Skip to content

Nick Saban: ‘I don’t have any unfinished business in the NFL’

Nick Saban AP

First, let’s get this out of the way right up front:

“I’m not going to be the Alabama head coach.” — Nick Saban, two weeks before he became the Alabama head coach.

So, with that matter taken care of, down to the business at hand.

For well over a month, Nick Saban has, once again, been connected to various openings around the NFL.  Specifically and most vociferously, the Tide head coach’s name has been bandied about as a possibility for the opening with the Cleveland Browns.  Hell, as late as this week, and even as Cleveland had seemingly set their sights on another head coach from the collegiate level, a Northeast Ohio scribe was penning a piece headlined “Browns’ Haslam seems poised to make run at Alabama’s Saban.”

All the while, Saban has steadfastly denied an interest in returning to the scene of his only coaching crime, although the denials rang hollow in many an ear thanks to the bungled public handling of the Miami Dolphins situation just over six years ago.  Even attempts by Saban’s wife Terry to quash the speculation — “as far as I’m concerned, this is it” — failed to reach its intended target as the rumors connecting her husband to the professional ranks continued.

Just two days before the Tide takes the field against Notre Dame for a shot at a third BCS title in four seasons, Saban was once again asked about a possible future in the NFL.  And, once again, the future Hall of Fame coach attempted to tamp out whatever embers of a move to the NFL may still be smoldering.

“I don’t have any unfinished business in the NFL,” Saban told reporters during the BCS title game media day in Miami Saturday morning. “It’s not something I’m concerned about. It’s not even anything I want to do.”

Saban’s choice of words to kick off his latest denial is interesting to say the least.  Purveyors of the annual Saban-to-the-NFL rumors like to point to his 15-17 mark in the brief two-year stay with the Dolphins as the main reason he would return to the professional ranks, that easily the worst stop in his otherwise highly successful coaching career has left an itch that he will eventually scratch.  That his drive to excel at everything and anything he puts his hands on would eventually lead him back to the NFL to redeem the lone blemish on his coaching résumé, his steadfast public commitment to the Tide be damned.

Saban’s a smart individual, though, and must realize that his very public butchering of his Dolphins departure makes it impossible for most to accept at face value his myriad declarations of love for his current job.  The only thing he can do to put the rumor wolves at bay?  Nothing really, other than continue on with the job at hand at Alabama.  And continue building a powerhouse FBS program that’s the envy of all but a handful of schools across the country, one that has a chance at BCS history in South Beach Monday night.

Permalink 56 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Alabama Crimson Tide, Rumor Mill, Southeastern Conference, Top Posts
56 Responses to “Nick Saban: ‘I don’t have any unfinished business in the NFL’”
  1. rolltide510 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:11 AM

    Errybodeh knows you can’t be trussin nothin Nick Saban sez.

  2. bengalsstillsuck says: Jan 5, 2013 11:29 AM

    Idk whose more stupid media or fans this guy is not coming back let him be an stop saying u cant believe anything he says he is staying in Alabama plan an simple.

  3. woebegong says: Jan 5, 2013 11:31 AM

    What would Saban have to gain by going to coach in the rich guys play ground league? He gets paid equally or better than most of the coaches in the NFL, he is highly successful, in the SEC and in the college football world, and he doesn’t have to try and please a bunch of millionaires that own these teams, every time he turns around.
    He still has obtainable goals he can reach at Alabama such as the few remaining B. Bryant records he has a chance at beating. These NFL teams are looking for new coaches, mostly because their teams are terrible, and a great deal of that has to do with the owners and GM’s in some cases, so why would a highly successful college coach, want to put up with that crap. There is just as much challenge in building up a college team, and continuing to keep them at or near the top, as it is, to handing out bonuses and over blown paychecks to buy these guys loyalty, once they reach the NFL. If the guy comes into the organization and doesn’t perform up to the standards expected of them, you are as a coach, stuck with that guy and his bloated paycheck, in the age of guaranteed paycheck these days. Then the owner blames you for their under performing, and you are gone.
    I just don’t see where the NFL, is that big step up for any highly successful college coach.

  4. fatcamper says: Jan 5, 2013 11:33 AM

    There can’t be unfinished business if Saban didn’t have any business being in the NFL in the first place.

  5. be4bama says: Jan 5, 2013 11:38 AM

    I’m betting that ukone will have a field day with this.
    Norm, Deb, and all this should be fun!!

