CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – When Jimmy Haslam laid out the characteristics that he is seeking in the next coach of the Browns Monday morning, one name came to mind – Nick Saban.
The Alabama coach is exactly what Haslam is looking for.
The question is, could he be pried away from Tuscaloosa?
Odds are no.
Browns running back Trent Richardson, who helped lead Saban and the Crimson Tide to a national title a year ago, would love a reunion with his former coach but he’s also very realistic about the slim possibility of it actually happening.
“If he was to leave Alabama, most definitely I would love it,” Richardson said. “I would love for him to be here but I doubt if he would come to the NFL and to leave Alabama, I can’t see him leaving.”
Richardson, who ran for a franchise rookie record 950 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 games, was disappointed in the 5-11 season that cost coach Pat Shurmur his job.
“It’s disappointing on our behalf,” Richardson said. “I think we could’ve done more as a team and as a player. As an icon to kids you never want to see your coach leave, especially on a note like that. We’ve gotta make sure that we do better things and put ourselves in better position to win and keep our coach.”
Saban’s resume is the most impressive of any college coach out there.
3 BCS National Championships – LSU in 2003 as well as 2009 and 2011 at Alabama.
He seeks back-to back titles, his 3rd with the Crimson Tide and 4th overall Monday night against Notre Dame.
The Kent State alum has also won 4 SEC championships has mastered the college game – but not the NFL.
He went 15–17 in 2 seasons with the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06.
Richardson would be more than willing to help recruit Saban but he doubts it would have any effect.
“I doubt it if I can,” Richardson said. “I think that might be pretty tough to convince coach Saban. When he’s got his mind made up, he’s got his mind made up.”
Money would not be an obstacle even though Saban makes a reported $5.32 million a year.
After writing a check for $700 million to Randy Lerner on Oct. 26 for controlling interest in the Browns, Haslam is all in to finally get it right and stop the coaching carousel that has been spinning non stop since 1999.
Landing Saban would certainly do that.
“You know, that would be a big run,” Richardson said. “That’s something that you always hope that when you get a new coach or you know how a coach has been and you’ve played for a coach, yeah, if he do come in then I do hope they make a run at him.
“But I doubt it. I highly doubt that it’s going to happen.”
That seems to be the prevailing thought around the country as well.