Nick Saban is back in the news regarding the Miami Dolphins and this time, he is revealing why exactly he quit on the franchise.
In a new interview conducted at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention, Nick Saban was asked a question about an example of a sacrifice he has made. You can read the entire interview on 247sports.com.
Saban talked about leaving Michigan State for LSU and then went into the Drew Brees saga in Miami. According to Saban, the reason he left Miami was that they did not sign Drew Brees. As Saban put it, the failed physical by the Miami Dolphins doctors was the catalyst to leaving Miami for Alabama.
"“So, I decided right then when that happened that we don’t have a quarterback in the NFL, we’re not going to win. I’m getting out of here. I’m not staying here. I’m not going to be responsible for this. That doctor didn’t know his ass from a handful of sand. Drew Brees plays 15 more years, wins a Super Bowl, goes to nine Pro Bowls. And we didn’t take him in Miami, where he wanted to go. Some things you can’t control. When we left there nobody understood why. Well that was why. There’s always a reason. … – 247sports.com"
Saban said that they had flown to Birmingham, Alabama to sign Brees after he had shoulder surgery by sports surgeon Dr. Andrews. Saban said that Andrews signed off on Brees and told Saban that his shoulder would be fine but the Dolphins doctor felt differently.
Saban also said that he told Brees’ agent that he would not mention the failed physical publicly to give him time to sign with New Orleans.
According to Saban, Brees wanted to be in Miami and was ready to sign with them. If this is true and there have been rumblings of Saban’s thoughts on this in the past, Brees’ career and possibly the entire last 15 years of Dolphins history would have been significantly different.
History can be ugly and the Drew Brees situation is one that fans still stew over. Saban’s “I’m not going to Alabama” only further highlights the fact Saban’s name is mocked in Miami fan circles. Knowing that this is the reason behind his departure, Saban still shouldn’t get a pass. The fact is he still quit on the Dolphins. He was still the catalyst behind the failed trade for Daunte Culpepper, and he still put his tail between his legs and left.
Honestly, in my opinion, this makes Saban look worse than simply saying, “I didn’t like the NFL and missed working with college kids”. Instead, the line is “I didn’t get the QB I wanted so I took my ball and went home”.
Saban rolled with Culpepper who played horribly from the start and then was injured but let’s not forget that a year earlier Saban started a combination of Sage Rosenfels and Gus Frerotte. In addition to Culpepper in 2006, Saban also used Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon.
We can also say that it was his decision to pass on Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 draft, taking Ronnie Brown instead and watching Rodgers fall all the way to Green Bay at pick 24.
Instead of trying to build the football team, Saban acted like a child and took off. We will never know if Drew Brees would have been the same QB in Miami but we do know he was the perfect quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.