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Ex-Patriots Player Says Nick Saban Cut Him for Visiting His Father's Death Bed


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In case you don’t remember P.K. Sam, he was a wide receiver out of Florida State, taken by the Patriots in the 5th round of the 2004 draft that landed them Vince Wilfork and Ben Watson. It’s not unfair to say things didn’t quite work out, as he appeared in two games but never caught a pass. But he did probably get a ring. So there’s that.

Now we find out that a couple of seasons later, he tried to catch on with Nick Saban in Miami, only to get cut for visiting his dying father. Which I’ll admit, sounds a little harsh. But I can’t say as I blame Saban on this one.

By way of full disclosure, I’m a Saban guy. When Notre Dame inevitably gets knocked out of National Title contention every year (in 2016 it was the first half of Game 1), I immediately start pulling for Alabama. Not because I’m a Tide fan per se, but because I like Saban. Not just because he’s the most successful limb off the Belichick coaching tree (which is a factor), but because he shares his knowledge of tackle football. The Internet is lousy with videos of coaching clinics he’s done. He’s quoted in strategy books extensively. Unlike his Jedi master, he doesn’t guard his X’s & O’s so closely the Russians couldn’t hack them. In fact, I’ve probably learned more about Patriots calls and nomenclature from Saban than from anything The Hooded One has ever said. So I’m biased.

But that’s not why I’m defending Saban here. I wouldn’t have cut P.K. Sam just for wanting to see his dad off into his eternal reward. But I’m a frigging writer. Saban is a football coach. There’s no time for sentimentality. Ten years ago today he had a game against Buffalo to get ready for. Granted, the Dolphins were on their way to 6-10, Saban was on his way out the door and lying through his teeth about taking the Bama job. But still. Maybe if Jason Taylor or Ronnie Brown wanted to go pay their last respects to their dad, you think about going along with it.

But P.K. Sam? Some bottom of the roster guy like him goes AWOL, you don’t worry about his feelings. You have his key card erased from the system and move on. You send the message that if a player wants to see his late father, well then build a ballpark in a cornfield somewhere because we’ve got a game to win. That’s part of what makes him the best coach in college football. Hail, Saban.