  6. woebegong says: Jan 5, 2013 11:41 AM

    He was smart enough to realize that, a lot sooner, than most people in the coaching profession. A prime example is the now former coach for San Diego, Norm Turner. He has been a two year wonder at most of his job spots so far in his coaching career, and them his team fades quickly. Somebody will hire him again, he will be a coordinator for a couple of year and then become a head coach again in the NFL. Not really a good job, if you are looking for stability in your life.
    Saban has found his niche and really has nothing to gain from going back to the pros. He ventured one time, didn’t like what he had, and went back to where he feels best doing.
    I am a UGA DAWG fan, so I guess I should want him to go in a way. but he is good for the SEC and he is good for Alabama, any way you look at it.

  7. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Jan 5, 2013 11:42 AM

    Don’t believe all Mr. Saban says.
    Signed, MSU Spartans

  8. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:45 AM

    Believe tricky Nicky! Cause he always tells the truth! Haha!

  9. bduncan81 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:50 AM

    Nick Saban ain’t going back 2no NFL,even though das what every1 wants. I think da medi a is trying 2 cause a distraction cause they wanna see Notre Dame win. Not happening, Sorry

  10. woebegong says: Jan 5, 2013 11:51 AM

    Exactly what would he have to gain by going to a bad NFL team, and have to try and make them competitive? I don’t see the upside of it honestly. Alabama is highly successful, he is paid well, and probably just as important, his wife is happy where they are. I think he is 63, and he can coach a few more years at Alabama, retire and live in a nice spot, somewhere in the south comfortably for the rest of his life. Isn’t that the ameri9can dream? Work hard, be successful at what you do, and spend your declining years comfortably without a lot of worry.

  11. woebegong says: Jan 5, 2013 11:55 AM

    Believe him or not, it is your choice, but can the college team claim the titles he has coached at Alabama? Remember, the rumors have been started by the media, because there are nine positions now available in the NFL. The guy did not start them. He is smart enough to know, what side his bread is buttered on.

  12. phillyfanmatt says: Jan 5, 2013 12:08 PM

    Wow never have I ever seen the English language look so bad as it did in some of the previous posts. With that said Roll Tide!!!

  13. strauhal says: Jan 5, 2013 12:46 PM

    I hope roll tide equates to roll over and die tide.

  14. cwk22 says: Jan 5, 2013 12:51 PM

    Signed a Dolphins Fan

  15. cbass59 says: Jan 5, 2013 1:02 PM

    No unfinished business?

    How about not being a NFL disaster? Being a winning NFL coach? When you try something and fail miserably, that is unfinished business.

  16. pinion8ted says: Jan 5, 2013 1:13 PM

    Poop Nick Saban …… why does no one ever believe a word he says?

    Oh, right ….. never mind

  17. montjamz says: Jan 5, 2013 1:44 PM

    Dolphin haters
    LSU haters
    MSU haters
    Media haters
    Nick Saban is Crimson n knows he’s in the absolute BEST position in his coaching career.

  18. novoodoo4409 says: Jan 5, 2013 1:54 PM

    Little Nicky knows he was an epic failure in the NFL….why go back to where ou can’t compete with the real coaches….

    But, why would ANYONE want to stay in Redneckville,AL…aka Tuskeyloser….what a cr.ap hole of a city and state…no pro sports, nothing but “rull tird rawl” ….pathetic…

  19. seamus0317 says: Jan 5, 2013 2:10 PM

    Not sure who is the bigger snake oil salesman, Saban or Urban Legend!

  20. beanocook says: Jan 5, 2013 2:28 PM

    ZOMG Cleo Lemon was the QB Saban used to help win 15 games in 2 years? That’s considered a blemish? What did Bill Belichick do his first 2 years in the NFL?

  21. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 5, 2013 2:36 PM

    Alabama is not a mecca. However I dont see him leaving till theres a better opening with a winnable team to put forth on an NFL field. None of these organizations with openings seem to be worth leaving for.

  22. beanocook says: Jan 5, 2013 2:41 PM

    Big time college football is swimming with sharks. The proud NFL got bit hard by Saban. Not used to watching coaches fire franchises are you? Usually the pissant coach is getting fired by the man. Not when you swim with sharks does it work this way.

    If a franchise really wants Kelly, you better give him what he wants, or be prepared to pay him because he can and will fire your franchise and seek more power and more money from one of a dozen or more college football programs, God knows they offer more of both.

  23. bender4700 says: Jan 5, 2013 2:41 PM

    I’m really interested if there is any REAL interest and this isn’t a bunch of ego play from Saban.

