Monday, January 28, 2008

The Only Guy That Nick Saban Helped While In Miami

For the most part, Nick Saban was not a good coach for the Miami Dolphins. He never got the offense headed in the right direction, and there were questionable personnel moves that took place under his watch. One of the most questionable being the pickup of defensive tackle Manuel Wright during the NFL's Supplemental Draft in 2005.

Wright received All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors during his sophomore season at USC, and probably could have matured into a talented DT. However, he was ruled academically ineligible for the '05 season, and decided to leave college early. Wright showed that he had some skills during his stint at USC, but he probably wasn't worth the Dolphins spending a 5th round pick in the '06 NFL Draft on him. However, that wouldn't be the oddest occurence involving Wright and the Dolphins.

On July 26, 2005, after being berated by Coach Saban, Wright was filmed walking off the practice field crying. The video instantly made the rounds on network TV and the Internet. It further cemented Saban's legacy as a no bullshit type of coach, and cast Wright as a whining rookie who wasn't ready for the NFL. He lasted the season with the Dolphins, but missed numerous training camp workouts while battling depression and asking the team to trade or release him. He went on to miss the entire 2006 season, and eventhough he said he wanted another shot with Miami after Saban's departure he had already decided his fate with his past actions. However, getting out of Miami was probably the best thing that ever happened to him.

The Dolphins released Wright in May of '07, and the Bills claimed him. Though, they only kept him for a week. He went on to be signed by the Giants, where he's played in six games and is headed to the Super Bowl. Yes, that's right. Manuel Wright has gone from crying on the practice field to playing in the biggest NFL game there is.

Honestly, without the Dolphins drafting him in the Supplemental Draft, or Nick Saban subjecting him to a very public verbal asskicking I doubt that he would have ended up in New York. So thank Nick Saban for where you are today Manuel Wright. The rest of us Miami fans are still cursing his name.

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