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Speculation again connects Nick Saban to the Browns

Nick Saban AP

Unfortunately for an Alabama football team preparing for what could be a third BCS championship in four years, it’s back.

The “it” in the latest rumor mill churning is speculation connecting Alabama head coach Nick Saban to a return to the NFL in general and to the Cleveland Browns specifically.  In the months since confirmation surfaced in August that Jimmy Haslam was purchasing the Browns, the speculative thought process was the new owner would bring in Joe Banner as his new team president — he did — who would in turn hire Mike Lombardi as his new general manager — he might — who would in turn at least attempt to bring his old Cleveland buddy Saban in as head coach.

That was the under-the-surface speculation, anyway.  Which the Boston Globe decided Sunday to bring to the surface with some fire to go along with the smoke.

In the Globe‘s report that focuses mainly on a potential Lombardi return to football management, and citing two unnamed NFL sources, Greg Bedard writes that “Saban has let it be known that if he returns to the NFL… it would likely be with Lombardi playing Pioli to his Belichick.”  First and foremost, Saban has let it be known that he’d consider a return to the NFL, where he failed miserably in his only stint with the Miami Dolphins?  The fact that a move back to the NFL would be part of Saban’s thought process as he’s preparing for a fourth BCS title-game appearance stretches the bounds of reason to the point of breakage.

Secondly, this “situation” is dot-connecting at its best.

Saban, a defensive back at Kent State in his collegiate playing days, was part of the ill-fated early-90’s Browns organization that included Lombardi, Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick.  The latter two famously reunited in New England, with Pioli serving as “general manager” while Belichick held final say over personnel decisions during the Patriots’ run of Super Bowl success.  With Lombardi reportedly in play as the future GM in Cleveland, and with Banner preferring a head coach having final say on personnel, dangling the NFL/Browns/Lombardi/personnel carrot in front of Saban could be enough to prompt the best coach in the best situation at the FBS level to “take the plunge again,” Bedard reports.

Why Saban, who was 15-17 with the Dolphins before leaving for Tuscaloosa — after he wasn’t — would “let it be known” that he’s open to a departure back to the big-boy league is unclear.  It certainly wouldn’t be money; at nearly $5.5 million annually, Saban is the highest-paid coach in college football.  A chance at redeeming his only coaching failure at any level?  Perhaps, although there’s clearly no love lost between Saban and the next level.

What is crystal clear, though, is how Saban’s better half views any type of speculation that has her husband headed somewhere other than Tuscaloosa.

“To answer your question [of her Saban having any interest in rebuilding another college program or returning to the NFL] and get right to the point, no. We’re very comfortable here. We love it here. It’s a great fit for our family. It’s a good fit for me. As far as we’re concerned, this is where we’ll retire someday.

“As far as jobs go, this is it for us. I don’t mean to be presumptuous. I would have to talk this over with Nick, but as far as I’m concerned, this is it.”

Those were the comments made by Terry Saban, the coach’s wife, during a radio interview two days before the Globe‘s report reared its head.  “This is it” has a very definitive finality to it; to be fair, so did “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach” two weeks before he was.

Because of that distant past, Saban could in the near future find himself in damned if he does, damned if doesn’t territory if the Globe‘s report and other speculation continues to grow legs.  Damned if he unequivocally denies the Browns speculation (PAWWWLLL, IT’S 2006 AGAIN!!! ROLLTIDE!!!), and damned if he doesn’t (PAWWWLLL, SILENCE IS THE FIRST ACT OF A TRAITOR!!! ROLLTIDE!!!).

All the while preparing his Alabama team for an unprecedented three titles in a four-year span in the BCS era.  “Troll Tide” indeed.

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64 Responses to “Speculation again connects Nick Saban to the Browns”
  1. suprmous says: Dec 9, 2012 10:29 PM

    John, I said something about this wks ago and was all but told what a fool I was to be thinkin such cause he’d never do Bama like he did us at LSU. All I can say is thanks for bringin it to a few’s attention and havin me not look like a fool. I swear some have got such an attitude when it comes to this guy till it’s totally unbelievable. They even suggest we have the same type of “hero worship” for Les Miles. All I can say is far from it. At least Les Miles has the decency to let the fans in on his plans and will talk to the media. Again thanks……..

  2. rolltide510 says: Dec 9, 2012 10:41 PM

    The Finebaum references were a nice touch.

    A year or so ago I would have just rolled my eyes at this, but as he prepares for his third championship game in four years, you have to wonder if the guy might be getting bored.

