Traylor Tackles Saban

Veteran nose tackle Keith Traylor knew all along he wanted to return to the Dolphins for another season in 2007, but only if there was a new coaching staff in place. Traylor didn't mince words on Monday when he talked about his feelings on former Dolphins head coach Nick Saban.

"Definitely if the regime had stayed the same, I wouldn't have come back," said the 17-year veteran, who will turn 38 in early September. "But with the guys that they chose, I think it's a good fit and something everybody is going to enjoy around here."

Traylor's problem with Saban was simple: He didn't like the way the former coach treated his players.

"Yeah, it was hard, not the physical aspect, the mental aspect," Traylor said. "You just didn't want to hear it. I can't talk to you that way, don't talk to me that way. We're grown men. We get paid just the same."

Traylor, who once again is being limited to one practice a day, says he's taking it year by year. He also admitted to not wanting to end his NFL career on a losing note after the Dolphins went 6-10 in 2006.

But Traylor kept coming back to Saban.

"When you can come to work and not have to worry about being talked down to, it's easy to come to work and enjoy your work," Traylor said. "You don't enjoy your work, the day is real hard.

"You've got to look forward to coming to work, to enjoy it. Yeah, definitely, it's work, but if you don't have any fun at work, you guys understand, it's a hard day."

Other Dolphins players have expressed happiness over having a new coaching staff.

Defensive end Matt Roth, for one, was quoted in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. as saying, "The Saban guy left, which I couldn't be more happy about. I thought the guy was a jerk and I didn't really like him, basically. The new guy, I like a lot. He's a good guy, he's got a good philosophy, and I think the team's going to rally around him, and he's a good coach."

Traylor, however, said he didn't know whether his feelings were shared by his teammates.

"I have no idea," Traylor said. "I can only speak for myself. I wouldn't have been here.

"I give you my word I wouldn't have been here."


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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.