Nick Saban’s comments about Miami send a message to the NFL


So the guy who insisted he wasn’t going to be the Alabama coach would have remained the Miami coach if Drew Brees had become a Dolphin instead of a Saint. Regardless of whether anyone believes that the restless, happy-only-when-he’s-miserable coach would be embarking on his 11th season as Miami’s coach (I don’t), the more important point is lurking between the lines.

His comments prove that Saban left the NFL  because he didn’t have a franchise quarterback. Common sense suggests that, if a team with a franchise quarterback were to pursue Saban, he’d potentially return.

The Colts continue to make the most sense. Owner Jim Irsay wanted to hire him in 1998, but G.M. Bill Polian didn’t want to give Saban the power he wanted. The Colts have a franchise quarterback on the front end of the prime of his career. The Colts have a head coach entering the final year of his contract, and the head coach is believed to be on the hot seat.

Really, what other team with a franchise quarterback will have a vacancy after this season? Teams with franchise quarterbacks rarely have vacancies because coaches of teams with franchise quarterbacks rarely get fired.

Pagano could, especially if Irsay could finally get Saban. And Saban has now made it clear that any team with a quarterback as good or better than Drew Brees has a chance to get Saban.

115 responses to “Nick Saban’s comments about Miami send a message to the NFL

  1. Saban’s comments only prove what you say they prove if they are accepted as true.

    And what makes that necessarily the case. How many times has Saban been caught lying to people while looking them square in the eye? How many? Fifty? Michigan State? LSU? The Dolphins? C’mob man.

    Another angle, that considers Saban’s dreadful ability to be truthful — is that Saban’s pride is still searing from having been so thoroughly humiliated while trying to coach the big boys who play on Sundays — so he manufactured the Brees excuse to exculpate his lame NO MAS limp off that he did while lying through is teeth every step of the way.

  2. The Colts job will go to JON GRUDEN!!!! This is the kind of opportunity he has been waiting for and will leave broadcasting to be the Colts head man. You heard it here first.

  3. Rick Pitino would still be coaching the Celtics if he had gotten Duncan, instead he got the 3rd and 6th picks and was gone back to college in a blink of an eye….just goes to show you its all about the players…

  4. Not saying it couldn’t happen if the owner demands it, but the reason that Pagano’s job in jeapordy is because of tension between him and Grigson. So if Grigson forces Pagano out, he’s not going to be pushing for a guy that is going to demand total roster control like Saban would because that would mean he’d be pushed out the door.

  5. Chuck Pagano’s winning percentage is among the greatest of all time. Much higher than Saban’s NFL record. Usually it’s the losing coaches that get replaced, not the all time winners. Right now, the Colts are the best looking franchise for the near future. It’s why Frank Gore and Andre Johnson both came to Indy. If a coach was worth his salt, wouldn’t he want a bigger challenge. Ryan Grigson has built the Colts into a team that every coach and every player wants to join. I think Irsay is smart enough to let these guys finish what they started. Besides, Saban heads for the exit door every time the going gets tough. Who needs a quitter?

  6. chino1985 says:
    He has no honor.

    You’re right, he’d fit in much better at 345 Park Ave

  7. Thumb me down all you want, I like Saban as a coach and don’t think everything in Tuscaloosa is all roses right now. The state of Alabama is a budget nightmare that is affecting everyone and he might be wanting out because of that. Alabama is where we considered moving, but after all that crap and childish mess in Montgomery I’m actually against it now. He could be thinking the same thing.

  8. Saban is too belichick-Esque to join that cry baby organization. They need another bleeding heart, mother Theresa, tony dungy type. Saban, like dark hoodie, doesn’t go for runner up banners.

  9. I think that would be a mistake (though Pete proved in Seattle that you can fail as a pro, succeed in college, and then do it in the pros well the second time).
    Chargers could be a situation where that franchise needs to make a splash. Rivers may not be Luck, but you could win with Rivers.

  10. Wroong!! Hes too damn old to start anywhere else again. Am I the only one the saw him say that?

  11. Colts would be a perfect fit. He’d whip both the offensive and defensive lines into shape in no time. Two things that have been Indy’s achilles heel for years.

