! Yet the fans forever want to dump their head coach and QB – it’s now gotten so bad that the fans are fed up with the new coach and QB by the 2nd preseason game and sometimes after the 1st.

    As Paul Brown was fond of saying – “you listen to the fans, pretty soon you’ll be sitting with them.”

    Here’s hoping that no matter who is brought in as HC and GM, that Mr. Haslam sticks with them for at least 5 years.

  10. fjackie says: Jan 1, 2013 1:13 PM

    Dream on Browns fans. Not gonna happen.

  11. v2rotate says: Jan 1, 2013 1:14 PM

    Haslam probably needs to review Dolphin history before betting his fortune on Saban.

  12. jagtiger says: Jan 1, 2013 1:17 PM

    I’ll vote for that! War Eagle!

  13. orlandodawg says: Jan 1, 2013 1:18 PM

    The reason he would take the job is for exactly this reason. The last time the Browns won a playoff game he was the defensive coordinator (yes it was that long ago!!!!). It would be the ultimate challenge. If you watched the documentary “A Football Life Cleveland 95″ he said he worked the hardest he ever has in his career while in Cleveland. He would want to go back and finish what he started. If he could get the Browns to win the AFC North in 2 years, let alone a Super Bowl Trophy he would be a Legend in Cleveland. Go Back to Cleveland Nick and get to work.

  14. andrewproughcfe says: Jan 1, 2013 1:24 PM

    Saban isn’t dumb enough to jump into a qb-driven league for a second time without a qb. Otto Graham is not walking through that door.

  15. eventhorizon04 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:26 PM

    If I’m an Alabama fan, I’d only begin worrying about losing Saban if Saban calls a press conference and promises fans he’s not leaving.

  16. hekofit says: Jan 1, 2013 1:32 PM

    Saban was a failure as an NFL head coach. And a failure as an honorable man.
    As a Cleveland Brown season ticket holder, Haslam seems to be looking for Butch Davis all over again.
    And that was a time where not only did the Browns not win, they didn’t have or deserve any respect.
    Its starting to look like once the kool-aid wears off, Cleveland will realize there are worse ownership possibilities than Lerner.

  17. youhavenoclue says: Jan 1, 2013 1:34 PM

    Who cares? It’s the Browns.. LoL

  18. usmarine75 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:35 PM

    Here’s a more realistic idea. Get Tony D’Amato to coach the team and Willie Beamen as your QB.

    Championship.

  19. anonymousdolfan says: Jan 1, 2013 1:37 PM

    Saban didn’t lie when he said he wasn’t going to be the Alabama coach, he just wasn’t able to finish his sentence with “in 2013″

  20. jerrykill4pres says: Jan 1, 2013 1:49 PM

    Don’t the browns pay attention to what happens in the rest of the league? Didn’t this guy quit on Miami?

    He quits on Miami, and the Browns still are interested in him? No wonder they can’t get out of the cellar…

  21. kinggw says: Jan 1, 2013 1:56 PM

    Assuming Saban wins another title in a few days, why wouldn’t he give the NFL another shot? He’s reached the mountaintop on the college level. If the NFL doesn’t work out Saban can return to the college ranks and have whatever job he wants.

  22. craigkintexas says: Jan 1, 2013 2:04 PM

    Appropriate pick for a town like Cleveland.

  23. remyje says: Jan 1, 2013 2:06 PM

    give the guy who chooses the pictures for articles a raise… “which way do you want me to go? here or there?”

  24. briang123 says: Jan 1, 2013 2:06 PM

    I see Saban’s agent is still trying to extort a massive extension from Alabama.

  25. greysolon says: Jan 1, 2013 2:07 PM

    Meh. He’s not bad but there’s no evidence he is some great NFL coach. Most of his success at Bama comes from two things: Recruiting and SEC poll bias.

    Everyone always says “if Saban gets a long time to prepare he will beat the other coach”– yet his bowl game record is 7-6.

    What will he do when he doesn’t have better players than every opponent every week?

  26. brownsfan39 says: Jan 1, 2013 2:12 PM

    I trust that Haslam along with Banner will make the right decisions for the Browns to be competitive and challenge for the AFC North title for years to come!

  27. Gordon says: Jan 1, 2013 2:17 PM

    Once the going got tough in Miami, he up & quits. Is this a guy you want turning around your franchise? He’s a college coach, nothing more.

  28. burnttoast71854 says: Jan 1, 2013 2:18 PM

    Funny to hear all the browns fan say no to Saban that he’s this or that. People like Saban learn from their mistakes. That’s why the Browns are the Browns. If its true 4 playoff wins in 44 yrs stop being so stuck on yourself, be glad that any coach would want to coach UR pathetic delusional team. Guess u could get Wade Phillips aka (Kaptain Kangaroo) to coach ur awesome team.

  29. rhinojr says: Jan 1, 2013 2:37 PM

    (Jimmy Haslam might end up being the worst owner in the NFL. He is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Jets owner Woody Johnson wrapped into one mess. I honestly feel terribly for the Browns. They don’t deserve this.)

    Please add Jerry “I am omniscient” Richardson to the list of bad owners, bec he is!

  30. biggestredmiami says: Jan 1, 2013 2:44 PM

    He has a chance to be the best college coach ever and is thinking about leaving that to coach the Browns?