    At the same time, I’m not sure what he feels would be different with a second run at the NFL, and what would be considered an amazing legacy in college football would be tainted with a “…but he kept trying the NFL and failing” epilogue.

  3. bender4700 says: Dec 9, 2012 10:47 PM

    hahahhahahahhahhahahahhaha

    hahahahhahaha

    hahahahhahahahahah

    as a Dolphin’s fan, HAHAHAHAHHAHA

    And it begins!

    “I will not be the Browns head coach”

    future headline:

    Nick Saban new Browns Head Coach.

    Oh Saban, you just can’t help yourself.

  4. bender4700 says: Dec 9, 2012 10:49 PM

    EGO

    Everyone remember, money is not the root of all evil, EGO is the root, money is the tool.

    Nick Saban wants to prove he’s one of the best. Nobody would say that about him as an NFL guy. Right now.

  5. bender4700 says: Dec 9, 2012 10:52 PM

    Ego drives mores coaching changes than money.

  6. steelersandladyboysfan says: Dec 9, 2012 10:54 PM

    Who is Jimmy Hyams?

  7. kdbroom says: Dec 9, 2012 11:00 PM

    Saban has one black mark on his legacy….his failure in the NFL. You know that has to be eating away at him. Sooner or later, he’ll jump at the right chance. It won’t be about money, but it WILL most likely be about control. He has proven everything he needs to prove at the college level. There’s only one thing left for him to do as a coach…and that is to win in the NFL.

  8. bender4700 says: Dec 9, 2012 11:05 PM

    Chip Kelly is only in College right now because he hasn’t won a title. As I think it was John posted, that he would have taken an NFL job this year had they won the title.

    Same situation. Some guys want to win at the highest level, and every level along the way. Some guys just want to a win, at a top job, for a long time, such as Bob Stoops.

  9. bamafan36 says: Dec 9, 2012 11:09 PM

    I would hate to see him go, but, would understand if he did. Let me say this, I don’t think the Browns could afford to buy out his contract from Bama ($30mil), and pay his regular salary. I wonder how long it will take him to get Brees to leave NoLa?!?!?!

  10. jmcoopiv says: Dec 9, 2012 11:20 PM

    WoW! I didn’t know that Jimmy Hyams made that much doing Sports Talk Radio to buy the Browns.

  11. kozbee says: Dec 9, 2012 11:24 PM

    @ Bama fan36

    Sure they can afford him if they think he can perform as here in college.In the Pros 30 mil is about nothing and then give him a nice big contract,teams will do anything to start winning in the Pros.IMO Bama will miss him as they missed the Bear.Kirby Smart can take the HC job,wish them well.

  12. bamafan36 says: Dec 9, 2012 11:34 PM

    His inability to perform, relies on his ability to be able to build his program. He was told by team docs at Miami, that Drew Brees would never play competitively in the NFL, again (after his sholder injury at San Diego). Three years later, Drew Brees won a SB. $30mil is usually about nothing…..unless you’re in Cleveland. Again, that’s not just $30mil. You have to pay him, as well, and his staff.

    I assumed that Kirby would take either Tennessee, Arkansas, or AwBarn. But, when he didn’t, i started to lend some credence to the fact that Nick could be going to the Browns, or he has already told Kirby when he plans on retiring. Either way, I am okay with it, as long as we don’t do something stupid…..like hire Mike Bobo or Mike Shula or any other Mike that was a decent QB in college, at best. LOL

  13. jimbo75025 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:05 AM

    Sadly, I do not classify Saban’s Dolphins tenure an abject failure. 15-17 over two years is not so bad considering they went like what 1-15 the year after he left?

    Sadly for Bama fans, I believe the rapid success Saban had there may work against them this time. I believe everyone was expecting a 3-5 year process to be back in contention rather than a BCS game in the second year. Possible that Saban now has the ego to give the NFL another try.

  14. bender4700 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:17 AM

    Can’t afford his buyout?

    You have to be close to a billionaire to afford an NFL team, I’m sure Jimmy Haslam has PLENTY of cash on hand both in the team bank account and his own to pay off chump change for a guy who JUST BOUGHT AN NFL TEAM.

    Tide fan, do yourselves a favor here, be VERY rational and careful. Everyone’s already expecting a lot of angry Tide Fan posts, even John mentioned it.

  15. bender4700 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:19 AM

    “considering they went like what 1-15 the year after he left?”

    So the team he had put together, two years in the Pros is practically a full 4 year recruiting class in college with free agency and two full drafts.

    He brought in Cullpepper, and didn’t even give Brees a shot. (worked out nicely for the Phins).