    He seems like the type of a guy that when people discuss an important position, he immediately tells everyone he’s not interested. Assuming they were interested in him at all.

    Have ANY teams actually contacted or even begun talking with Alabama about him? Is there any evidence any team has expressed real interest in him?

    Maybe Nick can’t handle his past behavior making him less attractive of a coaching candidate than Chip Kelly or Bill O’Brien. Hell, Doug Marone has gotten more interest. Maybe Nickie can’t handle the fact he’s not THE top coach. Seems like NFL teams would rather people who don’t lie.

  24. cometkazie says: Jan 5, 2013 2:43 PM

    woebegong says:
    Jan 5, 2013 11:31 AM
    What would Saban have to gain by going to coach in the rich guys play ground league?
    Wonderfully put in this and your other posts.

    Doesn’t Saban have a cottage on a lake in N. Georgia? When he was at LSU, he fell in the water in the boathouse and damn near drowned.

    It seems to me the dynamics of being a head coach at the college level are almost completely different than at the NFL level. You bring in kids and develop them.

    Besides millionaire owners that don’t know squat, you also have millionaire players that have to be dealt with. You rank pretty high in the college organization and not so high in the NFL.

    + + + +
    elwaysmilehighdenver says:
    Jan 5, 2013 11:42 AM
    Don’t believe all Mr. Saban says.
    Signed, MSU Spartans
    Even Gerry DiNardo beat him when he was coaching there. Must not have had much to work with. (Ducking)

  25. bender4700 says: Jan 5, 2013 2:44 PM

    beanocook says: Jan 5, 2013 2:41 PM

    Big time college football is swimming with sharks. The proud NFL got bit hard by Saban. Not used to watching coaches fire franchises are you? Usually the pissant coach is getting fired by the man. Not when you swim with sharks does it work this way.


    What the heck are you talking about?!!

    Are you ACTUALLY suggesting the college game is a better place for head coaches or looked at as the top jobs?

    Yeah, Chip Kelly leaving one of the most funded, top programs in the country for the BROWNS really makes your implication look good.

    Nick Saban didn’t fire a franchise, he lied, and RAN because he couldn’t hack it. Swimming with sharks? Saban isn’t a shark.

    Liar, Coward, jerk. yes. not Shark.

  26. bender4700 says: Jan 5, 2013 2:47 PM

    Nick Saban – crap NFL coach.
    Nick Saban – great college coach.

    Nobody is able to dispute that. Numbers don’t lie.

    So what’s the debate? He ain’t leaving Alabama, again, who’s offering? Nobody.

  27. beanocook says: Jan 5, 2013 2:55 PM

    The NFL vet coach that replaced “inept” Saban? Cam Cameron. Went 1-15. LOL

  28. bender4700 says: Jan 5, 2013 2:56 PM

    So what’s your point Beano?

    He got fired, and the guy after him won the division and won 11 games.


  29. bender4700 says: Jan 5, 2013 2:58 PM

    Make a POINT not just a stupid observation.

    Cam Cameron was not a “vet” coach. He was NEVER a head coach in the NFL. But until that point was highly sought after due to his offensive production in SD with Shotty.

    If you are implying the NFL looked bad because of Nick Saban, then that is just one of the dumbest observations ever uttered on here.

    Nick Saban looked bad because of Nick Saban.

    The NFL has nothing to worry about.

  30. beanocook says: Jan 5, 2013 3:11 PM

    AFC Champ Bill Callahan got 3x the money to coach Nebraska, but promptly got his ass handed to him. His NFL schemes were toothless at the college game.

    Let’s talk about bloated NFL blowhard Charlie Weiss. He claimed his teams would have a “decided schematic advantage” in every game. LOL!! His 3rd season, he had one of the worst offenses in the history of the sport, not hyperbole, fact. This guy and his New England Pats offense couldn’t do crap, completely shut down, nothing.

    Weiss is now 1-11 at Kansas. Far cry from his NFL dominance.

    Football was invented at the college level, most of the innovation in the sport comes from college, if not Texas HS football. If a coach truly wants to test his Xs and Os ability, he proves it as a success in college football.

    Just accept it NFL fans, college football is more exciting, more intense, more pressure to win, larger stadiums, better all around. Enjoy Pizza Hut, the rest of us will take authentic napoletana pizza.

  31. timh1955 says: Jan 5, 2013 3:19 PM


    Have you ever even been in the state of Alabama?? Have you ever been in the south? I’m curious where you live as you have absolutely no class! Now go study for your middle school classes and let the grown ups make the comments on this site.

