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Nick Saban ‘shocked’ at Manning-Gase imbroglio

Nick Saban Peyton Manning AP

In the course of a post yesterday on Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase having their brains picked on the no-huddle offense by Nick Saban during a recent visit to Tuscaloosa, we mentioned in passing, as noted by our redheaded stepmothers over at PFT, that the confab may have been in violation of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

For its part, the NFL is looking into whether or not Manning and Gase violated the portion of the CBA which prohibits coaches from meeting with players prior to the start of their team’s offseason workouts (the Broncos began their offseason program Monday, after the visits took place).  For his part, Saban is stunned that an NFL issue may have arisen out of what’s sounding like an impromptu get-together, ensuring that he stressed that Manning and his coach were never in the same room discussing football during their overlapping time in Tuscaloosa.

From an interview Saban did with the Denver Post after the situation blew up:

“I’m like shocked that anybody would think someone did anything wrong on their part,” Saban said by phone Friday night. “I never met with Adam. When I talked with him I talked about his family. Peyton, we talked an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Adam had been talking to our assistant coaches. I never talked with Adam about football.”

Asked specifically if Manning and Gase were in a meeting at the same time, Saban said, “Only to say hello and b.s. with each other. Adam came Monday and talked to the offensive coaches and some of the defensive coaches. I know he talked with Kirby (Smart, the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator). He and I just visited casually. We didn’t talk football. Adam was with me through two different college programs (at Michigan State and LSU).”

Saban firmly stated that Manning and Gase did not arrive together; in fact, the coach had been then there “for a couple days” prior to the player’s arrival.

Because of Manning’s proficiency in operating the no-huddle offense, the Alabama head coach and Denver Broncos quarterbacks spent a couple of hours one day — without Gase present — going over what defenses are problematic for that type of offense.

“And Peyton,” Saban said, “we were just talking ball. We talked about particular defenses that give us trouble with the no-huddle. Things like that.”

Given how the situation exploded, Saban took the opportunity to intimate an “ass out of you and me” joke when explaining the cause of the explosion.

“I was asked about their visit at my coach’s clinic press conference but I never said we sat down together. Because we didn’t. That’s what happens when people assume.”

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17 Responses to “Nick Saban ‘shocked’ at Manning-Gase imbroglio”
  1. skins4me says: Apr 19, 2014 12:43 PM

    The fact that Manning and Gase being in the same place at the same time being a problem with the NFL just tells you how controlling the league tries to be. Leave the guys alone when the season is over!!!!

    On the other hand who is gonna believe anything Nick I pay my players big money Sabin is gonna say.

  2. thekatman says: Apr 19, 2014 1:16 PM

    The question no one has asked is why is Saban meeting with Peyton to discuss the issues facing the NHO. Isn’t that what Kiffin is there to do? Kiffin has been hired to run the offense, call the plays, work the QBs, etc… he IS the OC, not Saban.

  3. pawloosa says: Apr 19, 2014 1:25 PM

    Saban only wants to stop the NHO…when you have $ and unlimited resources…you can afford to bring in the best QB and his OC for a Q&A session

  4. Professor Fate says: Apr 19, 2014 2:33 PM

    If you don’t want people to be suspicious of your actions perhaps you should try harder to conform to the spirit of the rules.

    You’ve got an NFL coach and one of his players in close proximity, both at your invitation. If you are ignorant of the NFL rule (agreed upon by the players’ union and the owners) one wonders about your knowledge of NCAA rules. Wasn’t Saban in the NFL at one time?

    You’d would think a coach in Saban’s position would understand the appearance of impropriety, whether it took place or not. Why would you expose your program to that sort of speculation?

  5. Deb says: Apr 19, 2014 2:49 PM

    Good grief, there are some ignorant comments on this page.

    Speaking of asses … skins4me. Yes, any successful team you don’t like pays players :eyeroll:

    pawloosa, I believe Nick Saban can talk to anyone he pleases at Alabama. He is the head coach, and Kiffin works for him.

    Professor Fate, it’s not Saban’s job to conform to the rules of the NFLPA or his concern if his meetings don’t satisfy the NFL. He is an NCAA coach, not an NFL employee. I realize Goodell thinks he is God, but his power does not extend to the college ranks.

    I generally support the players’ union, but this rule is bureaucratic nonsense. If players want to voluntarily contact coaches and work on their game during the off season, that should be their prerogative.

  6. imaduffer says: Apr 19, 2014 3:00 PM

    I don’t see any problem with a minor league coach asking for advice from a major league player and a major league coach.

  7. cometkazie says: Apr 19, 2014 3:19 PM

    Deb: Right on!

