CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy.
None of them are walking through the door in Berea to take over the Cleveland Browns.
Add Nick Saban to that list.
A day after winning his 4th national championship – 3rd at Alabama – with a 42-14 rout of Notre Dame Monday night, Saban reiterated his commitment to remain in Tuscaloosa.
“I kind of learned through that experience that maybe this is where I belong,” Saban said. “And I’m really happy and at peace with all that.”
Tired of answering questions about going to the NFL, Saban fired off a lengthy response when prodded again about it Tuesday morning.
“How many times you think I’ve been asked this question?,” Saban said. “How many times do you think I’ve been asked to put it to rest? And I’ve put it to rest. And you continue to ask it.
“So I’m gonna say it today, that you know somewhere along the line you gotta choose. You learn a lot from the experiences you’ve done in the past.”
Saban’s experience as an NFL head coach was not a good one with the Miami Dolphins that saw him go 15-17 during the 2005-06 seasons.
It’s because of that experience that Saban has decided to stay put.
“I came to the Miami Dolphins what, 8 years ago, for the best owner, the best person that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work for,” Saban said. “In the 2 years that I was here I had a very, very difficult time thinking that I could impact the organization in the way that I wanted to or the way that I was able to in college and that was very difficult for me because there’s a lot of parity in the NFL, there’s a lot of rules in the NFL.
“People say that you can draft the players you want to draft, you have to draft the player that’s there when you pick. Might not be the player you need, might not be the player you want. You got salary cap issues – we had them here. You gotta have quarterback, we had a chance to get one here and sorta messed it up.”
Saban worked as an assistant under Bill Belichick in Cleveland, and there has long been speculation he might one day return to the Browns but Saban stressed that he feels he has a greater impact – on and off the field – in college than he would ever have in the pros.
“I didn’t feel like I could impact the team the same way that I can as a college coach in terms of affecting peoples life personally,” Saban said. “Helping them develop careers like them graduating from school, off the field, by helping develop them as football players. And there’s a lot of self gratification in all that.”
In No. 1 vs. No. 2 match-ups, Saban is now 4-2 and he climbed within 2 titles of tying legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear Bryant” who has 6.
Jimmy Haslam should still try. At this point what does he have to lose?
After all, Saban is the same guy who told Miami reporters he would not be the coach at Alabama. 2 weeks later he took over the Crimson Tide.
But this time it appears that Saban is telling the truth.
He can’t be bought by anyone in the NFL.
Not even Haslam and the Browns.