    He could also double as the personnel man. He’d be miles better than Grigson, (granted, the average Colt fan would probably be better than Grigson, but I digress).

    As a Patriots fan, I’m really hoping this doesn’t happen.

  12. What is it about Saban’s comments that would make someone feel comfortable hiring him? I’m sure it was a frustrating situation for him to get overruled (if it is in fact true), but things don’t always go your way. The true measure of a man shouldn’t be based on how much success you have. It should be based on how you handle adversity, and what actions you take when things don’t go your way. All of this just makes him look small and a man of little integrity in my opinion.

  13. Not enough good to great QBs period for true so called “parity” that NFL talking heads always boast about. The 5 Head and Tommy Boy influenced post 2004 “flag football” rule cjanges are all offense, all favor QBs and WRs, yet so many teams still suck. And it’s been mostly the same teams (5 Head, Tommy Boy, Brees, The 2004 QBs from the first round) in the playoffs ad nauseum.

    NCAA needs to groom better QB prospects, or just start another NFL Europe farm system league to help develop QBs (and hopeful NFL players period) that need more time to develop over impatient owners that didnt “Luck” out so to speak.

  14. I’m thinking a Tweet (after a mid season loss) along the lines of the following will happen:

    “If we don’t roll all the way this year, we definitely will next year !”

  15. Go build your own team in Cleveland, Saban. NFL players can’t be inherited and bow-tied with respect towards a coach. The coaches who get respect are the ones who build and let players come to them. Of course, he blew that up in Miami. The window has shut unless he does that ‘breaking and entering’ thing after Jacksonville or Tampa Bay have shown real promise for the real immediate future. Nick Saban is an NFL coaching mistake waiting to happen; feeding off of someone else’s efforts is purely the Saban thing to do and he would waste the short prime of players’ lives.

  16. tonebones says:
    Sep 6, 2015 5:36 PM
    Chuck Pagano’s winning percentage is among the greatest of all time. Much higher than Saban’s NFL record. Usually it’s the losing coaches that get replaced, not the all time winners. Right now, the Colts are the best looking franchise for the near future. It’s why Frank Gore and Andre Johnson both came to Indy. If a coach was worth his salt, wouldn’t he want a bigger challenge. Ryan Grigson has built the Colts into a team that every coach and every player wants to join. I think Irsay is smart enough to let these guys finish what they started. Besides, Saban heads for the exit door every time the going gets tough. Who needs a quitter?

    Is this post for real?
    Everyone knows that the Colts are soft and squishy.
    Training camp is “FUN” there!
    I think that their proud hanging of their “Second Place Thrashing” banner speaks volumes about this team of rats.
    Happy as clams being tied for 3rd in the NFL last year.

  17. I think this is closer to the truth. It is also Saban’s way of saying that he is just a FANTASTIC football coach at ANY level and that in no way is it his fault that he was a miserable failure with the Dolphins.

  18. The Colts won the coveted “AFC finalist” banner last year. I believe the coach received a gold star on his forehead and they served an ice cream cake to celebrate.

    The botched sting operation tells you all you need to know about the miles of difference in closing ability between the Patriots and Colts. Not even in the same league.

  19. tonebones, your statement about the future doesn’t mesh with the names Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. They are at the end of your “future”, they may have something left in the tank for a year or so. Your owner isn’t smart enough to hire and give total control to someone who knows the game like Saban. Your teams worst problem next to the owner is Ryan Grigson. You’ve got the best QB for the future and it ends there.

  20. Do you think that Saban would have allowed the Colts to hang an AFCCG participant banner after getting pounded by almost 40 points?


  21. Irsay giving the keys to Saban would provide false validation to the Saban fans that he can coach men. The Oilers, Browns, and Dolphins stints prove he can’t. He’s a fantastic groomer of young men coming out of High School, but is not fit to be an NFL HC. There is a reason after 40+ years in football, that he is in College, it’s where he belongs!

  22. The message is that it’s a QB’s game. It’s what Goodell has done to the game. More points mean more women, more gays, more British (redundant?). It’s his target audience and the one he most identifies with.