  32. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 5, 2013 3:47 PM

    Nick is 61. He could go to the NFL as a head coach if he has a GM and Director of Personnel he could actually work with. GM Piolli has been canned by KC and is from NE Patriot roots. Mike Lombardi has already said he is interested in Cleveland.

    Should Cleveland land Lombardi, Piolli, I could see Saban going to the NFL very easy.

    As much as I would not want him to leave Alabama, Saban would make a great NFL coach, his only problem is that the NFL has a salary, He doesn’t have
    one now :) (Foghorn Leghorn voice) That’s a joke son!

  33. kozbee says: Jan 5, 2013 4:22 PM

    The Browns couldn`t get him to the NFL but might be different if it were New England Patriots.IMO Saban wouldnt go to a worthless team such as Cleveland,a winning team yes he would consider it i believe.

  34. Deb says: Jan 5, 2013 4:32 PM

    I have no idea what will be in Nick Saban’s head on Tuesday morning regarding where he plans to coach in 2013. But I guarantee you the only thing in his head right now is that title game on Monday night. And that’s the only thing in my head, too.

    Roll Tide!!

  35. bduncan81 says: Jan 5, 2013 4:44 PM

    Nick Saban is smart, y go 2 da NFL when he can b one of da best college football coaches ever, right beside da Bear. I think da media wants 2 cause a distraction so Notre Dame can win da title which I dnt think will happen. But hey Saban’s got it made & I wouldn’t go nowhere either

  36. liverpoolred04 says: Jan 5, 2013 4:52 PM

    Wouldn’t be successful in the NFL can’t hand out Escalades to try to get recruits to sign. Or make a mortgage payment for an NFL players parent’s house. Not gonna happen, with the REC he had in made in Cousin Country, RTR!!

  37. jc327 says: Jan 5, 2013 5:58 PM

    Correction: should read “I don’t have any business in the NFL”.

  38. WingT says: Jan 5, 2013 6:44 PM

    The only NFL job that Saban would consider would be the Dallas Cowboys. I believe that Jerry Jones will be making a strong play for Saban come Tuesday morning.

  39. be4bama says: Jan 5, 2013 7:06 PM

    O yeah WingT that would really work well. Saban working for JJ….NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

  40. Deb says: Jan 5, 2013 8:51 PM

    Nah, WingT, I really can’t see that. Saban likes to run his own house. As long as Jerry lives–and the guy looks more like “Night of the Living Dead” every day–no one but no one will ever run that house but Jerry. Saban’s from the Belichick tree. He’d want a similar setup to the one Kraft gives Bill if he were to return to the pros.

  41. canalzonebaby says: Jan 5, 2013 9:41 PM

    Saban is a proven liar. He lied about leaving LSU. He lied about leaving Miami. He’s lying now. He has the morals of a rabid coyote.

  42. hor2012 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:06 PM


    He didn’t say he wasn’t taking the job. I’m sorry but I promise you his last game at bama will be Monday night, plan and simple

  43. hor2012 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:15 PM


    You’re right. He doesn’t have anything to gain by taking the job. But, he going to take it anyway. And, the reason he’s going to take it has to do with the Seahawks and The 49’ers. both of those are colleage coaches that has had some success in the pros. And, you coach as a ego about the size of your state. He’s going to try it because he won’t be able to live with the fact that thoses coaches did something he couldn’t. Logic tells me that he should stay a Bama and get his statue right next to the Bear. But, the reality is that this man doesn’t tick the way normal human-beings do. And, becuase of that win, lose or draw his last game at Bama will be monday night.

  44. Deb says: Jan 5, 2013 11:26 PM

    canalzonebaby, grow up. No employee tells the current boss he’s job-hunting until he’s ready to give notice. The only difference here is that coaches are required to give press conferences where reporters hound them with questions they can’t answer while they’re trying to finish the season/playoffs or prep for a title game with their current teams. My response would be “Piss off.” Saban says, “I’m not leaving.” Tuberville says, “I’ll only leave here in a pine box.”

    But no one in his right mind would say, “Yeah, I’m coaching in a title game on Monday but right after that I’m going to ditch these kids and move on.”

    You may think NOT saying that, if he indeed moves on, makes Saban a liar. I think saying it would make him a fool–and screw up my team’s chances of winning that title game. So as a Bama fan, I am just fine with what he’s saying even if he leaves for the NFL the next day. Grownups have the right to change jobs.

