Nick Saban Comments on Dolphins Tenure, Drew Brees and More in ESPN Exclusive

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2015

Jul 15, 2015; Birmingham, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban speaks to ESPN during SEC media day at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with Paul Finebaum for ESPN's Outside the Lines, Alabama coach Nick Saban admitted his short NFL tenure might have been far different had he signed Drew Brees in 2006 when he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. 

"If we had had Drew Brees, I might still be in Miami," he said.

That offseason, the Dolphins instead chose to trade a second-round pick for former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper after team doctors nixed the signing of Brees due to a shoulder injury.

Brees would go on to win a Super Bowl, two MVP awards and play in eight Pro Bowls with the New Orleans Saints, never missing a game in the past nine seasons. Culpepper, meanwhile, injured his knee in the 2006 season and appeared in just four games for the Dolphins that year before being cut the following offseason. 

Jason Cole of Bleacher Report disagreed with Saban's assessment of the team's decision to pass on Brees:

Jason Cole @JasonCole62

I really like Nick Saban, but he is not telling the truth about Drew Brees & #Dolphins. It was his call. Don't blame him for the call ...

However, he did defend Saban from criticism to choose Culpepper over Brees:

Jason Cole @JasonCole62

I never understand criticism of Saban on Brees decision. He just played the odds. It turned out poorly. That happens. Hindsight is obvious.

Jason Cole @JasonCole62

Brees totally beat the odds on his recovery. But there is no question Saban made the call. He took info from 6 doctors. They didn't decide.

Saban lasted all of two years in Miami, finishing with a 15-17 record before taking the Alabama job in 2007.

Three national championships later, however, Alabama fans are likely still thanking their lucky stars for the Miami doctors who kept the Dolphins from signing Brees. For a Dolphins fanbase that has witnessed just one playoff experience since 2006, however, the story remains a painful one.

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