    They went 1-15 because there was nothing there.

    Parcells cam in, turned them around, won the division.

    So if he wasn’t a failure in 2 horrible years, what exactly is failure?

  16. mcjon22 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:26 AM

    If you’ve won 4 National titles in the past 7 season’s you’ve coached, what do you really have to prove anymore at that level? He’s still relatively young enough to give it a shot and go back to CFB if he fails again.

    As a Dolphin fan, he was a really good coach. He was just terrible at picking personnel. If he had had a good GM, he might still be in Miami.

  17. bender4700 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:33 AM

    as a Phin fan, he was the EPITOME OF FAILURE.

    Probably why he’s expressing interest in the Cleveland job.

    He does this everytime. While at LSU, Miami fired the idiot before him, and he floated his name out. Everyone except for LSU fan understood the move. But before he officially interviewed it was rumored for days, because he made it known.

    Then, while coaching Miami, he floated his name for Alabama. Then all of a sudden Alabama has an offer for him. Alabama didn’t sit down and say, let’s try and hire a guy who’s only 2 years into an NFL job, they found out Saban was interested and then went after him.

    People just don’t get it. Teams don’t just throw a dart at the board and say “hey, let’s try hiring that guy”. These hires happen because 1 or both sides express interest before any of us hear about it.

    I guarantee there is a 4 or 5 degrees of separation, or less, from Saban to Lombardi/Haslam/Banner expressing interest. Someone Saban knows, knows someone, who knows someone who knows Haslam/Lombardi/Banner and the message of “I’m open for talking”. We already know Lombardi and Saban are and have been friends. So it’s naturally that maybe they have 2 or 3 mutual friends.

    These coaches do this all the time. Imagine if the CEO of Best Buy flirted with the CEO job of Staples. Non-compete clauses and lawyers would ruin that guy’s world for a few years. Coaches don’t have that restraint. They barely have contracts. But schools don’t have to honor them either.

    Whoever hires Saban next should put the “Saban Clause” requiring that if he leaves his buyout is $100 million dollars.

    Sorry Tide fan, but the speculation has begun. He has literally nothing left to prove, except that he can coach at the highest level.

    No matter what he does in college, never will compare to the NFL.

    Vince Lombardi > Any College Coach ever.

    Just how it is. The NFL is an exclusive club. 120 ish FBS teams, 32 NFL teams.

  18. kozbee says: Dec 10, 2012 12:35 AM

    If Saban did go one of his own Trent Richardson is a running back for the Browns and imo he just might make it work for the Browns.Just because he failed at Miami doesnt mean its a failure in Cleveland.Sabans done so well in College and imo id love to see him develope into a great Pro headcoach if he happens to except.Bama fans can just love the Browns just that more with Saban on the sidelines.Roll Browns` wait that doesnt sound right..

  19. hovenaut says: Dec 10, 2012 12:40 AM

    Robert DeNiro as Max Cady,
    Movie theater scene,
    Fat cigar,
    Cue obnoxious, incessant laughter…..

    (too lazy to post link, you’ve seen it anyway)

  20. bender4700 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:46 AM

    Why does anyone love/like Saban?

    He’s always a jerk to the sports reporters who’s job is to ask him questions and he talks to them like children.

    He’s a jerk in press conferences. He NEVER seems at all happy. Even when holding the crystal football he has this look of dissatisfaction.

    His personality is comparable to a turnip.

    Nothing about him personally is appealing to hardly anyone.

  21. suprmous says: Dec 10, 2012 1:08 AM

    bender, you should’ve known him when he was with us at LSU. You couldn’t be more right: didn’t care much for talkin to the media, always lookin as if his dawg died: frownin, and the list goes on. Summary, really a jerk bout some things.

  22. hardjudge says: Dec 10, 2012 2:39 AM

    You guy( and gals) ramble on about Saban to the NFL. The answer lies in who wears the pants in the family. If Mrs Saban likes Alabama, Mr. Saban may well no go anywhere, ever. She sounded pretty sure of herself. He would not be the first guy lead around by the ring (in his nose) on his finger.

  23. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 10, 2012 2:42 AM

    Gheezus, shaddup!!!! Saban is 61 years old. He’s not going anywhere. Some of you clowns are hilarious though, please do proceed. LMAO

  24. novoodoo4409 says: Dec 10, 2012 5:47 AM

    You can only ask someone to coexist among gumps and rednecks for so long…not like Cleveland is a cultural upgrade..oh yeah, who cares about Tuskeyloser….the city and state of no pro sports….

