Saban Admits Mistake In Not Promoting Garrett With Dolphins In 2006
It has been well documented in the southeastern United States that apologies don’t come easy for Nick Saban. But this week, in an interview with AL.com, the four-time national championship head coach seemed almost content with admitting the fact that his career has been something less than perfect.
Though he didn’t try to mend fences for his controversial exit as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2007, Saban did allow that he could have done a better job during what was a two-year stay on South Beach.
His regret surrounds the career and position of current Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, whose name kept cropping up as Saban sought out a QB coach to fill out his staff prior to the 2005 season.
“Scott Linehan and all the other offensive coaches who had coached in the league … they all knew Jason, and they said, ‘You’ve got to interview Jason Garrett,’” Saban said. “I said, ‘The guy’s never even coached. How can you recommend him for a coaching job?’
“And I interviewed him, and he was by far the best candidate. And I said that even after a year — after his first year of being a coach — I really considered him to promote him to [offensive] coordinator and call the plays because he was that good a coach that quickly because he’s a very bright guy and really could relate well with the players.”
But instead of Saban replacing Linehan, who had accepted the Rams’ head coaching job for the 2006 season, with Garrett, he tagged Mike Mulrkey to fill the position.
“If I made one mistake as a pro coach, it was after one year, he should have been made the offensive coordinator,” said Saban. “He was that good, that smart, the players responded to him that well.”
All of which makes you wonder if that, one day in the not-so-distant future, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will admit that he made a mistake when he chose Wade Phillips to be Bill Parcells’ replacement in 2007, instead of allowing Garrett to assume the position at age 41.