Alabama’s Nick Saban could become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, the Boston Globe is reporting.
It’s far from a done deal, and a number of pieces would have to fall into place, but the Globe said on Monday that if the Browns hire Michael Lombardi as general manager as rumored, the door could be open to bringing in Saban as head coach. Saban and Lombardi, who is currently an analyst for the NFL Network, worked together for the Cleveland Browns in the early ’90s, where Saban was defensive coordinator and Lombardi was player personnel director.
According to the Globe, “Saban has let it be known that if he returns to the NFL — where he flopped, going 15-17 with the Dolphins from 2005-06 — it would likely be with Lombardi playing Scott Pioli to his Bill Belichick.” Pioli and Belichick are the GM-coach tandem who created a New England Patriots dynasty.
The Browns are suffering through another woeful season at 5-8 and have had only two winning seasons since 1999.
Owner Jimmy Haslam might have more than one reason for luring Saban to the NFL: He’s a prominent University of Tennessee booster, and the Vols are 0-6 against Saban’s Alabama teams.
For his part, Saban has already won two national championships at Alabama (and one at LSU) and will be going for another one on Jan. 7 against Notre Dame. With no mountains left to climb in the college game, could Saban be looking for another shot at the NFL?