  25. gatorprof says: Dec 10, 2012 5:59 AM

    You never know with Nick, but he is one of the (if not the) top 5 college jobs and is worshiped up there.

    The Browns are and have been a dysfunctional franchise…not necessarily a good job. He saw what happened to Belichick.

    Saban is a smart guy. He likely knows that his tactics in the college game for motivating young men don’t work when they make more money than he does.

    I would hate to see him leave college football. That is where is legacy is and should be. His coaching tree is starting to blossom nicely.

  26. bralinshan says: Dec 10, 2012 7:08 AM

    As someone who has been to both Tuscaloosa and Cleveland many times, I can tell you that Saban wouldn’t touch Cleveland with a 10 foot pole. Trying to convince his wife to move to Cleveland and the windy and icy winters? Ain’t happening…..

    Saban is 62 and wants to leave a permanent legacy. He tried the NFL and found that he loves the teaching of the college game. He’s got a real chance to go down as one of the best college coaches of all time and he intends to pursue it in a place that is perfect for him.

    The fact that this rumor involves him going to Cleveland, Ohio adds to the ludicrous nature of the rumor.

  27. weswelkerspornstash says: Dec 10, 2012 7:30 AM

    Maybe this is why Kirby Smart wasn’t hired at Arkansas or Tennessee ?

  28. normtide says: Dec 10, 2012 7:56 AM

    For now, I’m going to take his wife at her word. She played a big role in him coming back to college coaching. That said, Nick has done a lot for Bama, and he needs to scratch that itch, he has every right to. I won’t hate the man if he does. Also, I understand why so many fans, of other teams, would like to see him move on. The man is a machine, and he is at the perfect school for his talent. Like the article says; right coach at the right place. My heart and mind says he will stay, but I know the game, and will pull for his success anywhere he goes. Roll Tide. Lets go get that trophy.

  29. 1historian says: Dec 10, 2012 7:58 AM

    Bralinshan: “Saban wouldn’t touch Cleveland with a 10 foot pole.”

    Who was Colonel Stupenagel?

    He was the guy who invented the 20 foot pole for people you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    Gotta take the dog to day-care.

    Go Irish

  30. kdbroom says: Dec 10, 2012 8:13 AM

    @bender4700:

    Reference your Miami comment “Everyone except for LSU fan understood the move…. “, you obviously know nothing about LSU fans. We didn’t like that he left, but we certainly understood the reason. He had won us a BCS title, and wanted to move up to the next level. Nobody was delusional enough to think that was a bad move professionally. We just hated seeing him go (although some fans were getting tired of his style).

    @Bamafan36:

    Does Saban even had a buyout? It’s my understanding that he can walk away without paying anything, and he has always had that negotiated into his contract up-front.

  31. kdbroom says: Dec 10, 2012 8:13 AM

    Correction….Does Saban even “have” a buyout?

  32. ironmike778 says: Dec 10, 2012 8:14 AM

    There isn’t a more unlikeable coach in any sport. Please go to the NFL so I can see you fail miserably again.

  33. WingT says: Dec 10, 2012 8:25 AM

    Good luck Nick. If you chose to leave I want to thank you for turning Alabama football back into a National Championship program. If you chose to stay I will welcome that as well.

    I hope you find peace and happiness in your life Coach Saban. Either in Tuscaloosa or wherever.

    roll tide

  34. lucky5936 says: Dec 10, 2012 8:41 AM

    I can definitely see Saban jumping at the “Right Opportunity”, but the Browns aren’t it. To me, a team that has some pieces in place to build around. The Browns fit that to a certain extent. They are going to have to replace Weeden sooner rather than later. His window of opportunity to grow and excel is not very wide due to his age. The WR’s are still inconsistent as well. On the plus side, the Defense is decent and Trent Richards is solid. Still not sold on Saban to the Browns though.

  35. tlmoon2112 says: Dec 10, 2012 8:49 AM

    “I am not the next head football coach at the University of Alabama”……oh wait……

    Don’t believe a word of what she says. She’s married to a liar. What makes anyone think she hasn’t mastered the art herself? If she has SO much influence on her husband doesn’t that mean she was also implicit in and approved of the FIRST lie?

    uhhhh YEAH!

  36. infrno says: Dec 10, 2012 9:01 AM

    Saban started bringing his NFL career up a year or so ago, saying how he wished he had left differently, etc. That was his way of letting people know he still has interest in the NFL. The man has nothing left to prove at the college level and likely hates the fact that his only failure as a coach was at the highest level. I’m not saying he will leave to go to the Browns, but if given the right opportunity he WILL leave.

