((HT: Cleveland Plain Dealer/ESPN))
There has been talk for the past few weeks that Alabama head coach Nick Saban may have been laying the ground work for his return to the National Football League...
In no order...
In an interview with Dan LeBatard on his radio show in Miami on 790AM The Ticket as recounted by the Sun-Sentinel's Michael Casagrande, Saban apologized for his exit:
Saban acknowledged his conversation with owner Wayne Huizenga in which he said he was leaving was among the hardest he’s ever had.
“That’s always been a thing with me that I’ve never ever really felt good about,” he told LeBatard.
The interview, from the 17th of December, is hyah...
Then, back on the 11th, Coach Saban's wife, Terry (or "Miss Terry" as the coach refers to her) told Kevin Scarbinsky in an interview on 97.3FM in Birmingham:
"A victory does not feel quite as happy, as joyous. It's just relief and let's get ready for the next game. And that's unfortunate...The expectations are at the point now that everyone expects you to win and expects you to win it all."
In the same interview, she endorsed Kirby Smart as a "great fit" to be head coach at Alabama.
So, dear reader... taking those elements into whatever context you want...
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and the always-plugged in Mary Kay Cabot, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckart are gone as soon as "Black Monday" or "Black Tuesday" next week after the season-ender with the Steelers.
Conventional wisdom has been that new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III wants "his guys" and "his stamp" on the team. Mike Holmgren's departure was the first part of this transition. Shurmur and Heckart's removal would seem to be Part II.
From Cabot's piece when she got in touch with Shurmur:
"Listen, I get this, and my concerns are for my team and making sure that we do all the right things during the game to give our guys the best chance to win. That's where I'm at. We have not won enough football games, and I know that's the way this thing works, but in our situation I see improvement and I'll leave it at that."
NFL Network insider Mike Lombardi is the focus of chatter as Heckart's replacement, and he would in turn bring in one of his bestest buddies to be the new head coach- Saban. Saban would also get a monster salary and, possibly, a piece of the team.
Saban has always been about challenges and the idea of building something from the ground up could be that next "big challenge."
As your flashback, here is the Saban Welcome Presser in Tuscaloosa to remind us all about how he got to where he is today...