Nick Saban: “We Chose Drew Brees” Over Culpepper in Miami


We are under a month away from the big National Champions showdown between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Irish. But while that’s the next big thing on head coach Nick Saban’s plate, he’s taking a lot of heat about a possible job in the NFL — something he tackled before in very infamous fashion.

But while he’s not giving in on the notion that he’s entertaining the idea of coming back to the pros, he’s not shying away from talking about his time spent there. Saban was asked on Miami radio about his first offseason with the Dolphins and specifically the search for a quarterback. The way it happened was the Dolphins had the choice of signing recently cut Chargers quarterback Drew Brees or trade for someone’s expendable starter.

The Dolphins traded for Minnesota Vikings starter Daunte Culpepper. But Saban explicitly stated that’s not how things were supposed to go down.

Ever since that decision, and Drew Brees Hall of Fame career took off in New Orleans, choosing Culpepper over Brees has been a cloud hanging over Saban and his ill-fated shot at being a pro coach. But when he was speaking with Dan Le Batard on 790 The Ticket, Saban wanted to clear the air and erase the blemish from his record.

Saban said that while Culpepper was traded for, Drew Brees was a physical away from being the Dolphins quarterback.

“We chose Drew Brees,” Saban told Dan Le Batard of 790 The Ticket in Miami.  “I’ve never ever talked about this publicly. . . .  That’s the guy we made the first offer to.”

Brees and the Dolphins had a deal agreed upon in principal, and all that needed to happen was for Brees to pass his physical to make the deal official. That never happened, as Brees –who suffered a nasty shoulder injury in the last week of the 2005 season — wasn’t yet physically ready according to team doctors. So instead team doctors cleared Culpepper, who had torn about every muscle in his knees a few months before the Brees injury.

It’s interesting that with all the heavy talk about Saban returning the NFL, he went out of his way to talk about something he hasn’t touched since it happened six years ago. While he is still adamant that he’s staying at Alabama, he’s certainly not doing anything to calm the storm by clearing himself of blame when it comes to a franchise altering decision in not signing Brees in Miami.

And for those who buy Saban’s claims he’s staying in Alabama, don’t forget how his tenure in Miami ended, when he was very adamant that he wasn’t leaving the Dolphins for the Alabama job.

Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Miami Dolphins NFL Sec