Shula On Quarterback

The position of greatest importance on a football team is quarterback, and Alabama will have a new starter this year in John Parker Wilson. The sophomore follows in the footsteps of Crimson Tide record-setter Brodie Croyle.

At Southeastern Conference Media Days Wednesday, Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said, "Brodie's release is a little bit quicker, but John Parker Wilson isn't going to be late with the football. He just has a different throwing motion. He has similar accuracy and similar arm strength. John Parker is as mobile or perhaps more mobile.

"What he doesn't have is experience."

Shula said, "John Parker is already a leader for the football team. Not just the offense. The football team. He's just a sophomore, where Brodie was two years ago.

"Will John Parker make some mistakes? Probably. But he'll make some plays, too."

Shula said, "Everyone's got to have a hand in moving the football. John Parker has a good arm, he's accurate, and he's mobile. Not like Vince Young (last year's Texas quarterback), but we've got some things to get him out of the pocket."

The Tide coach said, "I think back to last year and knowing we had Brodie and, yeah, there is some concern. But I don't think we can't win games because we have a young quarterback. I think we'll be successful and we'll do things that will make him successful."

Shula also addressed the question of a back-up quarterback. Even though Marc Guillon suffered a broken hand in an off-season incident, Shula said the senior is the top back-up "right now." Shula said, "He has the experience and he has improved. We hope he's done with his injuries."

The said that "We're still finding out about Jimmy Barnes. He had a decent spring, but, unfortunately, didn't do as well as he or we would have liked in the spring game."

"And we'll have to see about the young guy," he said, referring to incoming freshman Greg McElroy.

How about Jimmy Johns, the high school quarterback who played at halfback last year, or Earl Alexander, t he incoming quarterback from Phenix City Central who is being ticketed for a look at wide receiver? Could either of them get some snaps.

"Anything's possible," Shula said with a grin that said that's not possible.

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