Should NFL teams be calling Nick Saban?

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Alabama coach Nick Saban has shown no inclination to deviate from the monotonous cycle of climbing to the top of the college football mountain, going back to the bottom, and then climbing the same mountain again. But there’s a bigger mountain looming next to Mt. NCAA, one that Saban once tried unsuccessfully to climb.

For that reason alone, it’s worth making a phone call to Saban’s longtime agent, Jimmy Sexton, about a possible return to the NFL. And, surely, there’s a number between $10 million and $20 million per year that would get Saban to say “yes.”

In 1998, the Colts tried to hire Saban. The Colts, if you haven’t heard, currently are looking for a new coach. So are the Giants, who tried to hire Saban in 1997.

The challenge then, as it would be now, is the issue of control. Saban will want it. Others within the Colts and Giants have it, and they may not want to give it up.

Ultimately, however, it comes down to what the owner wants to do. And if guys like Jim Irsay and John Mara want to make a Jon Gruden-type splash, and if they’re willing to pay for it, maybe they do whatever it takes to get Saban.

A potential return, which at this point seems highly unlikely, would hinge on Saban being sufficiently tormented by his NFL failure with the Dolphins — and sufficiently confident it will be different this time — to give it another go. For now, it seems like Saban will keep climbing that same mountain he has scaled repeatedly, reaching the summit so many times that he’ll set the bar so high no one will ever come close to matching it.

52 responses to “Should NFL teams be calling Nick Saban?

  1. nope. he’s a good coach when he is able to recruit all the best talent. unless he can go to the draft and take whoever he wants, and as many players as he wants, he will never be as accomplished in the NFL as he is in college.

  2. College and pro football are extremely different. Different skill set to a large degree. Be wary.

  3. He didn’t exactly fall flat on his face his first go around. That dolphins team did way worse without him.

  4. Just give Saban the same talent level as his competitors and watch his NFL career go like Spurrier’s or Chip Kelly’s. Poor to average.

  5. Saban was nothing special coaching at Michigan State. It was only when he moved to the SEC where he had success. ESPN promotes for SEC non stop and has now effectively rigged the game to ensure SEC teams get advantages.

    Maybe Andy Reid would have a bunch of Super Bowl rings if the NFL went by corrupt polls where he could lose a big game and then they just put his team in the Super Bowl anyway.

    UCF – National Champs!

  6. Bill Belichicks Godson.

    Hang out at Bama until BB actually does retire. Bama is set up very similar to the way One Patriots Place is set up.

  7. Why would he leave a high profile high paying gig at his age…This is a verbatim article for close to a decade. I’m no Bama fan, every year this is posted.

  8. Saban was nothing special coaching at Michigan State.
    Ha. Sparty was 0-11 in 1994 the year before Saban took over. Saban never had a losing record as Mich State (34-24) and he did well enough for LSU (48-16) to hire him.

    He’s a great enough coach to be loathed. Fans don’t loath coaches that are nothing special.

  9. Only if he can bring the officiating crew from last night’s title game with him to every NFL game. The officiating was atrocious and affected the outcome of the game.

  10. saban isn’t an idiot, i’ll give him that. he does not want to compete on an even talent field in a league that tests for PED’s. he likes rolling out with 25 5 start players after they visited the basement pharmacy. nick wants nothing to do with nfl. It will out him as a coach.

  11. Part of the problem in Miami was his family, particularly his wife. She didn’t like being a small fish in big pond and it got even worse when her husband started taking more grief for his Dolphins record. If he goes back to the pros it would probably have to be in a small market.

    Also, keep in mind his age. At 66 he may not want to uproot again for what will almost certainly be a less successful gig than Alabama

  12. I doubt he would be able to handle today’s generation of athletes like OBJ and other big personalities like that. It’s a lot different coaching college kids who have no recourse if they step out of line.

  13. No, honestly, I’m not sure he has control over his own team. The special teams guy gets a personal foul, mouths off, goes after a coach but he’s back in the game. His team could have easily had other personal fouls called against them if the officiating would have been alert. No thanks….