    All that’s left is a giant pinball tournament, where QBs take alternate turns at the flippers, and the players function as bumpers.

    Ding Ding Ding.

  23. That would be a horrible move… and for the players, going from Pagano to Saban would be like going from Rex Ryan to Bill Belichik without the winning.

  24. I could see it happen. Saban always has a juggernaut defense in Bama and that’s what Indy has always lacked.

    It seems like NFL teams used to stay away from college coaches and retreads after the Saban and Petrino debacle in Miami and Atlanta but coaches like Carroll and Kelly are proving that thinking to be wrong. They just need to be given the chance to have say over their roster so they have the personnel to use their philosophy.

  25. Saban is an Alabama legend. He is truly a great college football coach. Why in the world would he ever want to leave. The NFL, that’s why. Saban is no JoPa. He turned several offers to coach in the NFL. He even turned down an offer to be part owner and coach of the Pats in 1973. He turned down the Steelers job in 1969.Those two were documented. There were others. Paterno was not restless. He was content to stay at PSU for 65 years. Saban is a different animal. I don’t think he would ever leave Alabama for another NCAA college gig. In my opinion the Tide is the ultimate college coaching job in America and he made it that way. But the Indy job, as told by Mike Florio, makes all the sense in the world. If the job opens, would he be the top candidate? No. There would be a flood of great, proven NFL coaches lining up at the door. Jim Irsay would be a fool to pick Saban. Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz, Butch Davis, Bobby Petrino, Dennis Erickson, Frank Kush and Bud Wilkinson, all failed in the NFL and all were damn good college coaches. The jury is still out on Chip Kelly.

  26. His comments should drive home to the NFL the troubling fact that the league is a place where teams cannot win unless they have a hall of fame (or close) quarterback. That is a ridiculous standard. Of the 32 teams, 25 or so teams know they’ve got little or no chance. Stop crafting rules that benefit quarterbacks beyond what is freaking reasonable.

  27. But don’t we hear all the time (here) that when a coach is hired he quickly wants to bring in his own QB?
    (as if it has nothing to do with the quality of the incumbent QB)

  28. Nick Saban is 63 and under contract at Alabama through 2017. I highly doubt he’s going to the nfl again. I just can’t see a 65 year old coach willing to take on the grind of the nfl nor do I believe a team would hire someone that old who doesn’t have previous success in the league

  29. How do you know Nick Satan is lying when he discusses any past jobs he has had, his current job or any future jobs he might take?

    His mouth is open and words are coming out.

  30. This unnecessary chatter about Saban and the Colts is very disrespectful of Pagano. Not only is Pagano’s NFL record better than Saban’s but also he is a better human being. He has been to a scary and dark place and it made him stronger. Saban has been to idyllic college campuses that made him money.

    If you were walking down a dark alley is a bad part of town, which one would you want next to you? Pagano ( fight ) or Saban ( flight )?

  31. Or…. we completely misinterpret his words, and instead of talking about Drew Brees being his qb, Nick was pointing out that his LACK of power was the reason he left, and why he has always done better in college….

    Just saying…

  32. The Marshmellos will be looking for a new coach after the Pats crush and embarrass them again

  33. The guy has 4 National Championships… let’s not act like he wouldn’t be a hot commodity on the open market. He can pick and choose what team he wants to join and the Colts would be a perfect fit. If Irsay will give him Belichick like personnel power… watch out NFL.

  34. Or just maybe it could be damage control on his part after that book came out.

    But to play along I also want to spin this towards the pats. He has the lying part down already.

  35. .
    He certainly doesn’t need the money. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a job with the Patriots as an assistant head coach or a special assignment role

  36. Walking down a dark alley I would definitely pick Saban. That temper would come in handy. Pagano would want to to “hug it out”.

  37. The main point of this article is to say that Andrew Luck, despite being as talented as he is, will never measure up to having as much and/or as equal talent as Drew Brees. 🙂

  38. The job he should take should be at a school like Akron, Wake Forest or Rice.
    Success there would be unquestioned (not that he is questioned for winning at Bama)
    Bama gets recruits simply for being Bama. A school like above, if he won there, got playoff consideration and the like….
    He’d get there starting from nearly ground zero.
    Now that’s a challenge and an unquestioned accomplishment.
    After winning 4 times from a top SEC school, the question “what can I do next?” could be answered with “go win where no one else has won before.”

