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Heath Evans Says Nick Saban Walked Over a Convulsing Jeno James in 2005

We rarely hear stories about Nick Saban being a nice guy. Saban is known for running a very tight ship — a style that has obviously translated into tremendous success at the college level. When he coached in the NFL, the style is said to have not worked with professional athletes. We hear that a lot with NFL who players are grown, paid men who don’t want to be scolded. However, Heath Evans said it went beyond that with Saban and the Dolphins in 2005.

Appearing on 790 The Ticket with Jorge Sedano Wednesday morning, Evans recalled a pretty frightening story involving Saban and a Dolphins lineman from Miami’s training camp back in 2005.  Sports by Brooks transcribed it for us:

Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room.

Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.

Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.

Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’

That’s obviously an enormous accusation to be making. We’ve seen former players accuse Saban of things like lying, but this borders on illegal.  Obviously, the word of one former player can’t be taken as 100 percent truth, but two other people have confirmed the story. Reporter Greg Bedard, and former Dolphins player Alex Holmes, have both said it’s true.  What an alarming scenario to think about.

Heath Evans: Brian Daboll Makes the Miami Dolphins Worse

The Miami Dolphins were one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL this season, ranking 30th out of 32 teams in points scored per game. They wisely decided to fire offensive coordinator Dan Henning in search of someone who can help turn things around. Naturally we agreed with the move, but that was until we learned his replacement would be Brian Daboll, whose offense in Cleveland was worse than Miami’s! Yes, that’s right, the Browns were 31st in the league in points per game, scoring 16.9 points on average. I didn’t think it was possible for the Dolphins to backtrack, but they have.

While the fans in Miami may be willing to give Daboll a chance, one of his former players already knows it’s a bad move. Appearing on ESPN 760, Saints fullback Heath Evans spoke frankly about Daboll saying “The Dolphins probably just got worse. … When he was in New England, he was never a guy that I would have considered the brains of the operation. Obviously there’s been a lot of growth from his stint with Mangini, as soon as I saw it, I second-guessed the decision. A franchise that is really just struggling for success, why do you take in an unproven commodity?”

Evans played for the Patriots from 2005-2009 while Daboll coached wide receivers for New England from 2002-2006. In fact, Evans nailed it regarding most former Patriots assistants: Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli were the brains of the operation, not anyone else. Also, Tom Brady will make any offensive coach look good, so Daboll certainly benefited from that. The good news is Daboll will have a chance to prove us all wrong. The bad news is he doesn’t have a quarterback who can help.

Thanks to Pro Football Talk for bringing our attention to the story.