  14. Don’t see it this year but if he gets another NCAA title in the next 2-3 years and becomes the all time leader in championships the intrigue might start. It’s gotta bug him a little that he doesn’t have a Lombardi trophy despite all the college trophies. Still a long shot but if he does rest assured its going to be somewhere where there is an elite QB that gives him a competitive advantage each week. Four QB’s he might hitch his wagon too for the right price. Rodgers, Brady, Watson, Stafford. What these QB’s have in common is they are elite QB’s with some uncertainty about their Head Coaches future over the next 2-3 years. Again long shot but those would be the franchise QBs he might consider leaving the college ranks for. No franchise QB no chance.

  15. It is pretty simple to me. Why would he want to do that at age 66? also, some coaches are just better in the college game and I think Saban is one of those guys and I think deep down he knows that.

  16. Oh please. As we have seen often enough, Saban’s NCAA success is much more a product of terrific recruiting (which he deserves credit for) than any sort of tactical or training prowess. And there is little to no use for “recruiting” in the NFL. Saban probably would be a perfectly fine NFL HC, but he would want to be paid/treated like a coaching genius on the basis of his NCAA record, which is largely irrelevant when it comes to professional football. Any team foolish enough to give him that treatment would deserve the mediocre fruits it would receive.

  17. The NFL will provide him less than he already has. He won’t get to cherry pick the draft every year and take all the best talent.

  18. Nick Saban has nothing more to prove in college football. His greatness is undeniable. However, if he really wants a challenge, how about Cleveland in the NFL. Yes, Jimmy Haslam is fully committed to Hue Jackson, but this would be great for the game.

  19. If I owned an NFL team, I would not even consider him under any circumstances. 1) He was terrible as a pro coach (apparently he can’t run a team of adult men, only kids who fear him), 2) his baldfaced lies show no one could trust him, 3) his “Nicktator” act would be a distraction and an impediment to forging a team culture, and 4) He has no idea how to work with a salary cap.

  20. He was a failure as an NFL coach. His Alabama success is a result of being able to pick and choose the best recruits. He’s an above average college coach who couldn’t cut it in the NFL.

    Truth hurts.

    The Dolphins sucked with him as coach and he rejected Drew Brees. I understand why, but things just didn’t go well for him in the pros.

  21. He’ll work in Cleveland if he were hired this offseason, because it’s a young roster and they have 11 picks in this draft and 5 in the first two rounds. He can choose his QB, RB, and some other pieces.

    It’s a trip that a man can win 6 championships and still not get his due credit, and that’s in large part because NCAA D1 football doesn’t produce a true champion. All this playoff really did was decide a SEC champion and settle that the SEC is a better conference than the ACC and Big 12. You have a bunch of people voting on who the best teams are and not giving teams a chance to play it off on the field….but I digress.

  22. it seems like Saban will keep climbing that same mountain he has scaled repeatedly, reaching the summit so many times
    One word: Booorrrrrrring

  23. Go ahead, he’ll leave in 2-3 years, AGAIN. He’s a failure at the pro level because he can’t threaten young players with scholarship revocation, and at college he can have a lot more players on the roster than pro. Just like Spurrier and Chip, good college coaches, failures at the pro level

  24. In a word, no. College is a slower game, and unless you are in a couple of divisions in the NFL there are few cakewalk schedules like Bama had this year, and often has. The offenses are vastly different, the defenses are very different. The rules are different. I don’t believe anyone is defined by a single failure, but neither do I think someone who is great at something will automatically be great at something else either.

  25. He owns the state of Alabama, the SEC, and by extension, college football. Why give all that up especially at his age?

  26. Let’s face it…with the amount of talent going to Tuscaloosa Craig T. Nelson could win a title every year. In the NFL he won’t be able to handpick the best talent and the Dolphins know how that worked out. Unless some team is willing to throw a ton of money at him why would he leave Alabama? If some team does break the bank for him, it’ll be the same as before–a good college coach who can’t win in the NFL because he can’t tilt the playing field in his favor.

  27. I really don’t think Saban’s style translates well to the NFL. Not even related to his past experience in the NFL. I just watch him interact with players and I think he has to be the authoritarian boss. That doesn’t work in the NFL. You may say Belichick is like that, but he really isn’t. He is still very respectful of the players. I would say BB is more a true professional coach.