  39. Hiring Saban would be a predictably irrational decision that I can’t see any NFL team making. Nobody can guarantee the longevity of a franchise quarterback. Certainly the Redskins thought they had one with RG3. Which college team would Saban be talking with or already be coaching if he came on board during RG3’s first year. He’d be gone before the game RG3 limped off from was over.
    Besides he still has a problem wife. She needs the media and community attention that is only available in college towns.
    He can hint all he wants. He is looking for a bigger pay check from a college team and national attention that he can’t get being a coach in a comparatively smaller market college conference. But he still hasn’t mastered coaching an offence and he ain’t no Marv Levy.

  40. The only message he is sending to the NFL is that he is still a liar. It was Sabin’s call and he is the one who passed on Brees. He is the one that went after Culpepper instead. This story even mentions that the Colts didn’t hire him because he wanted too much power in the organization. Miami gave him that power a few years later and now we are supposed to believe that a team doctor held more sway than he did as HC? Sabin controlled the roster and GM Randy Mueller was just there to handle the minutia that Sabin couldn’t be bothered with. Huizenga was too busy dealing with his other business ventures to bother with active control of the Dolphins so Sabin’s assertion is clearly BS. He was the man that made the decisions for the Dolphins. Sabin is maneuvering for something with all this press lately. Whether that is selling more copies of his book, leveraging for more cash in Alabama or planting the seed that he may be willing to leave is anybody’s guess, but that man is not truthful. Good luck if he is your guy

  41. There are a few teams with franchise quarterbacks who may be in need of a head coach after the 2015 season if they don’t perform – Indy, NYG, San Fran, Carolina, San Diego, and even Dallas. But would they want the ego and power-lust of Nick Saban? Not a chance.

  42. If Jim Harbaugh struggles his first season with Michigan look for him to come back and reunite with Andrew Luck and the Colts.

  43. Holy crap ! This is the same guy who said he would never have left Michigan State if not for his dream job, LSU . Look it up !
    Then leaves Miami because he realizes it would take some time to win and god forbid his players were men who had a mind of there own, while lying to the press about the Alabama job.
    I run a business and would never hire a person with the scruples of Nick Saban .

  44. As a Packers fan, I agree with ariani1985. McCarthy has really gotten in Rodgers’ way ever since we last won the Super Bowl, and he needs to be under the gun this year.

  45. Drew Brees was not yet a franchise QB in 2006. During his first 5 seasons he only had 1 good one.

    Of course Saban will say he wanted Brees with the gift of hindsight.

  46. He’d be lucky to land any NFL head coaching job. Let alone one that gift wrapped him a franchise qb that someone else drafted for him only to reap the benefits of. He can suck a fat one. Primadonna pos.

  47. “Teams with a quarterback as good as Drew Bree’s” is a short list & at this point it doesn’t include Andrew Luck. Everyone acknowledges that he is full of potential. Right now he just isn’t as good as Bree’s, Brady, Rodgers, etc. depending on your favorite team, I think he is a consensus choice at around the 6th or 7th best quarterback in the NFL, which is an amazing place to be. He still isn’t up there with Bree’s though.

  48. tell us something we don’t know, without a really good QB no NFL team would be really good


    Footnote to Mr Lowbrow, the Ravens won a SB with Trent Dilfer!

  49. Saban was a terrible NFL coach and everyone saw it…. he coaches boys, not men, end of story, when he had to coach a pro team, his weaknesses came out big time

    if any owner is fool enough to hire college level talent like Snyder with RG3, they deserve what they get

    I am mystified how all these owners and coaches think college talent like RG3, Vick, Jamarcus, Saban, blah blah blah are going to bring back their college days in the NFL… it’s a completely ridiculous notion that these children are going to continue their glory days in the NFL…. there is no way an RG3 is going to be able to run in the NFL against an NFL linebacker and not get broken in half

    how is it that Snyder and all these guys don’t see that this college level talent won’t get it done and waste millions of dollars and many first round draft picks on trying to relive their college days…. wow are they delusional.