  37. rmcdonald23 says: Dec 10, 2012 9:19 AM

    I’m sorry, but why would anyone choose to live in Cleveland, for any reason!!

  38. nittanybluehen says: Dec 10, 2012 10:01 AM

    I have no trouble believe Saban may return to the NFL one day. I have a lot of trouble believing it would be for the Cleveland job.

    If he were to come back to the NFL, I think it would be for a job like Dallas or something. High profile and an owner willing to give whatever he wants dollars wise and personnel wise.

  39. BrownsTown says: Dec 10, 2012 12:17 PM

    He could coach his former RB and the QB of the 2011 season national champions. Small world…

  40. rolltide510 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:24 PM

    “bender4700 says:
    Dec 10, 2012 12:46 AM
    Why does anyone love/like Saban?

    He’s always a jerk to the sports reporters who’s job is to ask him questions and he talks to them like children.

    He’s a jerk in press conferences. He NEVER seems at all happy. Even when holding the crystal football he has this look of dissatisfaction.

    His personality is comparable to a turnip.

    Nothing about him personally is appealing to hardly anyone.”

    ^LOL. Gee, good thing Saban works in a results-oriented business, and isn’t a contestant on a reality TV dating show. Do some people prefer 7-win seasons with a coach who asks reporters how their day is going?

  41. bamafan36 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:41 PM

    @bender4700

    Leprachaun….why would anyone love/like Brian Kelly? He screwed those kids at Central Michigan just before their Bowl Game. He left them high and dry, before the biggest game in their history, for Cincinnati. He left Cincinnati for Nuetered Lame, just before their thrashing against UF, in the only BCS Bowl Game in that schools history. How could anyone believe this yahoo, when he sits down in a living room, and says anything?

    If everyone that knows me, were certain that I hate when people blow smoke in my face, yet insisted on doing it….why would they be shocked when I voice my displeasure?

    Regardless of what happens with Lord Saban and the Browns, Bama will crush the Iwish in the BCS.

  42. olskool711 says: Dec 10, 2012 12:42 PM

    nittanybluehen

    You decided to ignore the posters comments concerning “control”

    With Saban, I am sure they are right. Control (all letters probably should be caps) is going to be a major issue if he ever decides to bolt to the NFL.

    Dallas? I’m sure Jer would love Nick coming there. The thought of putting Saban’s face on the belt he has along with Landry, Johnson, and Parcells would give him an ego boost that only a superbowl could top. And we all know he’s not winning one of those anytime soon. If Jer could add Saban to the list, it would be another coaching legend he could fire and try to feel superior to.

  43. olskool711 says: Dec 10, 2012 1:34 PM

    I’ll try to add to the discussion. I’m not a big Saban fan and have mixed feelings about this.

    But…

    If Saban were to leave Alabama and go to Cleveland it wouldn’t make sense to many of you and I can see why. You are not only leaving a nice place for a (I can’t say it), but you are leaving a community that now has a winning mentality and spirit for a place that see’s itself as a depressed, downtrodden, loser culture. One of the reasons why the city of Cleveland hasn’t won a championship since 1964 is because the community no longer really has any idea what it is to feel like a winner — like a champion.

    Saban knows this.

    Saban was there when the city and the Browns hit their absolute lowest point. And, there have been many extreme lows.

    Saban is also from Ohio.

    You talk about his ego. Whether we describe it as ego, drive, confidence, or the desire to do what no other can do, well that is up for debate. But,

    Saban knows that lifting the Lombardi trophy as a member of the Cleveland Browns would be something that transcends sports. Most of you don’t understand. I suspect he does. He has lived the fact. I also suspect he doesn’t know if he could do it for sure. He would have to lead more than just the football team. The Brown’s might be his forbidden frontier. If he could win a super bowl there, he knows what that would mean among his peers, the City of Cleveland, and his place in football history.

    I think those of you who talked about his ego are right. A supreme confidence and ego are the only things that would cause him to leave Alabama and take the Brown’s job.

  44. cometkazie says: Dec 10, 2012 3:20 PM

    Saban is from West Virginia.

    I think if he wanted to be back in Ohio, he would be there now.

    The NFL culture is totally different than in college. For one thing, the coach isn’t God and I don’t think he could stand having a boss and prima donna players that don’t answer to him.

    I hope he stays and continues to PO people. It’s good to remind them they aren’t that darned important.
    ;)

  45. tide4life says: Dec 10, 2012 3:24 PM

    bender you’ve got some serious obsessive issues with Saban . . . does he turn you on a little?

