So the obvious thing to do would be ask a current Browns whether or not they could see Saban joining them in the NFL.
Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland did just that when he spoke the Browns starting running back Trent Richardson. Not only do those close to Saban believe that he will not leave the college ranks for the NFL, but Richardson isn’t buying in to the rumors either.
“I can’t see him coming to the NFL. I can see him staying at Alabama and retiring at Alabama. That’s what I can see,” Richardson said on Wednesday.
“He just has so much put into it. There’s so much there for him. There’s no reason to leave. I don’t believe it. Rumors are rumors. I don’t buy into it. That’s one thing he taught me, (not) buying into rumors. It’s something that happens every year. You’d think people would get tired of it just hearing Coach Saban is going to leave. And he winds up winning another national championship.
“I’d be very shocked, very shocked … I don’t see that happening.”
Saban is going for his second consecutive national championship at Alabama when he leads the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame on January 7th in Miami, Florida. While his third BCS national championship victory in four years would be a major accomplishment in his college coaching career, it won’t satisfy the head coach enough to make him jump ship.
At Alabama, Saban is winning so why would he want to give that up?
“How can you get tired of winning?” Richardson asked. “How can you get tired of winning national championships. The way he plays the game is at the highest level at their level. So why would you change?
“The way he lives his lifestyle down there, the way he loves playing football. He loves intensive football, where every game counts. One game you might be out. That’s the intensity he loves in every game. Those players are just like robots down there. They know what coach Saban wants and they’re going to do what coach Saban says.”
Richardson also says that Saban is more or less running an NFL program at the University of Alabama.
“He treats his program like the NFL,” Richardson said. “He makes sure his players are prepared for the game and prepared for the next level.”
While it is fun to imagine the top college coaches in the NFL — or in Saban’s case returning to the NFL — it just doesn’t seem like a move that is happening any time soon.
Saban appears to be the perfect fit at Alabama. It would be stunning to see him leave.