Nick Saban to ESPN: 'If we had Drew Brees, I might still be in Miami' _lowres

Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban, left, smiles at quarterback Daunte Culpepper (8) during the third day of summer football camp Monday,July 31, 2006 in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)


In an Outside The Lines interview Sunday on ESPN, former Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban said he might still be in the NFL had the franchise chosen to sign quarterback Drew Brees in 2006.

"If we had had Drew Brees, I might still be in Miami," he said.

Of course, the Dolphins chose to sign Daunte Culpepper instead of the then-injured Brees.

Saban's stint in Miami lasted two seasons. He led the Dolphins to 9-7 and 6-10 records, respectively.

In 2006, Saban left the Dolphins to take the head coaching job at Alabama.

Before playing for a national title in 2012, Saban said during an interview with a Miami radio station publicly for the first time that Brees was their choice to be the quarterback of the future when he took a free-agent visit there in 2006.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Saban … I felt like he was honest with me when I was down there,” Brees said in 2012 after hearing about the interview. “But I felt like when I was here in New Orleans, I was embraced. I was given confidence that, ‘You’re our guy, and we know the situation you’re in but we know you’re going to come back and lead this team and this community.’

“The impression I got when I was (in Miami) was, ‘Hey, we like you, but we’re not sure.’ I got the sense I was being evaluated every second I was there.”