Pioli reacts to Tim Davis calling Saban “the devil”

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During a wide-ranging and entertaining (except when I was talking) segment of Tuesday’s PFT Live, former Patriots V.P. of player personnel and Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli reacted to the recent comments from former Dolphins assistant coach Tim Davis regarding former Dolphins head coach and current I’m-not-going-to-be-the-Alabama-coach Alabama coach Nick Saban.

Davis called Saban “the devil,” and Pioli called Davis out on that.

Reminded that Saban said in response that he was “terribly disappointed” by the comments, Pioli agreed.  “I’ve got to be honest, I was terribly disappointed,” Pioli said.  “You know, I know Nick Saban, I’ve worked with Nick Saban for a number of years back in Cleveland.  First of all, I didn’t like it for Nick.  I know Nick is a tremendous coach and he’s a tough worker and he’s a tough boss but I know a lot of people who are tough bosses.

“I’ll say this about Nick, though:  I think he’s tough but he’s fair. He doesn’t ask anything of people that he hasn’t done himself or that he won’t do himself.”

Pioli also pointed out the inconsistency between the subsequent claim from Davis that it all was a joke to the lack of an apology from Davis.  There’s another inconsistency that undermines the comments; Davis worked two years for Saban at Miami, and then later accepted another job with Saban at Alabama.

“[Davis] spends a year out of football, can’t get a job, Nick creates a position at the University of Alabama to help a guy who’s been unemployed he shows his loyalty to the guy, brings him in, creates a position, pays him. This guy made the choice to come work for Nick and now a couple years later, he’s bashing a guy who really helped him,” Pioli said.  “And to me this is something within the industry that I really struggle with, Mike, because I’ve see it happen to Bill Belichick, I’ve seen it happen to Bill Parcells, I just don’t understand the mentality of people who are given opportunities, they seize the opportunity, they get paid, and then some time in the future they start to air dirty laundry or their hard feelings toward someone. I just don’t understand why people can’t keep their mouths shut and move on.  So, to me, it’s one of these trends in sports that I see, that I just, truly
disappoint me.”

Looking at it that way, it really is disappointing that Davis would fire public shots at Saban, in jest or otherwise.  If Saban was “the devil” or something close to it, Davis knew it based on their time together from 2005 to 2006 — and yet Davis signed up for another tour of duty in 2008.

And if it was all a joke, it was a bad joke from a guy who benefited from Saban’s willingness to hire him not once, but twice.

The ultimate message is fairly simple.  If you have a problem with your current boss, find a new one.  And if you had a problem with a former boss, try not to accept another job offer from him.

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17 responses to “Pioli reacts to Tim Davis calling Saban “the devil”

  1. Scott who??? Oh Bill Parcells son-in-law. Is that why we should care what he thinks?

  2. luv the PFT podcast, but Pioli knows less about football than…anyone in the world. His father-in-law accomplished a lot, but I’ve never thought that meant Pioli accomplished anything

  3. Regardless of whether Davis should or shouldn’t have made the comment, Saban’s reputation for being an ass is of his own making. I think the world knew Saban was well before Davis added his commentary. So, Nick, if you don’t want people to say bad things about you, you might try being less of an ass.

  4. I couldn’t agree with with Pioli & Saban more. I’m a former Sergeant (Army) and current small business owner, so I’m also “firm, but fair”. I would also run thru a brick wall for my employees, and was willing to die for my soldiers.

    Davis, and many others, need to be more appreciative towards those who helped them, every step of the way. Every life experience has value, and to deny that is extremely short sighted.

    Note to Davis: “To bring honor to yourself, you must first honor others.”

  5. maybe it has to do with the fact he works at a rival school now and is saying or doing whatever it takes to get kids to go there. maybe everybody is taking this just a bit to seriously and needs to put their big boy pants on and shut up about it already. God I miss the days of being able to offend somebody without all pc fall out after. you can’t even say have a nice day to anyone anymore without them getting upset.

  6. Is Man-genius still working up there at ESPN? I bet him and shefter get along well.

  7. Just because Pioli’s experience with his friend and former colleague Saban was a positive doesn’t mean it was for Davis.

    We don’t know what life was like for him or what his relationship was like with Saban, so how the heck can any of us tell Davis he is wrong? And last I checked the devil makes all sorts of deals and contracts with people so re-hiring Davis at some point doesn’t mean squat …

  8. Pioli has made a career out of having good connections, mostly notably his father-in-law and Belichick. He’s rarely if ever been unemployed because of that, certainly not because of his “talent”. I doubt that he’d know what some people would do for a job when they’ve been out of work for a while.

    That said, Davis was stupid to say what he said. I for one wouldn’t want to attract Saban’s attention. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  9. @dolphinsfootball and The Prophet …

    Oh please. I’ve known coaches who worked with Saban for years at different programs. He doesn’t have a reputation for being an ass with his employees–otherwise they wouldn’t keep signing up for more. He does have a reputation for working long, hard hours. But they knew that when they took the job. Davis couldn’t get a job when Saban made a place for him. So Saban has said Davis should have come to him if he had a problem. That’s not too much to ask.

    You Dolphins fans are bent out of shape that a man left one job for another. He’s not the first to say he wasn’t considering a move when he wasn’t in a position to consider it. Maybe he should have done the Jim Mora/Washington bit instead. That sure worked out well for Mora.

  10. @Deb

    Really? I guess you didn’t hear how when in Miami, a secretary made the cardinal sin of saying good morning to him and commenting that she liked his haircut. He grunted at her and had some guy named Scotty O’Brien (described by a former player as Saban’s hatchet man) come and tell her that she was not allowed to talk to the coach. We can argue about his merits as a coach all day, but the fact that the man is an ass is beyond any credible debate.

  11. @dolphinsfootball …

    No, hadn’t heard that one. Have only heard from some of his assistant coaches. If true, I’ll concede that qualifies as jackassery.

  12. Saban I dont think is the devil. But I do know he’s a liar. Dont know Davis and dont know why he would say that , maybe he was joking. I also know how sensitive everyone is at PFT. And PFT works so hard to bring us this trivial BS. And the Dolphin fans can spout anything we want. Pioli does it everyday, Ryan does it everyday, J Jones does it everyday. Deal with it,,,,,,,

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