Saban rules out NFL return, maybe

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Nearly seven years to the day after Nick Saban notoriously said, “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach,” he has essentially said that he’s always going to be the Alabama coach.

“We are excited about the future and the University of Alabama is where I plan to end my coaching career,” Saban said in a statement issued in connection with his new contract extension in Tuscaloosa, via CFT.

Key word:  Plan.  Plans can change.  Plans do change.

Saban wasn’t speaking off the cuff.  It was a written statement.  Every word of a written statement is, or at least should be, picked with care.

“Plan” sends a far different message than “will.”  Saban didn’t say will.  He’ll never say will.

And that will leave the door open, even if only a crack, for a chance to show that he can compete at the highest level of the sport, where the draft and salary cap prevents the best recruiter in football history from stocking the roster and sweet-talking backups who would be starters elsewhere into staying put.

While a return to pro football remains unlikely, the right set of circumstances could lure Saban back.  It likely would take a lot of money, a franchise quarterback with five or more years left to play, a great cap situation, the availability of a G.M. whom Saban trusts to help make excellent personnel decisions, and an owner who will butt out and let Saban do his thing.

Those planets may not line up before the 62-year-old Saban’s plans necessarily become reality.  But with Saban, it’s always important to expect the unexpected.

Like, you know, Saban staying with Alabama at a time when it appeared he’d be headed to Texas.

26 responses to “Saban rules out NFL return, maybe

  1. You’d have to be nuts to hire him back to the NFL.

    After what he did to the Fins no player or GM will ever trust him to even finish his first season. Ie, no player is likely to buy into his system or anything else about the guy.

    Recipe for disaster.

  2. Saban is effective coaching boys when he’s got an enormous personnel advantage (see the recruiting classes he’s benefitted from year in and year out).

    But Saban proved to be very ineffective coaching (or leading) men, hated the NFL pressure, was miserable with the media (which he can get away with in Alabama) – and is an established liar and quitter.

    Other than that, he should be an awesome NFL head coach.

  3. .

    At some point Bill Belichick may decide to give up coaching to focus more on personnel. Saban would be a possibility in New England based upon their relationship.


  4. ” It likely would take a lot of money, a franchise quarterback with five or more years left to play, a great cap situation, the availability of a G.M. whom Saban trusts to help make excellent personnel decisions, and an owner who will butt out and let Saban do his thing.”

    So in other words, he has to every advantage otherwise he’ll quit. Not exactly what I’d call a legend. Coaches who get results in sub-optimal situations get my respect.

  5. Saban is a better HC period than most of the clones in the NFL. Without full control he likely has no desire to deal with the prima donna, PED-addled, female-abusing, illiterate, spoiled babies with daddy issues that he’d be forced to deal with. All the criticisms previous people posted may be true but they also describe every HC in football…Saban just does it better & is in more demand. Go look at what a dumpster fire the Michigan St, LSU & Bama programs were before he rebuilt them. You don’t have to like him, but there’s no one better IMO.

  6. I spent ten years as the Purchasing Manager for an exacting team of engineers at an R&D firm, but I bet I’d be unable to provide Saban with the right type and quantity of Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

  7. It’s nice that guys like Saban achieve a lot of success and get a lot of recognition. I have no problem with it and he deserves the positive press and attention he is getting. But what about ALL the little-named coaches, the guys that nobody knows about who are REALLY good coaches, and more importantly VALUE coaches because they don’t need massive amounts of millions to do better than the guys who needs those millions.

    I think most NFL teams are quite foolish for paying big bucks for guys that have a big name with little substance, especially when there are better coaches out there than these guys who also would work for a FRACTION of the pay! Ok that’s all I have to say now, sorry this topic just really burns me!

  8. Nick Saban’s NFL record: 15 – 17 (The Dolphins actually got worse during his second year as a coach.)

    Tim Tebow’s NFL record: 9 – 7 (including playoff win. He helped turn around a losing franchise and got a playoff win.)

    Both were great in college. Both have trouble in the NFL.

    Saban is a great college coach. In the NFL, not so much. Everyone hates on Tebow for his lack of NFL skills, but he’s actually had a MUCH better NFL career than Saban did. The Dolphins got worse with Saban, and the Bronco’s got better with Tebow.

    Why can’t everyone just admit that Saban is a failure as an NFL coach? After the way the left Miami, any GM would be nuts to hire him.

  9. There should have been an epic Saban&Brees vs. Belichick&Brady Rivalry, but Saban and the Dolphins totally F’ed that up. Things worked out for him at Bama, but that just left us Dolphin fans bitter.

  10. Thank god the Dolphins don’t want him having anything to do with the NFL. He sucked as the coach, and deals with college better than “grown men”.

  11. It would also take him not sucking at it.

    He’s wise to retain his position as king of the NFL’s developmental league.

    Though by that definition, he’s not too great at that either. By the time his kids reach the NFL, their bodies are already too destroyed for them to have much an NFL career left in front of them.

  12. You guys are pretty funny. Saban and Lil Danny in DC? up in Baltimore we would be LOAOs for the next ten years. Even Snyder’s not that stupid (I think). after Nick smoked the Dolphins he should be radioactive to every NFL owner & GM.

  13. Why would he want to coach in the NFL? He is a god at Alabama. Literally worshiped there. You can’t get that in the NFL. If I were a successful college coach, I would never leave.

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