  50. He’s a coach in the minor leagues who excels because he has access to better talent, sure, he’s a great college coach but the recruiting advantages in college and the pros kinda aren’t the same…so…yeah, I would love for Saban to coach in my teams division, narcissism doesn’t win games in the pros

  51. The idea of Nick Saben as head coach of the Colts & Bill Belichick of the Patriots all on the same field? The level of “honesty & integrity” of the game just simply couldn’t get any better………………..

  52. Nick Saban would go back to the NFL for any QB equal of better than Drew Brees. Unfortunately even if that is true it does not leave too many options.
    According to the PFF rankings published in their public site, only QB better than Brees are Rodgers, Big Ben and Brady.
    According to NFL QB rating Brees was 6th with Tony Romo, Rodgers, Big Ben, P Manning and Brady ahead of them.
    I do not see any team above looking for a coach next year so Nick will the Alabama coach for a while.

  53. Overrated. He can’t coach in the NFL. Stick to college where you can recruit the most talented team to make up for your average coaching.

  54. It’s harder to win in the NFL when you can’t recruit your way to a championship. Sorry Nick, the players in the NFL are all good, and most of them aren’t even from your programs, to boot!

  55. Regardless of the main point of this article, the “restless, happy-only-when-he’s-miserable” description on Saban is spot on.

  56. First of all, I think you are reading too much into this statement. Second, I would not want to hire Saban. I think he is one of those coaches whose style of running a team works better with college kids than with grown men. College kids say yes sir while the pros might tell him to talk to their agent or go behind Saban’s back to the owner. And I think Jim Irsay is definitely a meddler like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder who will try to “help clear up communication issues”.

    Also, while I understand Saban didn’t get Drew Brees, that does not mean he had to leave to go back to college coaching. I don’t think he was going to get fired, he just jumped ship because he felt like it.

  57. The Colts don’t need a new coach. Luck will run the offense and players will come to play with him. Just draft him some line men every now and then and he’ll do the rest.

    Pagano can build a great defense, he’s shown the ability to coach good players. He just needs a GM to actually invest in some quality draft picks for the defensive side of the ball.

    A new GM capable of drafting quality defensive players and the occasional help for the offense and Pagano and Luck will do the rest.

    Grigson is living off making the Luck pick, which anyone would’ve done.

  58. No! he left Miami because Mrs Saban wanted him to go back to the college scene. Its documented. Ok that in its self is not the worst reason to give up the NFL and leave Miami in the lurch but dont go and make another excuse up. In fact not having a franchise QB is not a good reason, it shows that you easily spit your dummy out if you dont get your own way.

  59. paulieokid,

    I agree with you completely, but you left out the most important lie – to the recruits he talks to about attending Alabama. Just google the term, “college football over signing” and you’ll see that Saban, as well as the other S(kip) E(ducation) C(onference) coaches are masters at this terrible practice where they manipulate recruiting at the expanse of 17 and 18-year-olds.

  60. What NFL ownership is going to sign this guy when he is so happy to go on the record and throw his previous NFL bosses under the bus!
    I’m pretty sure that he signed off on the Culpepper trade. If anything, the only grudge he should have is with his old medical staff who didn’t sign off on the health of Brees.

  61. Saban has a long history of saying things that are not true, and now you are asking us to believe this one statement as fact?

    He is also 65 years old, who wants him now?

  62. Another coach isn’t what the Colts need.
    They need a good GM, one who is able to draft.

    Andrew Luck was the obvious pick, everyone would have taken him. Other than that, whats he done during his tenure? He got lucky on TY Hilton, other than that?

  63. Sorry, if McDaniel doesn’t take another job as a head coach; the Patriots-Coach-In-Waiting is Billy O’Brien. However, BB still enjoys the job and is in no hurry to give up coaching. Should he have a change of heart, he’ll still run the operation as GM and CEO.

  64. You are correct, intrafinesse. Andrew Luck WAS the obvious pick, especially since the Colts through the season to get that pick.
    And the Colts, Ravens and Goodell are accusing the Patriots of deflating footballs and affecting the INTEGRITY OF THE GAME!

