FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — You knew this was coming. Nick Saban fielded another question this morning about NFL interest in him. Saban issued yet another reponse about how he isn’t planning to go anywhere.
As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, Saban realizes he shouldn’t have said in 2006 he wasn’t going to Alabama. He has said privately he didn’t handle that well and knows that is why he will face constant questions about whether he’ll stay or go.
Today’s answer marked his most interesting statement yet about the NFL because he reveals some of the factors that caused him to leave the league in the first place.
“Well, you know, how many times do you think I’ve been asked this question? 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 going to say it today, that — you know, I think somewhere along the line you’ve got to choose. You learn a lot from the experiences of what you’ve done in the past.
“I came to the Miami Dolphins, what, eight years ago for the best owner, the best person that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work for. And in the two years that I was here, 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 it was very difficult for me, because there’s a lot of parity in the NFL, there’s a lot of rules in the NFL.
“And people say you can draft the players that you want to draft; you can draft a player that’s there when you pick. It might not be the player you need, it might not be the player you want. You’ve got salary cap issues. We had them here. You’ve got to have a quarterback. We had a chance to get one here; sort of messed it up.
“So I didn’t feel like I could impact the team the same way that I can as a college coach in terms of affecting people’s lives personally, helping them develop careers by graduating from school, off the field, by helping develop them as football players, and there’s a lot of self-gratification in all that, all right.
“So I kind of learned through that experience that maybe this is where I belong, and I’m really happy and at peace with all that. So no matter how many times I say that, y’all don’t believe it, so I don’t even know why I keep talking about it.”