To be fair, Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban has gone on record to defend his recruitment of former San Diego Chargers quarterback and current New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees. Yet, just one day after the Saints’ 20-14 win over the Buffalo Bills, Saban was asked about the failed Brees recruitment and he responded with a curious “I’m not sure” that led to another reporter asking “What happened to Brees?”
Back in 2014, we learned that then-Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin had canceled a workout with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees because Philbin and his staff felt Brees was too old to still be an effective NFL quarterback. The Dolphins’ head coach later tried to blame an agent for failing to properly relay the workout news, insisting that he wasn’t trying to run Brees off his prospective destination.
Mike Florio is a football insider for NBC and a former NFL player. He’s the former head of the NFL Players Association and he’s now an analyst for football. He’s also the author of the book Play Like A Champion Today . Mike recently wrote an article for NBC Sports that detailed the unusual attempts by Nick Saban to recruit Drew Brees.. Read more about nick saban nfl and let us know what you think.
Fans of the Miami Dolphins are still tormented by what could have happened if Nick Saban and Drew Brees had teamed up in 2006.
One of the more interesting “what ifs” is clearly still on Saban’s mind. Despite turning the Alabama Crimson Tide into a national powerhouse since his arrival in 2007, Saban has spent years openly lamenting the Dolphins’ failure to recruit Brees — and ProFootballTalk’s Florio, Mike believes he understands why.
Nick Saban, according to Florio, Mike, “wants to make up” for his unsuccessful NFL career.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk has a hypothesis as to why Nick Saban (L) isn’t ready to move on from the Drew Brees-Miami Dolphins drama | Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary via Getty Images; Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Saban and his seven national titles, six of which have come since 2009, still sound like a guy tormented by a failed NFL career.
Saban has spoken out many times over the Dolphins’ reluctance to pursue Brees in 2006, months after he formally retired following a great NFL career. Because of concerns about a shoulder issue, the Dolphins notoriously passed on signing the former Chargers quarterback. Instead, the Dolphins signed Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who struggled in Miami after missing time in 2005 due to a knee injury.
Florio offered his opinion on why Saban continues bringing up the Brees-Dolphins story all these years later on the PFT PM show on July 21.
“[Saban] wants to make up for his failed NFL coaching career by arguing, ‘If they had simply listened to me and hired Drew Brees, we would have been the team that the Saints have been since 2006.”
Obviously, it was not the case. The Dolphins finished 6-10 in 2006, and Saban returned to college football only days after the season ended, despite claiming he didn’t plan to coach Alabama. Brees also guided the New Orleans Saints to an appearance in the NFC Championship Game that season.
Saban was chastised by Florio for being unrealistic and hurting the team. Sean Payton is a professional football player who plays for the
Saban has every right to wonder what could have happened if he had taken over as Brees’ head coach in 2006 instead of Sean Payton.
Florio, on the other hand, cautioned that Saban’s line of thinking might be troublesome. Saban’s continuing conviction that he and Brees are certain to win together, according to the creator of ProFootballTalk, undercuts the work that Payton and Brees accomplished together when Payton took over the Saints after the 2005 season.
“Who will get the best out of Drew Brees if he goes to Miami and plays for Nick Saban, who is a defensive coach? Will it work in Miami as well as it did in New Orleans? Saban just wants to presume that Drew Brees would unlock all of the accomplishments and performances that have made him one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, regardless of where he would have landed in 2006.”
Brees also benefitted from inheriting a Saints offense that included a young Reggie Bush and Marques Colston, who led the club with 88 catches that season. Brees, on the other hand, would have been in Miami with Ronnie Brown and Wes Welker.
Saban must move on from the Brees-Dolphins saga.
“Actually, at that time, knowing nothing about Alabama, I was thinking, ‘Well, I wouldn’t mind coming back to LSU now.’”
When the Dolphins were unable to sign Drew Brees, Nick Saban felt it was time to return to school.
10 March 2021 — 247Sports (@247Sports)
Saban has accomplished almost everything at Alabama. He’s won seven national titles, amassed a sizable fortune along the way, and will go down as one of the all-time great college football coaches.
What does he gain by ruminating on the past so much? Saban could have simply thrown his name out there for coaching openings at any moment if he was eager for a chance to win a Super Bowl. Perhaps there is a parallel world in which Saban took over the New York Jets after the 2014 season and transformed Geno Smith into an All-Pro quarterback.
But that potential alternate universe is just that: a random thought about what could have been. Brees and Saban each walked different paths, and, aside from all of the quarterback’s various injuries in recent years, things worked out perfectly for both of them.
Isn’t that enough for Saban before he retires for the night? Obviously not. He’d rather suffer nightmares about Brees’ shoulder than happy dreams about any of the national title wins.
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