    As for Cleveland, who knows? I can see how Saban might be picking at that scab of NFL “failure,” but I can also see how he could’ve become addicted to a level of control and authority he’s likely never had before. Never mind the giddy worship the man enjoys in T-Town and other Bama environs. If that changes, he might be more open to trying the NFL thingy again. Personally, I can’t imagine how a confirmed control freak with a ginormous ego and an emperor complex could even consider the meddlesome, back-stabbing, bureaucratic cluster**** that is the NFL. But time will tell.

  46. bamafan36 says: Dec 10, 2012 4:21 PM

    @tide4life

    Bender is just looking for anything that might be able to derail this train known as Ala-freaking-bama, at full steam heading down the BCS track towards Miami, while that beat-up broken down POS volkswagen known as Nuetered Lame is sitting at a RxR crossing! It’s all speculation, right now. But, if he knew ANYTHING about Lord Saban, he would know that unlike Brian Kelly, Nick Saban will stay until HIS job is finished! After he makes his statement for that camel (Lou Holtz), he very well may leave. Until then…..it’s Roll Tide from Nick Saban. But, I believe if he left tomorrow, Kirby Smart would lead us to victory over the 75th ranked scoring offense! Unlike the coach on the ither side line, our coaches have big game experience!

  47. earz4lsu says: Dec 10, 2012 5:00 PM

    bamafan 36, agree with you on Brian Kelley however the lame damers lost to LSU in the Sugar bowl when Brady the medicine woman quinn was QB.

    Now on to Saban,

    Ok here’s my thought process on why this could happen.

    1. Saban has 3 and possibly 4 BCS titles by the end of January. He has won all of these titles in the SEC the toughest conference in America, at two different schools that he rebuilt.

    2. Coaches at any level are ego-maniacs. They believe they are god’s gift. Go back to lombardi, Parcells, Belicheat, hell even cowher was an ass. This means they want to prove themselves at the highest level. There is no higher level than the NFL.

    4 Years ago after the Petrino and Saban himself “failed” at the pro level, there was a lot of talk about forgoing the college coaches all together. Then along comes Jim Harabaugh, Schiano and pete carroll, the nfl is going to take a second look.
    Admit it everyone thought Ole petes schtick would not work in the NFL, well it has.

    5. It has been said earlier in the responses that Saban is one doctors opinion away from fundamentally changing 2 franchises. The hottest prospect in the free agent market in 2006 was Drew Brees. Brees wanted to go to Miami but since he couldn’t pass the medical the dolphins instead signed Culpepper who was coming off of a really bad injury.

    6. After culpepper was placed on IR in week 4 of the 2006, the dolphins went to one of two QB’s, Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon. Neither of these QB’s is ever going to be mistaken for an NFL QB. No QB means you don’t win in the NFL, time honored truth.

    7. 2005 and 2006 were smack dab in the middle of the patriots reign as the greatest nfl franchise ever of all time period.

    Now why it could work this time around:

    1. The browns are already a talented team on both the back end of the defense and offense. They could use a long term QB, but so could a lot of teams. Their Offensive line is not all that bad and better than a lot of teams out there.

    2. They have a nice #2 wr in Josh Gordon, so a #1 is in the mix. A speed rusher is needed but they can get one of the three studs coming out of the SEC this year and fix that problem. Those would be Jones from Georgia, Mingo and Montegomery from LSU.

    Just my $1.50

  48. bamafan36 says: Dec 10, 2012 5:40 PM

    @earz4lsu

    Very well put! I agree with most everything you said. The real difference maker in the NFL is QB play. If you have a good one, the coach is good. If you have a great one, the coach wins awards! Cleveland has a great RB, that knows Saban. They have made vast improvements on both sides of the ball. The only key in the cog that is missing, is a great QB. I don’t see one coming up on free agency, or out of the college ranks. AJ McCarron is good, but, not great. I don’t believe he has the stuff to start next year. But, Russel Wilson didn’t look too promising, either. The difference between SEC football and the NFL is vast…..talent wise. However, the style of ofgense and defense, is very similar. Lord Saban could transition very easily, with a great QB!

  49. Deb says: Dec 10, 2012 6:29 PM

    ROFL … you always know who is going to be the FIRST person commenting on ANY story about Saban. Even if it’s a story about Les Miles, the first person commenting will be talking about that evil Nick Saban and how he done LSU wrong. What was it? 2004, 2005? Geez, honey … get over it LOL

    My only concern right now is that Saban keep the team focused for the national title game. That’s the current priority. After the season is over, he’s free to leave Bama … with my thanks. It’s been a great ride! I would love to wish him all the best if he returns to the NFL, but as a Steelers fan, I’m afraid I can’t do that if his destination is the Browns. A rivalry is a rivalry. I’d like to see the Browns be competitive again–but not with us :) The best I could wish him is second place in the division. But I would happily wish him that.