  31. fdugrad says: Jan 1, 2013 2:46 PM

    Pro players simply will tune him out. They will not put up with his “under my thumb,” college, “take your scholarship away” BS. Even coach C. of The Giants modified that above approach, or he would be back in college coaching. Saban is wrapped even tighter than coach C. was when he jumped to the pros.

  32. mountaindont says: Jan 1, 2013 3:05 PM

    It`s pretty easy to be a great college coach when you get the best high school players in the country year after year. Give me 10 first round draft picks every year and Ill be a great professional coach.

  33. jm91rs says: Jan 1, 2013 3:40 PM

    As a fan of an opposing afc north team I’d love to have Saban at Cleveland. He’ll be average for a year or two, then quit. You have the best of the best going to Alabama, you aren’t going to be getting that in Cleveland, or anywhere in the nfl

  34. thecincinnatikid2 says: Jan 1, 2013 3:43 PM

    Saban will fail in the NFL because players will not listen to his bs. The guy has zero personality. The NFL is a passing league so his ground and pound won’t work, just ask Rex Ryan about that.

  35. greysolon says: Jan 1, 2013 4:15 PM

    He has a great chance of success— if the NFL changes to a poll system with Ohio sportswriters and AFC North coaches doing the voting.

  36. coachbeck says: Jan 1, 2013 4:17 PM

    This hire helps u of Tennessee as well. Win win for Haslam

  37. CKL says: Jan 1, 2013 4:59 PM

    greysolon says:
    Jan 1, 2013 2:07 PM

    What will he do when he doesn’t have better players than every opponent every week?
    ___________________________________
    Yep. Besides his being a snake oil salesman of the highest order, all I need to know is this. As much respect as BB has for Saban’s coaching ability, he’s drafted exactly ONE Saban player in the first round. Ever. And that was this past draft (Hightower). I don’t know exactly why but I’m thinking part of it is that BB knows Saban’s guys are just “better” and have reached their ceilings as college players with his coaching.

  38. stevez51 says: Jan 1, 2013 5:03 PM

    Lets see LSU, Miami Dolphins, Bama and maybe Browns next. After 2 yrs….. Auburn, Kentucky or maybe Tennessee..????

  39. lbcoach34 says: Jan 1, 2013 5:23 PM

    The fact that the insiders are saying Chip Kelly basically means that Chip Kelly has 0% chance of coming to CLE. The fact that Saban seems like a “stretch” – means that there is over 75% chance certainty Saban is coming to CLE

  40. kinguga says: Jan 1, 2013 5:37 PM

    Here’s the problem with Saban. The guy is old. He turned 61 in October. It wouldn’t make much sense for a guy his age to return to the NFL. However, if he wants a new challenge, the NFL is the only place for him to go. The Browns would certainly be a big one.

  41. itsnotfootballanymore says: Jan 1, 2013 5:40 PM

    You’re absolutely right youhavenoclue. The Browns haven’t been important since football was, you know, football.

  42. jimbo75025 says: Jan 1, 2013 6:06 PM

    hoopieguy says:
    Jan 1, 2013 1:10 PM
    There are too many other guys out there that are good and personable too.

    ———

    I could really care less about personable. Last time I checked, Belichick and Tom Coughlin were not winning any personality awards-they were however winning games.

  43. denverdude7 says: Jan 1, 2013 6:09 PM

    Typical Browns dysfunctionality at it’s finest.

    The only thing chasing Nick Saban will accomplish is wasting precious time. While they wait to try to entice/interview Saban the other 6 teams will be hiring head coaches leaving the Browns with whatever is left over.

    New owner, new General Manager same old song and dance.

  44. bigcid10 says: Jan 1, 2013 6:27 PM

    you remember what he did to the dolphins?
    stay away from him if you know what’s best

  45. guinsrule says: Jan 1, 2013 6:32 PM

    If Saban can do for the Browns what he did for the Dolphins…bring him on.

    signed

    Ravens, Steelers and Bengals

  46. hor2012 says: Jan 1, 2013 8:04 PM

    I’ll try this once again. This deal is done. Nick Saban is the next coach of the cleveland Browns. When the owner stated the he wanted to have coach in place before he hired a GM that should have told all of us what time it was. The only reason you would do something like that if you were going to give the next coach the final say on who that GM would be. I’m sorry Bama fans but being from Lousisana this is exactly how this played out before Coach left for Miami. Now, no one at Bama or around the country would blame him for leaving. But, don’t give the impression that there’s nothing to this and then bolt. At lest give the normal, ” I’ll sit down after the season is over a weigh all my opitions” I hate this for Tide and Irish fans because I’m one of the few crazy enough to believe that the Irish is going to win this game anyway. But, if it happens now everyone will be wondering if it was because bama was distracted.

  47. walmatt says: Jan 1, 2013 10:17 PM

    Hes as good as gone……gonna pull a Pete Carroll a la USC……get out while the goin is good

  48. louhudson23 says: Jan 2, 2013 3:29 AM

    He only wins because he has the best players…..uh…yeah…that’s it. I think we see what just having the best players is worth on a daily basis in every sport. Talent never hurts.A certain amount is even necessary. But playing up to and above talent,playing together as a team,with a unified plan,fulfilling roles and responsibilities to each other and a common objective is what wins Championships….and that is what winning coaches produce.

  49. hoopieguy says: Jan 2, 2013 4:40 AM

    I’m 52. Given “average life expectancy” I will never see the Browns be good again. there is not enough time

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