New York Giants: Nick Saban Dodged Nightmare Season in NFL

Oct 8, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban looks on prior to the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban looks on prior to the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama head coach Nick Saban came close to taking over the New York Giants, but a family decision kept him in the college ranks.

How would Nick Saban look in Big Blue as opposed to Crimson Red? The reality came close during the offseason when the New York Giants attempted to fill their head coaching vacancy.

According to comedian Tom Arnold (h/t ESPN’s Paul Finebaum), who’s close friends with owner Steve Tisch, renowned boxing promoter Bob Arum connected the organization with Saban’s representatives. Apparently, the Alabama coach expressed interest in coaching the Giants on a lucrative deal.

By the time Saban’s representatives contacted the Giants, the organization already held a tentative agreement with Ben McAdoo. As a result, Saban needed to come up with a definite answer right away, per Arum (h/t

"I guess [Tisch] talked to [John] Mara because he called me back and he said, ‘Yes, we would be very interested. But we’re on a deadline. We’re about to hire somebody else,’ which turned out to be McAdoo. ‘He’s got to get back to us in one day. This has got to be done in one day and it’s got to be confidential. If it is, it’ll be a go."

Nonetheless, Saban’s wife preferred to stay in Tuscaloosa, Alabama:

"They came back and said, ‘Nick is delighted. Now he’s talking to his wife.’ They went so far as to contact real estate agents in New Jersey, for homes in New Jersey. Then Nick [Khan] called back the next day and said, ‘Call Steve. Tell him Nick can’t do it. His wife loves Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She doesn’t want to move, so Nick can’t take the job."

Mrs. Saban ultimately handed the job to McAdoo who accepted the position on January 14. While it’s interesting to envision Saban in the Meadowlands, he made the right decision to stay in Tuscaloosa.

Odell Beckham Drama

First off, wide receiver Odell Beckham would’ve driven Saban nuts. The star wideout carries an aura that’s larger than the team. Between the penalties on the field and interview questions, Saban might have quit faster than he did a decade ago as the Miami Dolphins head coach.

In collegiate sports, it’s easier to throw ice water on a hot talent generating all the attention. In a league where star players cash in more than the coaches, Saban couldn’t just scold Beckham and send him to the showers. The two recognizable public figures would have work on understanding each other’s differences.

Beckham has shed tears this year, but he’s certainly not going to fade away after two seasons in the league like Saban’s former player Manuel Wright:

Ereck Flowers Skirmish

A few weeks ago, left tackle Ereck Flowers compounded his poor play with an even worse decision off the field. He shoved ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan after a loss to the Green Packers. It’s another distraction that would’ve touched Saban’s last nerve.

Again, not only would Flowers’ altercation result in the media peppering Saban with questions and calls for apologies, but his subpar play would also infuriate the Giants head coach week to week. If you’re not aware, Saban isn’t shy about calling his players or coaches out when they screw up on game day:

Josh Brown Fallout

The NFL and the Giants organization poorly handled the Josh Brown’s domestic violence situation, which trickles down to coaching decisions and answers to the media.

After the Giants earned a victory over the Los Angeles Rams in London, the firestorm around Brown overwhelmed the talk about a win and a 4-3 record. As an ultimate distraction from the strides made on the field, Saban would’ve likely blown a gasket at a press conference after the third or fourth question about a kicker, who didn’t play.

Here’s a glimpse at a past press conference that ticked off the Alabama head coach:

The Giants have a winning record in a surprisingly tough division. However, Saban would quickly regret his decision to leave Alabama where everything continues to run smoothly for a media-centric market with three early off-the-field distractions.

Next: New York Giants: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game

Collegiate coaches enjoy having control over most aspects in the program. The three aforementioned issues concerning the Giants would’ve been beyond Saban’s control. Thus, driving him off the deep end with nothing but headaches and misgivings early in his second stint as an NFL head coach.

As a disciplinarian, Saban would’ve been the perfect coach to follow Tom Coughlin’s era. Nonetheless, he’s likely satisfied with sitting atop the college football standings as the No. 1 program in the nation.