  45. irishdodger says: Jan 6, 2013 1:03 AM

    Saban is more responsible for the SECs on field success than anyone else in that conference. He built LSU which had been a joke since the 50s (you’re welcome Coach Miles) & he revived Bama to its current dominance which went thru Mike Dubose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Price, Mike Shula & NCAA sanctions. Urban Meyer is now at tOSU & Chizik was canned, so Saban alone is what separates the SEC from all the other conferences. Maybe Mike Slive should get the other 13 schools to kick in some dough to ensure Saban stays in T-town. After all, if they’re going to claim dominance based on Saban’s success, Bama shouldn’t have to be the only school paying his salary…right?

  46. pedagoguish says: Jan 6, 2013 2:09 AM

    It must be a great source of worry to pompous Deb that Saban is distracted going into the title game. Don’t worry about it, Deborah. There are two teams out here on the West Coast that would knock the snot out of the Tide. Notre Dame will do the same.

  47. louhudson23 says: Jan 6, 2013 6:22 AM

    Yo Ped, put that spliff down and eat some M&M’s…..Those two West Coast teams are in the NFL,you see,and college teams don’t play them.Understand? ….as for ND, I look forward to your recap of the game come Tuesday morning….Roll Tide

  48. cometkazie says: Jan 6, 2013 9:03 AM

    hor2012 says:
    Jan 5, 2013 11:06 PM

    He didn’t say he wasn’t taking the job. I’m sorry but I promise you his last game at bama will be Monday night, plan and simple
    Exactly how are you going to back up that promise?

  49. waynefontes says: Jan 6, 2013 9:30 AM

    pedagoguish says:
    Jan 6, 2013 2:09 AM
    It must be a great source of worry to pompous Deb that Saban is distracted going into the title game. Don’t worry about it, Deborah. There are two teams out here on the West Coast that would knock the snot out of the Tide. Notre Dame will do the same.


    Is Oregon one of those two teams? The same Oregon team that LSU embarrassed last year?

    Stanford? The same Stanford team that barely beat a 5 loss Wisconsin team?

    I know you couldn’t have been talking about USC or UCLA.

    Did you mean the Seahawks and 49ers?

  50. Deb says: Jan 6, 2013 2:40 PM

    Yes, pedicure, I’m concerned all this media speculation about Saban’s future could distract our team going into Monday’s game. However, he’s pretty skilled at keeping players focused. No, though, I’m not worried about how the Tide would perform against the 49ers and Seahawks since the college kids don’t play the pros. Haven’t seen any other West Coast teams capable of knocking the snot out of anyone. You must be drinking acetone again.

  51. pedagoguish says: Jan 6, 2013 8:54 PM


    Oregon would crush the Tide with their speed. Stanford would crush the Tide with their IQs.

    I extend my sympathies to you in advance. Try not to fall too far into despair.


  52. cometkazie says: Jan 6, 2013 9:14 PM

    Ped, isn’t that what the commentariate was saying about the Ducks and LSU?

    Big surprise for the Ducks.

  53. pedagoguish says: Jan 6, 2013 10:13 PM

    The Ducks have already shown what they have this year. They only lost to the one team that is better. Alabama will still be a fairly decent team at 12-2, but not a great one.

  54. Deb says: Jan 6, 2013 11:22 PM

    Oh, pedal-pie, you win some, you lose some. I’ve learned to weather the ups and downs of this sport I love without sinking into despair … or becoming delusional. If the Ducks were all that, they’d be quacking in Miami, wouldn’t they?

  55. cometkazie says: Jan 7, 2013 8:02 AM

    Well said, Deb.

    Some of us have a life to live and recognize sports as entertainment.

    I love to watch the Ducks. There are good and also entertaining. Rooted for them against KState.

    We have the game tonight and then, what do ya know? Mardi Gras has started!

    Roll Tide!

  56. draconian1111 says: Jan 7, 2013 9:11 AM

    He may have lied before – and I am sure that he will again – however – with this, at least this year, I think he is sincere.
    WHEN they win tonight – okay…if….it would be 3 out of the last 4 years. Why leave a job where you are a living legend – where your poo doesn’t not only stink, but smells like flowers?
    It’s a tough gig being a college coach and going to the NFL – because – that means the team you are coaching for STINKS (ergo – they need a new coach). Saban has tried and failed – and that is pretty much expected for the first try – you learn.
    Some return and succeed – some never do.

    Really – why would Saban want to leave? What..did someone let him buy his own beer or something?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!