If Nick Saban only knew last winter that Drew Brees was going to heal up so thoroughly and play this well, surely the Dolphins coach would have signed Brees instead of Daunte Culpepper.
Trust me, it's not like Saban didn't agonize over his decision. I talked to him about it in June, and even with Culpepper way ahead of schedule in his rehab (boy, was that misleading), Saban was still uncertain if he had made the right decision. "I love Drew Brees,'' said Saban, who coached against Brees in the Big Ten when he was at Michigan State and Brees was at Purdue. "But here you've got a throwing athlete with a shoulder injury.'' Saban played with the pinch of chaw he keeps inside his lower lip and shook his head. Tough call. He went with what appeared to be the safer play and here he is, approaching late October with a 1-5 record, while Brees has led the Saints to a 5-1 mark.
This is not entirely shocking. Brees has been a courageous winner at every level of football, despite suggestions that he was/is too small, too weak of arm, too hurt. Saban made the wrong call and the Dolphins are paying in a big way, while the Saints are the story of the young season.