Nick Saban won his fifth national championship in nine years at Alabama on Monday night, but Bruce Arians said Saban could consider another jump to the NFL. On The Herd with Colin Cowherd, the former Arizona Cardinals coach said Saban covets the New York Giants job. When asked why the Giants would be so appealing, Arians simply said, “Because they’re the New York Giants. When we grew up, they were the thing”. Arians, 65, announced his retirement from coaching Jan. 1. A year older, Saban may not want to make another career shift. The Alabama coach had an unsuccessful run as an NFL head coach, going just 15-17 with the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06. Saban matched Bear Bryant for the most national championships in college football history when he won his sixth title Monday and has a 132-20 record in 11 years with the Crimson Tide. In the 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia, the team’s leading passer, rusher and receiver were freshmen. Saban also has the No. 5 recruiting class in the country coming in next season. Theveteran coach made $11.1 million this season and is signed through 2025. Though Saban may be up for the challenge of moving to the NFL, he is also set for plenty more success at Alabama.
The Chargers announced that they will retain defensive coordinator Gus Bradley after the two sides agreed on a three-year extension. Both the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers were also interested in the coach’s services. Bradley just finished his first year in Los Angeles after spending four years as the head coach of the Jaguars. While he flopped as a head coach—he posted a 14-48 record with zero winning seasons—his work as a coordinator remains impressive. The Chargers finished the year allowing only 17 points per game, the third-best mark in the NFL. Los Angeles especially excelled against the pass, allowing the third-fewest yards (197.3), while the 78.1 opponent passer rating was the fourth-lowest in the league. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram each notched double-digit sacks to lead an aggressive pass rush. With these players returning and Casey Hayward serving as a shutdown cornerback, Bradley should keep this unit running smoothly in 2018 and potentially beyond.
The Titans know they’re heavy underdogs in New England on Saturday, and they’re just fine with that. Titans tight end Delanie Walker said that the Titans are motivated in part to show that they’re not just going to roll over against a heavily favored Patriots team, as they think everyone believes they will: “Everyone expects us to lose, let’s go out there and shock the world. Guys have nothing to lose so they’re giving it all they’ve got”. The Patriots are two-touchdown favorites, meaning most people think not just that the Titans will lose, but that they’ll struggle even to keep it close. Walker and his teammates would love to prove people wrong.
Mike Pettine is back in the NFL and it seems like he will head to cheese-head country. The expectation is that the Green Bay Packers will hire the former Browns head coach to serve as defensive coordinator. So Pettine replaces Dom Capers, who served in the position for eight seasons. Pettine spent the last two seasons out of the league. The Browns fired Pettine after two seasons, finishing with a 10-22 record. Prior to that, however, Pettine was a successful defensive coordinator. He spent time with the Jets (2009-12) and Bills (2013) and had his units ranked near the top of the league. As a result, Pettine’s potential hiring may have caused a ripple effect. Gus Bradley and Vic Fangio will remain with their respective teams as coordinators. Both were in the running for the Packers job.
Mark Davis proclaimed: “Once a Raider, always a Raider. Never been more appropriate than today,” – said Tuesday as he announced the hiring of coach Jon Gruden. The owner gleefully bellowed: “Raider Nation, this is a big f-ing deal”. After the team played a glitzy highlight reel of Gruden’s previous stint with the Raiders, Davis introduced the once-and-future coach to a hoard of media members and former players after nearly 17 years adrift. Gruden said: “I never wanted to leave the Raiders. I never thought I’d be back. But here I am and I’m ready to get to work. And I just want to say that there’s really four major reasons that I am here coaching today. No. 1, I love football. I love the players that play it. I love the preparation. I love the journey. I love football. And I love the city of Oakland. I had a son here. Some of my great memories in life are in Oakland. And I want to give them two of the best years of football that I could possibly help deliver, and I love the Raiders. The brand is global — everywhere I went as a Monday Night Football analyst the Raider Nation would come out of the ground. I love the Raiders and most of all I love to win. I’m going to do everything I can — no guarantees, no promises — but I want to win…” The Raiders famously traded Gruden to Tampa Bay in 2002, where he proceeded to beat Oakland in the Super Bowl. After seven years with the Buccaneers, Gruden was fired. He spent the past nine seasons in a broadcast booth as a color commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The 54-year-old coach said the bitterness of that loss, followed by the trade to Tampa, compelled him to return to Oakland to finish the job. Gruden added: “There is unfinished business. And as a coach, I was traded. I’ve been fired. I’ve missed the game terribly. But I’ve really missed the Raiders. For my career to end on that night in New England. It still ticks me off. I’m so thrilled to be back here. I hope people understand the emotion inside of me. I feel unfished business. I also feel a lot of loyalty, and I feel a lot of responsibility to get the Raiders going again. It’s been a while since we consistently performed at a high level and that’s really all I care about. I’m going to do everything I can to help this team get right again”.