Glazer: Daunte Culpepper, Zach Thomas Almost Fought Nick Saban in 2005-06

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2021

FILE - Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban complains about a call in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins' 22-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland, in this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005, file photo. Saban, who has won six national championships at Alabama, went 15-17 in two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)
AMY SANCETTA/Associated Press

A pair of former NFL stars reportedly nearly came to blows with Nick Saban during his tenure as head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2005 to 2006.

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd (h/t TMZ Sports), neither quarterback Daunte Culpepper nor linebacker Zach Thomas took kindly to Saban's coaching tactics (beginning at 2:57 mark):

With regard to Culpepper, who was acquired by the Dolphins in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings prior to the 2006 season, Glazer said: "Nick Saban, the reason why he didn't make it in the NFL, Daunte Culpepper tried to fight him one day, and the security guy stepped in."

Glazer added that Thomas almost went after Saban as well: "And then I think his final straw is that he questioned Zach Thomas' toughness, and Zach almost kicked his butt. That just doesn't work on this level."

While Culpepper only appeared in four games for the Dolphins during the 2006 season, Thomas is a Dolphins legend who was with the team from 1996 to 2007 and was a seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro during his tenure.

Thomas is widely regarded as one of the toughest and most productive linebackers of his era, so it comes as no surprise that Saban reportedly calling that into question wasn't well-received.

Saban is arguably the greatest college football coach of all time, as he owns a 261-65-1 record in 25 seasons as the head coach at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and Alabama.

Included in that record are seven national championships, six of which he has won at Alabama, with the other coming at LSU.

Saban did perhaps the best coaching job of his career this past season, leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record through the COVID-19 pandemic, culminating with a 52-24 win over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

As good as Saban has been in the college ranks, he didn't get the job done in the NFL, going just 15-17 with no playoff appearances in his two seasons with the Dolphins.

Another prominent college football coach in former Florida and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is making the leap to the NFL this year as the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Glazer warned against employing some of the same tactics Saban did but doesn't foresee the same issues popping up for Meyer since he's "not one of those guys who tries to go after you and demean you."