    Hey, John … I’ll bet you are crossing your fingers this rumor is true ;)

  50. burgandy2260 says: Dec 10, 2012 9:04 PM

    I think Lombardi did well in Cleveland and would love to see him back in the game. If its Saban as HC then so be it. And the other reason that Chip Kelly is still at OU is because his cockamamie fast paced offense just wouldn’t fly in the NFL or with the players.

  51. Deb says: Dec 10, 2012 9:16 PM

    @burgandy2260 …

    I was censored from saying this on PFT–as I’m censored from saying most things that actually relate to football–but it blows my mind how many people on the Chargers’ threads are clamoring for Chip Kelly. Norv Turner is a brilliant offensive mind–and look how far that has gotten them. Yet now they want another guy who is all offense and no defense. Yeah … that makes perfect sense LOL

  52. 10of14 says: Dec 10, 2012 9:24 PM

    The guy is a class A prick. He can win as proven at Alabama (not so much at MSSU), but he has no personality and is rude. Good riddance after ND beats you in one of the biggest upsets in the past 20 years.

  53. iu40iu53iu76iu81iu87 says: Dec 10, 2012 10:27 PM

    the picture of that midget saban is funny. Even in full vertical leap mode he can’t break 5 feet tall. This guy has the biggest inferiority complex/little man syndrome of all time. Bet he drive a big truck too, but has to sit on a phone book to drive

  54. earz4lsu says: Dec 10, 2012 11:08 PM

    While I hated Saban for leaving LSU when he did after the 2004 season, I understood why he left.

    He was going from one level to the next, in a pretty much a dream spot.

    Sure miami hasn’t won on a regular basis in forever but it beats the hell out of coaching in the frozen wasteland that is Buffalo. Hell I hear elk don’t even like it in Buffalo.

    Since I first read this article I have thought about some of the other coaching vacancies that will open up in the off season and have put odds on Saban actually going there.

    Here we go:
    Philly – 100-1, No Offensive Line, No/Young QB does not fit his style. Hes a Defensive guy so he needs those things in place so he can spend his time building the Defense up. Being a DB coach could help those gutless wonders currently playing in Philly.

    Dallas-20-1, This would be for pure ego. want to be considered on of the best of all times, you move up the ladder just by winning in Dallas. Whether right or wrong that’s how things work with “Americas Team”. If you can win in Dallas, On that stage with that a^%hole running things you will certainly be looked upon highly. Chances are Romo is out after this year. No QB no chance of winning.

    San Diego 150-1, Offense is a hot mess. Best bet trade rivers get a butt load of picks start rebuilding. Pros are well hey it is San Diego.

    Buffalo – 1000-1, people in Buffalo dont want to be in buffalo.

    Tennessee – 30-1 Munchack may last one more year but if he is out what do they have nothing. Add into the mix he will have to face Luck and Schuab and well he aint going to go there.

    Other coaching spots soon to be open are:

    Arizona – who the hell wants that job, NO O-Line, QB’s who couldn’t start tomorrow for Vanderbelt, and an RB situtaion almost as bad as the QB spot and well someone will get the job as a first timer.

    Kansas City – Crennell will get another year, and this team is not bad if it had… You guessed it a decent QB

    That leaves me to believe that Cleveland is the most likely spot for him to land in the NFL next year if he opts to make the jump again.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.

  55. bamasleeper13 says: Dec 11, 2012 8:08 PM

    I would hate to see him go but as Deb said, What a ride!! I will forever love him for what he brought Bama back to. If he leaves I wish him all the best! I am a Packer fan so won’t root for the Browns, but he has to do what he has to do.

  56. earz4lsu says: Dec 12, 2012 12:21 PM

    An added twist into the Saban to Cleveland, has always been the Yeah but they don’t have a Franchise QB. It is true there is not a lock down Franchise QB coming out of the college ranks nor hitting the market via Free agency.

    HOWEVER, there exists the ability to get that FRANCHISE QB this off-season.

    Now before you blow me off as a crazy read completely through my arguments.

    PHILIP RIVERS.

    This guy has probably the only offensive line in the league worse than Tony Romo’s and only slightly better than Arizona’s.

    His WR’s are a joke. Floyd has all the chances in the world to step up and be a Number one yet ahs failed time and time again.

