Nick Saban’s last venture into the NFL didn’t go well. From beginning to end, the man who is currently being hailed as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, handled that situation about as poorly as it could possibly be handled.
And that is why rumors of him returning to the pro ranks continue to linger.
It isn’t because the Alabama job is somehow worse than any current NFL opening. It isn’t because Saban needs to validate his career by showing that he can be successful at various levels of football. Heck, it isn’t even because he is so competitive that he won’t be content staying put in one, amazing place.
The reason everyone suspects that Saban has one more jump to the NFL in him is because an egomaniac like him has to die a little inside every time somebody points out what a colossal failure he was with the Miami Dolphins. He must hate that, basically, his pro stint has reached cautionary tale status.
After his Crimson Tide winning their second national championship in as many years, Saban was once again asked to reflect on his failed time with the Dolphins and about his future prospects. It got a bit testy.
"How many times do you think I've been asked to put it to rest?" Saban told The Associated Press (via NFL.com). "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 (with the team, from 2005 to 2006), 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."
So there you go – the problem was a lack of control.
The reason everyone has and will continue to wonder about Saban is because he has given folks every reason in the world to do so. Maybe he will stick with Alabama; maybe he won’t. But he better get used to the questions because, no many how many National Championships he wins, they will continue to be asked.