Back-Up Quarterback McCarron Shines

A.J. McCarron is the back-up quarterback this spring and Alabama Coach Nick Saban said following practice that "he's done a great job."

A.J. McCarron, a redshirt freshman from Mobile's St. Paul's School, completed 17 of 30 passes for 215 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Alabama's Saturday scrimmage.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "He's done a great job. I'm pleased with the progress all of the quarterbacks have made."

Greg McElroy, who led Alabama to a 14-0 national championship season last year, is unquestionably the number one quarterback as Alabama goes into the final week of spring practice. Late last season Saban made the surprising revelation that if Bama had to go to a second quarterback to win the national championship game that it would be McCarron, not upcoming soph Star Jackson, who had been considered the back-up quarterback.

"Greg has done a very good job all spring long," Saban said. "I'm very happy with his production, his performance."

McCarron, 6-4, 190, did not have to play in the BCS game against Texas at the Rose Bowl as Bama took a 37-21 decision.

"A.J. is very comfortable with the offense, very natural," Saban said. "One of the things he needs to do is continue to develop confidence in the game management part of it. But his physical ability, his ability to throw the ball, his decision making all continue to develop extremely well."

Saban said, "Phillip Sims got lots of turns today and so did Star. All four of those guys have showed good progress."

Although quarterbacks are not tackled in Alabama practices, Saban said they still have to play fast "because we tag them, and if we tag them the play is dead."

Saban said, "They are constantly trying to move the pocket and scramble. They are not oblivious to the rush. If they are, that's negative coaching on our part in terms of guys thinking they are bullet-proof or invisible and guys can just hold the ball and throw it for a touchdown because they aren't going to be sacked (taken to the ground).

"They have to understand that we want to protect them because they are not in a position to protect themselves like other football players are because they are sitting in the pocket. We want to protect them, but we don't want to protect them at the expense of their development and their decision-making of understanding that the rush is live and they have to slide and have ball security in the pocket, buy time in the pocket, scramble, make plays with their feet if they need to. Our guys understand that wholly."

He said sometimes in seven-on-seven drills the quarterbacks are timed and a buzzer ends their time in the pocket. "That's so they understand the timing, that they can't just sit there and hold the ball until someone gets open," Saban said.

Here are statistics from Alabama's second scrimmage of the spring. The statistics include 11-on-11, situational drills, red area, goalline, 2-minute


Greg McElroy – 17 for 27, 156 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

A.J. McCarron – 17 for 30, 215 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT

Phillip Sims – 15 for 19, 139 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Star Jackson – 10 for 17, 91 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT


Mark Ingram – 19 rush, 72 yards, 1 TD

Eddie Lacy – 10 rush, 28 yards, 1 TD

Trent Richardson – 7 rush, 18 yards,


Brandon Gibson – 10 rec., 74 yards, 1 TD

Julio Jones – 9 rec., 117 yards, 2 TD

Trent Richardson – 8 rec, 39 yards

Preston Dial – 4 rec., 46 yards

Kenny Bell – 4 rec., 33 yards

Demetrius Goode – 3 rec., 79 yards, 1 TD

Hardie Buck – 3 rec., 34 yards

Kevin Norwood – 3 rec., 33 yards


Cade Foster - Made: 27, 32, 24, 33


Marcell Dareus – 10 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 PBU

Dont'a Hightower – 8 tackles, 2 sacks

John Fulton – 5 tackles, 1 TFL

Tana Patrick – 5 tackles

Will Lowery – 5 tackles

B.J. Scott – 5 tackles, 1 PBU

Chris Jordan – 5 tackles, 1 TFL

Jerrell Harris – 4 tackles

Rod Woodson – 4 tackles

Darrington Sentimore – 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 Sack

Ed Stinson – 4 tackles, 1 TFL

Robert Lester – 4 tackles, 1 INT

Courtney Upshaw – 4 tackles, 3 sacks


Touchdowns – 7 (Jones 11-yard pass from McElroy; Goode 16-yard TD pass from McCarron; Jones 16-yard pass from McCarron; K. Norwood 14-yard pass from Sims; Gibson 5-yard pass from McCarron; Ingram 3-yard run; Eddie Lacy 2-yard run)

Field Goals – 4 (Foster: 27, 32, 24, 33)

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