McElroy Had Ding Against Gators

It was the fourth quarter against Florida, and Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "Something's not right here." The "something" was the condition of Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban was discussing the leadership qualities of Bama quarterback Greg McElroy and used as an example an injury suffered by McElroy in the Crimson Tide's 31-6 win over Florida last week.

Saban said, "He's actually so poised and so good, he got hurt early in the second quarter and nobody knew it. He got hit in the head when he scrambled once when he got hit over on the sideline. It really affected him in the game, I think.

"We didn't know it until the fourth quarter. He called a play wrong and a formation wrong and then tried to run the play that we signaled. So I said, ‘Something's not right here.' He said he was fine, that he had been shaken up before and played through it."

A topic of conversation this week, addressed by McElroy on Monday, is that he has been taking hits rather than getting out of bounds or getting on the ground before a defender can hit him.

Later Saban said his example "was later in the game. He had gotten dinged a little bit and didn't let anybody know it. And it didn't affect him. He did play well in the game. I was just using that as know a lot of guys would have struggled to continue to function if they got hit that way, and he just overcomes about anything that comes his way. It's no big deal."

This Saturday, McElroy will be leading the Crimson Tide against South Carolina in a key Southeastern Conference game. Alabama is 5-0 and ranked first in the nation and the Gamecocks are 3-1 and ranked 19th in the nation. CBS will televise the game with kickoff at 3:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 central time).

In discussing McElroy as a leader, Saban said, "I think when you are a leader everybody expects you to set the example of how you are going to respond to every situation that comes up in a game. I think one of the great parts of his personality is he's a bright guy, he doesn't over-analyze things, he plays the next play. I think he does that even better than a year ago in terms of shaking off the bad plays.

"You're talking about a special guy who has a special personality, very smart, like having a coach on the field, and really affects the other guys in a very positive way because he does have a lot of poise. And I think all the other players have a lot of confidence in him."

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