Are Nick Saban & the Packers Really a Good Fit?
There’s some palpable buzz around Nick Saban potentially being the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated suggested it yesterday breaking down why it all makes sense. Through his writing, I can say there is some truth to what he provides about Saban and the Packers especially from the legacy side of things. If he breaks Bear Bryant’s record in about a month from now, what’s left to do in college football? A part of me thinks the NFL has become too new-aged for Saban, and him wanting to be like Bill Belichick would not work for the Packers.
Saban is similar to adding a New England coordinator. There’s a standard that he will establish from day one, and either you like or you can ‘get the fuck out.’ The Alabama head coach is ruthless and has no time for excuses. People talk about their experience in New England, and how it pales in comparison to the rest of the league. Patriots can do that because they’ve won multiple Super Bowls. If Saban thinks he can come into an NFL town and do similar things, I fear he’s mistaken. Sure, the credibility is there in the college game, and he could do it at any university in the country yet that’s not professional football. There were other parts of Jones’ column where I had questions about the fit between Saban and the Packers.
Jones makes the point that Aaron Rodgers would immediately respect Saban. Are we sure about that? Sure, Rodgers speaks very highly of Belichick and that’s the example Jones uses in his column. But they are not the same. Saban deserves respect, but the NFL coach version of him is 14-17. How is that gaining respect? He lacks a pedigree in professional football, even if he’s the most established college coach in the country.
Another part of Jones’ piece that struck me as odd was the money. Jones said Saban would need a 10 million dollar a year contract to be the coach of the Packers. Green Bay is not an organization that throws money around like they’re Scrooge McDuck. No one is getting paid that much money. The two teams where I could see the 10 million dollar deal happen is Dallas or Washington. Jerry Jones did it in the past with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. It won him three Super Bowls. Why wouldn’t he try it again with Saban? I only bring up Washington because Dan Snyder and Redskins have a fondness for Alabama defensive players. Saban could coach all of his old guys on defense, and you have to think that’s attractive to him even if location-wise and team-wise, it’s less than stellar.
If I’m wrong and the Packers decide Saban is a good fit, that’s fine with me. It would be exciting to say the least. All of the things mentioned above would make for tasty storylines and blog posts on a regular basis. Also, Alabama fans freaking out is something I take pleasure in plus a Bana coaching search combined with Twitter is a wild fantasy we can all dream about happening sooner rather than later.