  65. Pagano is not the problem in Indy, Grigson is the problem. Aside from his first AWESOME draft (Luck, Fleener, Allen, Hilton) he has made too many bonehead moves. There is nothing wrong with the team’s offense. It’s the darn defense that needs help and Pagano is no miracle worker. He can’t turn the scrubs Grigson drafts into good defenders.

  66. Chino 1985 says But why would anyone want Saban? He has no honor.

    Aren’t we confusing self-determination with honor because a coach who has total confidence about his ability to coach winning football wants what he wants. Isn’t that why great players hold out and always want the money they are worth. Besides who among us has not done something others called dishonorable and all too often without proof? So we can’t ever forgive and forget. Some of us must have never had a family or kids?

    Who would want Saban as their head coach? The line would be around the building for teams desperate to win. Deflategate proved a lot of things and about other teams desire to win they don’t care who they malign so who is dishonorable when it comes to winning?

    NFL football is a cut throat proposition, and it gets rough when your really trying. Saban could have his choice without doubt.

  67. Sabin’s ” Word ” has been compromised many times in the past and he ” goes which way the wind blows “..So check the forecast at the end of the year to see which way , indeed, the wind is blowing ! db

  68. Over the last 10 years, the Colts have the 2nd best record in the NFL. Over the past 20 years the Colts have the 4th best record in the NFL. The Steelers have the most wins over 20 years, the Patriots have the most over 10 years. With Brady closer to the end of his career, and Luck closer to the beginning of his, the Colts are the odds on favorite to have the most wins over the next decade, as long as they stay on course and keep Ryan Grigson as their GM. Whether the Colts have Pagano, Bruce Arians, Nick Saban, or Steve Spurrier as their coach, the winning will continue because of Grigson. The difference between Pete Carroll in Seattle, and Pete in his previous two unsuccessful NFL coaching jobs is Seattle GM John Schneider. If Seattle had hired Saban instead of Pete Carroll, the Seahawks might not have been as successful if they didn’t allow Schneider to run personnel. The difference between Bill Belichick’s success in New England and his unsuccessful time with the Browns is Tom Brady. Just like in Miami, Nick Saban will not be successful without superior talent. Any coach can win with superior talent. No coach can win without it. Jim Irsay knows this better than anyone. Obviously, Nick Saban is admitting it too. If Saban is as good as some people think he is, he’ll want to go to Washington. They have a young franchise QB in RG3. Half the GMs would have taken Robert Griffin over Luck. Washington is the perfect place for Saban to prove how good he is.

  69. Who could believe anything that comes out of this mans mouth ?????????
    Go ask the players at Michigan State and the Miami Dolphins. He told both squads not to believe what the press was reporting, that he wasn’t leaving and then BAMMM, he was gone.
    No apologies, No regrets. But the players were disrespected and lied to with no following apologies.
    Yup, That’s Nick Saban. Liar Extraordinaire !!!

  70. Saban to the Colts? Not as long as Grigson is GM and Irsay is the owner. And we know Irsay isn’t going anywhere, unless it’s to jail.

  71. Actually, bringing in Saban to coach Indy is a good idea if Pagano can’t get the team over the hump. I think Saban could really do a good job, especially with Luck at the controls. Let’s see what Pagano can do this season, and if he falters then I think Alabama should start worrying about keeping their head coach. Saban could theoretically get very, very rich if he should decide to go to Indy. Plus, he just might win a Super Bowl if he can find a way to come up with a semi-decent defense.

  72. This is dumb,he had complete power over who they picked to play for the Dolphins,if he wanted to sign Bree’s there was nothing stopping him.The training staff doctors and surgeons under Sabans watch advised him not to take Brees over Culpepper so he had a decision to make and he made the wrong decision. By the way almost every player he picked in the draft underperformed and were out of the league in five years. Ronnie Brown and Sean Smith were respectable.

  73. Saban in Indy would at least give them some direction. Let him be his own GM. He would at least get them sorted.

    Other than that not sure what other worthy jobs would be open.

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