    Don’t even get me started on the joke of a running back that is ryan freaking matthews.

    Now flop Rivers to the browns.

    Better OLine
    Better WR’s who are young and proving themselves with a Struggling and yet not as bad as many would have thought in Rookie QB.
    The Offensive line is better than what he has had in San Diego.
    Trent Richardson is playing at a level slightly below LT during his last 2 years in San Diego. Those also happened to be some of the better years for Rivers.

    So what would it take to get rivers to Cleveland?
    Well, the going rate at this point is 2 first round picks. That’s what Oakland, paid to get carson Palmer and he had not played that year. If you take into account that rivers has played so badly, but is still a starting QB min. 2 first rounders with other picks/players.

    As a steeler fan I would hate to see this happen, but for Cleveland fans this could be a wet dream.

    regardless of what happens I do hope the DAWG POUND becomes relevant again. That was always one of my favorite things on sundays. Watching a steeler/browns game in the snow with those fans wearing bulldog masks was a true treat all football fans should want to see make a come back.

    Word of advice to browns fans, do not become raging boners like the saints fans. They are intolerable to deal with now that they have had a very small taste of success.

  57. Deb says: Dec 12, 2012 5:32 PM

    @ears4lsu …

    You’re a Steelers fan? I’m a lifelong Bama fan and have been a diehard Steelers fan nearly that long–35 years. Of course, I want to see Saban retire at Bama. For the most part, I think it would be a mistake to trade being the best coach in the NCAA to gamble on the pro game again. That is such a hit-and-miss proposition, and I wasn’t impressed with his work in Miami. But a part of me is curious to see what he’d do if he gave it another shot. Cleveland might be a good fit, but I’d hate not being free to truly wish him all the best :)

    Phillip Rivers is like this generation’s Dan Marino–so much talent wasted on a mediocre team. I’d love to see him get a real opportunity while there’s still some time on his career clock.

  58. earz4lsu says: Dec 13, 2012 12:26 AM

    As an LSU fan would love to see him go and stay. If he goes you bama fans will always have the fall back line of well had saban stayed.

    Don’t get mad you know you would hell I still do it with the mad hatter and hes not a bad coach, I just wish he could get our team ready to play on a regular basis.

    Down for florida up for bama down for aubie semi up for SC crappy school well down, and finally arkansas is always a squeeker.

    either way should be an interesting college off season. Good luck to ya in the NC and I truly hope that yeldon and lacy each get 200 yds rushing and te’o trows the towel in sometime around the mid way through the 3rd.

  59. suprmous says: Dec 13, 2012 2:54 AM

    And as usual we know who spits out wrath for anybody who says anything to the contrary bout Saban as well. She can’t get passed anybody else havin an opinion.

  60. Deb says: Dec 13, 2012 5:13 PM

    suprmous, I’m just amused that you keep claiming you don’t rant about Nick Saban when you’re always first on the board to rant about Saban at any opportunity. You’re entitled to your opinion. But you’re not entitled to go beserk when I defend my coach and to keep claiming you’ve never written a bad word about him when it’s not true. The only reason I point it out every time you do it is because of how many times you’ve claimed you never have.

  61. Deb says: Dec 13, 2012 5:19 PM

    @earz4lsu …

    The fun thing about this national championship is that the SEC can truly be united for once. I’d root for pretty much any school in the country over Notre Dame LOL

    Yes, I’d be sad to see Nick go. But like you, I’d understand why he’d want to take a shot at the pros. Much as I love Bama, I love the NFL more. But that’s a hard, hard game–getting harder the way Goodell runs it. At his age, I don’t think I’d want to go that route again. No matter how much control you have in the league, too many things are still out of your control. You just can’t run pro players the way you can college guys. Recruiting is a real art, and it’s the one thing Nick does best. Something to be said for being the best at what you do.

  62. cometkazie says: Dec 13, 2012 5:49 PM

    I wonder how long it will take for Saban to become burned out?

    I really can’t see him at the NFL level for the reasons Deb enumerates.

  63. Deb says: Dec 13, 2012 7:26 PM

    cometkazie, we have a family friend who used to coach for Saban and now coaches for another FBS program. Apparently there’s no comparison in the work hours. Saban puts in a lot of time and so does his staff. But that’s what keeps some people going. Bear said he’d probably drop dead if he retired–and he did. No one knows what drives someone else. You might burn out on the work or burn out if you left it.

  64. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 16, 2012 4:36 PM

    Why would Saban want to deal with a salary cap?
    He doesn’t have one now(tongue in cheek).

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