Not too shabby for a “game manager”…
While the critics are still finding ways to discredit McCarron’s talent, the pride of Mobile continues to win and write his name in the Alabama record book.
McCarron is a gem, and like many things in life, the true impact of his time at the Capstone won’t be fully realized and appreciated until he’s gone.
While McCarron prepares to write his final chapter at Alabama, the Tide staff will groom his 2013 backup and his 2014 successor.
Aj McCarron threw for 2,933 yards, 30 TD and 3 INT in 2012. Career 5,956 yards, 49 TD, 8 INT #SECMediaDays #CFBLIVE pic.twitter.com/r1Z64JOZEHProminent players
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) July 18, 2013
AJ McCarron – Redshirt Senior (returning starter)
Blake Sims – Redshirt Junior (backup in 2012)
Cooper Bateman - Freshman
Luke Del Rio – Freshman (walk-on)
Parker McLeod - Freshman
Alec Morris – Redshirt Freshman
The health of AJ McCarron will be critical as he enters his final season at Alabama, but that much is a given. The real challenge will be grooming the “future stars” and establishing a solid backup for this season.
Is Blake Sims still the man to relieve McCarron? Yes and no…
The situation, in terms of a backup, is rather tricky. Blake Sims, simply by having more experience and time in the program, will likely be the selection, once again, to serve as the second unit quarterback. However, Sims, in all probability, will not be the man who succeeds McCarron in 2014.
The Alabama offense is predicated around a pro-style quarterback, and while Sims is a gifted athlete, he is certainly not a pro-style passer. Even when looking at Sims’ tenure at Alabama, a respectable period of time was spent at the running back position. Is Sims a fine athlete? Yes. Is Sims the starting quarterback of the future? No.
#Alabama’s running backs and quarterbacks during first practice in pads. pic.twitter.com/aloYlDQ5mLIn terms of the grooming process and who will succeed Alabama’s version of Tom Brady, the keys will either be handed to Cooper Bateman or Alec Morris, with Sims potentially falling to third string or returning to running back.
— Marquavius Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) August 6, 2013
Bateman, the “crown jewel” quarterback of Alabama’s 2013 signing class, and one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the nation, is essentially a McCarron clone.
On the flip side of the coin, Alec Morris, who originally gave his verbal commitment to Wake Forest before selecting the Tide, has a year under his belt courtesy of a redshirt season in 2012.
As for 2013, depth at the quarterback position is, and will continue to be, the obvious issue. When one of the best players in the history of the program is taking the snaps, the depth, as far as “live action” snaps, will always suffer.
Can Alabama win a game without AJ McCarron as the starter? Could Bateman, Morris, or Sims play an entire game in 2013 if the cards were stacked against the Tide?
One can only hope those questions will never have to be answered.
Unit rating: 8/10