    Good to see your comments.

  8. mehtoolazy says: Apr 19, 2014 3:38 PM

    It’s hilarious that an article that talks about the danger of assumptions is followed by trollish comments that…assume. You could set your watch by these folks when anything regarding Saban or Bama pops up on this site. Y’all just pop over to, you’ll fit right in.

  9. barkleyblows says: Apr 19, 2014 7:43 PM

    Once a cheat always a cheat. Saban is a dirtball.

  10. florida727 says: Apr 19, 2014 8:34 PM

    Even as a Florida fan, which by state law requires me to dislike all things Alabama :) , I have to side with Saban on this one. All he’s trying to do is improve his COLLEGE football team. And as Deb pointed out, it’s pretty sad that professionals are being dictated to when they can or cannot contact A FELLOW EMPLOYEE (in this case one of their coaches). Goodell is a joke. Thank goodness for college sports.

  11. Deb says: Apr 19, 2014 8:42 PM

    @cometkazie …

    Hi! Nice to see you, too!

  12. wde2010 says: Apr 19, 2014 10:24 PM

    OMG….Nick Saban could be a known, convicted serial killer in the south, mainly Alabama, and Bama fans would still love him and vote for him for president!

  13. Professor Fate says: Apr 20, 2014 1:47 AM

    Apparently the no-contact periods stipulated by both the NCAA and the NFL regarding their respective players and coaches are considered “ignorant” if your coach is the one greasing the meeting wheels.

    Saban could have made a better attempt to insure Manning and Gase weren’t in close proximity to one another, thus eliminating any speculation about intent by the NFL. He not only didn’t do that, but then acted as though he found it shocking that anyone would come to that conclusion.

    You might be as pure as the driven snow, but if the police observe you frequenting an area known for criminal activity they are likely to want to talk to you. Whether or not the rules are overly strict isn’t the issue. Respecting another organization’s rules is.

    Again, why do anything that gives critics any opportunity to make assumptions and allegations? A cavalier attitude towards the rules of an organization you aren’t a part of makes others wonder about your attitude towards rules mandated by the organization you are a part of.

  14. dhardy8207 says: Apr 20, 2014 9:36 AM

    Professor Fate says;

    “You might be as pure as the driven snow, but if the police observe you frequenting an area known for criminal activity they are likely to want to talk to you. Whether or not the rules are overly strict isn’t the issue. Respecting another organization’s rules is.”

    Wow… now thats a stretch there. You equate his allowing outside visitors without questioning the timing of their visit to voluntarily placing himself in an area of questionable criminal activity. I get the point you are trying to make but to allude that this is indicative of “breaking the rules” mentality is alittle absurd.

    As for the last part of your comment, have you ever thought that just maybe the NFL’s guidelines about player/coach communication and the timing of such was not at the forefront of his thoughts at the time of the visit. The way you make it sound all college coaches should go pull out their readily available NFL rule book and read up on it before they meet or allow visits from any NFL players or coaches.

  15. charger383 says: Apr 20, 2014 12:52 PM

    Payton looks really tall in that picture

  16. Deb says: Apr 20, 2014 2:56 PM

    Professor Fate …

    As much as I love college ball, I love the NFL more. My disdain for this rule is about the rule itself–and is something I expressed on PFT long before it involved Alabama. And my post clearly explained my problem with the rule in language a “professor” should have been able to understand.

    Though I’m a longtime supporter of the NFLPA, I don’t agree with the provisions of the last CBA in which the players negotiated less practice time for themselves (as I’ve mentioned in other posts about the increase in player injuries corresponding in the decreased contact during OTAs) nor do I agree with penalizing players who choose to meet with their coaches in an effort to better themselves during the off season. Some of us actually look at the Big Picture of the game rather than thinking only about our own teams.

    Beyond that, it’s enough–especially in a regulation-heavy industry such as the NCAA–to focus on the rules that apply to YOU without also having to focus on the rules that apply to others in their industries. Peyton Manning and Denver’s offensive coordinator make plenty of money in their own right. It’s THEIR responsibility to ensure THEY operate within the rules of THEIR league–not Nick Saban’s job to wipe their backsides and hold their hands. He has his own rules to follow–and they are much nit-pickier than the NFL’s. You’d have to be an idiot to blame Saban for Manning’s failure to make sure his i’s were dotted and his t’s were crossed with relation to HIS contractual responsibilities. But, then, if the shoe fits …

  17. 8to80texansblog says: Apr 25, 2014 11:41 AM

    “Imbroglio” Really?!?!?! When am I going to get my damn “Kerfuffle”???

    I was promised a Kerfuffle reference!

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