1:00 PM ET, November 20, 2005
1:00 PM ET, November 20, 2005
Miami (3-6) at Cleveland (3-6), Sunday 1:00 pm EST
CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Nick Saban was a former defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns before leaving the NFL for the collegiate ranks.
Lured back to the NFL by the Miami Dolphins, Saban faces his former team on Sunday.
Saban was the Browns' defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick from 1991-94 before he left to take the Michigan State coaching job. Saban spent five seasons at Michigan State, then another five campaigns at Louisian State, winning a share of the national championship in 2003.
Last year, Saban refused coaching offers from the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons, but accepted the NFL challenge when Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga came calling with a five-year, $22.5 million deal.
Saban's first year as an NFL coach has been a struggle. Since a 2-1 start, the Dolphins have lost five of their last six games.
Last week, the Dolphins rolled up a 437 yards of total offense in a 23-16 loss to the New England Patriots. Gus Frerotte completed 25-of-47 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
The Browns also have a first-year coach in Romeo Crennel, who won three Super Bowls as defensive coordinator of the Patriots.
Crennel also is in the midst of a rebuilding job with the Browns, who have lost four of their last five games and are a game in front of last-place Baltimore in the AFC North.
Last week, Dilfer completed 17-of-34 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown with an interception in a 34-21 loss at Pittsburgh.
Last December 26, the Dolphins posted a 10-7 victory over the Browns. Both teams featured interim coaches in Cleveland's Terry Robiskie and Miami's Jim Bates.
The game was a comedy of errors as the teams combined for seven fumbles, six turnovers and 15 punts.
Series: Miami leads, 9-4.
Next week: Miami visits Oakland, November 27 Cleveland visits Minnesota, November 27
Case closed for ex-RB Johnson in Las Vegas
An attorney for former NFL running back Larry Johnson says the player's Las Vegas domestic violence case is now closed after a judge determined he successfully completed community service and counseling requirements.
Wear with pride: T-shirts help unite Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins, rocked by a bullying scandal last season, are now wearing T-shirts bearing a credo of togetherness that was coined by the players.
NFL on Gordon: Culpable for what's in body
Ahead of Josh Gordon's appeal hearing Friday, during which he is expected to blame a failed marijuana test on secondhand smoke, the NFL said "you are responsible for what is in your body."
Dolphins must lean on Brown
Miami coach Nick Saban will stick with veteran QB Gus Frerotte, despite his struggles, until the team is mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture. If the Dolphins are to right the ship and remain in any type of contention in the AFC East, Frerotte needs to make fewer mistakes and also needs more help from inconsistent WR Chris Chambers.
Cleveland's Romeo Crennel, another first-year head coach, is in a similar situation with aging veteran QB Trent Dilfer, who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. As such, look for R's Ronnie Brown (Dolphins) and RB Reuben Droughns (Browns) to figure prominently in Sunday's outcome.
|Avg Points Allowed||19.6||17.0|
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||MIA|
|Rush Yds Allowed||MIA|
|Series tied 1-1|
|Dec 26, 2004||MIA 10, CLE 7|