« on: April 23, 2013, 04:56:22 PM »
Wow. Jackie is giving up a lot of runs lately, but congrats on the win.
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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- AJ McCarron defers any and all judgments about his individual performance to the man he says is "like a dad to him."
"I don’t need to try to grade myself," McCarron said. "It’s not really my job. I just try to go out every day and work, get better."
So, Nick Saban, how has McCarron become a better quarterback during his final spring at Alabama?
"AJ is a good player but I think AJ is a competitive guy and he had a really good spring," Saban said after Thursday's practice. "The thing he's done is impacted with leadership with the other guys. He's really taken command."
Alabama QB AJ McCarron talks about his spring, leadership Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron talks with reporters after practice Thursday, April 18, 2013.
McCarron wasn't in the room when Saban said what he said, but the message was quickly relayed to him. He smiled when he heard it.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- With A-Day just one day away, the following offensive capsules ran in Friday's editions of The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the (Mobile) Press-Register.
The vet: Having evolved from a caretaker to a playmaker, AJ McCarron comes into the season as a third-year starter and a Heisman Trophy candidate. He led the nation in passing efficiency last season as he completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards and a school-record 30 touchdowns, and he had only three passes intercepted. But his most impressive stat: Two consecutive national championships. Since the 1950s, only three others have done that: Nebraska’s Jerry Tagge (1970-71), Oklahoma’s Steve Davis (1974-75) and Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier (1994-95). No quarterback has won three national titles.
Call for backup: Blake Sims and Phillip Ely backed up McCarron in 2012, and they’re back, but redshirt freshman Alec Morris is in the thick of competition. Sims might have the edge now, and he gives the offense a different dimension with his running ability, but Morris is the one to watch.
Who’s out, who’s in: Nobody departed. Three freshmen arrived as early enrollees: heralded Cooper Bateman, unheralded Parker McLeod and walk-on Luke Del Rio. The competition for 2014 starter has begun.
Notable: A true freshman quarterback has never played during coach Nick Saban's tenure at Alabama.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- With A-Day just one day away, the following defensive and special teams capsules ran in Friday's editions of The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and The Mobile Press-Register.
The vets: One of the quietest members of Alabama's entire team, senior Ed Stinson is the "father" of this position group. He led all defensive linemen with 8.5 tackles for loss in 2012 and enters his final year entrenched as one of the Crimson Tide's top defensive ends. End Jeoffrey Pagan and nose guard Brandon Ivory are both juniors and saw significant snaps as reserves last season. They'll be called upon to do more this year.
Call for backup: This could be the year for LaMichael Fanning, the incredibly promising redshirt sophomore who spent his final year of high school in Auburn. He dropped a significant amount of weight and certainly looks the part of a speedy, fast-twitch defensive end. Redshirt freshman Dalvin Tomlinson gained what Fanning lost and also could be in line for major playing time on a defense that's hoping to have a better pass rush in 2013.
Who's out, who's in: Nose guard Jesse Williams and defensive ends Quinton Dial and Damion Square are all gone and likely NFL-bound. All of Alabama's freshman linemen -- Dee Liner, Darius Paige and A'Shawn Robinson -- will join the team in the fall. Anthony Orr has moved over from outside linebacker and Xzavier Dickson has been splitting time with the linebackers and defensive line.
Notable: Though Nick Saban and most others agreed that Alabama's pass rush was not consistent enough in 2012, no team under him accumulated more sacks (35) than last year's group.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Potential starters on both sides of the ball are sidelined with a variety of injuries, but that won't stop Alabama from carrying out its typical, ones-versus-ones format at Saturday's A-Day game.
"We have a first-team offense on one team and the second-team defense with them," Alabama coach Nick Saban said after Thursday's practice. "And then we have the first-team defense on another team and the second-team offense together on a team. So the ones play against the ones and the twos play against the twos.
"We're really looking forward to Saturday even though we're going to have some guys who will not be able to participate."
Linebacker Xzavier Dickson (patella), cornerback John Fulton (toe), running back Derrick Henry (leg), wide receiver Kevin Norwood (toe), nose guard Wilson Love (concussion) and linebacker Trey DePriest (foot) won't be able to play in the annual spring scrimmage, Saban said. Additionally, linebacker C.J. Mosley (shoulder), wide receiver DeAndrew White (knee) and running backs Jalston Fowler (knee) and Dee Hart (knee) have worn black, non-contact jerseys throughout the spring and are expected to be limited.
Check out the A-Day rosters
Saban said that all of the injured players are anticipated to be ready for fall camp, including Dickson, who could soon have surgery. Dickson, who had 33 tackles last season, did not participate in last week's scrimmage but had been active at practice this week.
Mosley, Alabama's team MVP in 2012, will "do some things" at A-Day, Saban said.
"We may leave a black jersey on him," Saban said. "Mark Barron played in a spring game in a black jersey a few years ago."
With the clock running non-stop throughout most of the game, there aren't enough plays in it to give equal playing time for the numerous quarterbacks competing for the backup job behind AJ McCarron, Saban said. McCarron (White) and junior Blake Sims (Crimson) will definitely play, he said. Luke Del Rio, Cooper Bateman, Alec Morris and Edward Aldag are all members of the Crimson team while Parker McLeod and Phillip Ely are with McCarron on the White team.