  28. genericuser8888 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 11:16 am
    He was a failure as an NFL coach. His Alabama success is a result of being able to pick and choose the best recruits. He’s an above average college coach who couldn’t cut it in the NFL.
    Truth hurts.
    The Dolphins sucked with him as coach and he rejected Drew Brees. I understand why, but things just didn’t go well for him in the pros.


    You can’t say his Alabama success was because of the recruiting advantage when his winning is what created the recruiting advantage in the first place. He needs to get credit for everything.

  29. Why would he? His legacy is set in stone, and he’s 66, there’s no need for him to prove himself in the NFL. This is like the Geno Aurriema should coach men debate the talking heads have every march. Because you want to see it, doesn’t mean it should happen.

  30. To the guy who said Saban was nothing special at Michigan State: he actually took us from being a pretty bad team to 10-2 in a few years so I’d say you’re wrong

  31. Absolutely not, he’s a snake in the grass at best and the NFL is vastly different from kiddie ball.

  32. Well, Marrone quit on the Bills. But Jacksonville hired him. Mind you, I think Jacksonville’s recent success is more tied to their hiring Coughlin as an executive, but still…

    That said, no, Saban should not be pursued by the NFL. There are other college coaches that I think could make the transition; seasoned coaches. but Saban I do not think is cut out to be a NFL HC.

  33. factschecker says:
    January 9, 2018 at 9:57 am
    Bill Belichicks Godson.

    Hang out at Bama until BB actually does retire. Bama is set up very similar to the way One Patriots Place is set up


    You know Saban is older the B.B. Just because he coaches college does not mean he is of college age

  34. Nothing bad about being the best college coach! Makes plenty of money, loved by the school/town, full control of the players and best of all…NO NFL BS to deal with!

    Stay where you are Nick!!

  35. His 9 wins in 2005 with the Dolphins is the third most wins for Miami between 2004 and 2017. Thats…weird.

    I don’t know if he’s “terrible” as an NFL HC to be able to get 15 wins in 2 years with Cleo Lemon, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, and Culpepper.

  36. Look at guys like Les Miles and LSU and Gene Chizik at Auburn. Both won championships in the SEC while being horrible coaches. You get that SEC cheating advantage in recruiting and couple it with ESPN (who owns the SEC network) promoting the conference as the best ever, you have an easy path to championships.

    How many undefeated seasons does Saban have? It used to be the norm that the national champ was undefeated or they beat the #1 team in the title game.

    How many titles would coaches like Paterno or Bowden have if they were given a spot in a championship game even in seasons where they lost their big game? Paterno had 3 seasons where his team finished undefeated and his team was not voted #1. He also had numerous seasons with 1 loss. Same for Bowden, same for lots of coaches.

    Saban gets a huge and consistent benefit of the doubt from ESPN’s rigging of the polls that no coach before him has ever gotten. He’s simply not being judged by the same rules as others.

  37. NOOOOOOOOOO ! Says every Dolphins Fan. His success is soley based on the Recruiting Juggernaut that school has. He is a good Coach, but why leave. He is the Emporer of Alabama… money and respect in America’s 2nd Dumbest State. Who could ask for more? He would be average anywhere else.

  38. Good recruits are an important part of Alabama’s (and any other school) success, but if you think that that good recruits are the only reason saban has been successful, you’re an idiot.

    Sorry. But you are.

    Good recruits only want to go places where they win. To get to the point where a school not named Texas, Ohio State, or Southern Cal can compete for top level recruits is a difficult task. In the SEC, LSU will always get recruits, as will Florida, and Georgia. Alabama and Auburn have never hurt for recruits either, but Alabama was far from its old self when Saban arrived. But to get to the level where you steal them from those top first mentioned schools on a NATIONAL scale? That takes a lot of time, and a lot of effort. It’s be just as stupid to suggest that the program Swinney has built at Clemson is based solely on his recruiting and nothing else. And if you think Alabama is run like any other school in the country, you need to look again.

    I’m not even an Alabama fan, but saying that Saban is nothing more than a good recruiter is ridiculous.

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