Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Jalen Hurts has been Alabama's start since Game 1, but that hasn't stopped the quarterback controversy.

Alabama football: Quarterback talk rules the day for Crimson Tide

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus. 

Quarterback controversy

Jalen Hurts is Alabama’s starting quarterback. That’s been certain since the third series of the season opener in 2016. Even so, Alabama can’t escape a quarterback controversy. The latest comes courtesy of an ESPN story formed exclusively around interviews with Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman, the two quarterbacks Hurts beat out, who said their situations were poorly handled by Nick Saban and his coaching staff.

Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News questions whether the ‘story’ should be news at all.

Then came the non-controversy of a quote taken out of context from UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. As part of a larger conversation about the role of academics in the lives of student-athletes at big-money programs, Rosen criticized the notion of raising the SAT requirement for NCAA participation across the board by using Alabama as an example–“Raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have.”

Of course, Rosen also said when asked about former Clemson QB DeShaun Watson completing his degree in three years, “some schools are easier than others,” so at least one of the two national finalists has a gripe with him.

In other Alabama headlines:

Quarterback conversation

Ryan Fowler sat down with Alabama legend ‘Broadway’ Joe Willie Namath about Jalen Hurts on his daily Alabama podcast.

“I would believe that he saw many things last year that he hadn’t experienced in high school,” Namath said. “Having been in those situations and having recorded in his mind’s eye defensive looks that he saw last year, he may recognize things faster. I think he’ll be sharper. Everything he does this season will be a little bit better than last – even though he had a remarkable season last year.”

Namath also told the story of the Alabama-Georgia Tech game in Atlanta, the last installation of what had been a great regular rivalry.

“We’re going over to Atlanta as the No. 1 team in the country, shot at the national championship on the line, and Coach [Paul ‘Bear’] Bryant is telling me that it’s going to be the last time we play them for a while.  It was huge. We were focused, quiet getting over to Atlanta. … I think it was the day of the game, Coach Bryant takes us around the field, and we follow him at his walking pace. And just before we leave the locker room, he yells ‘Give me that hat’–a football helmet he called a hat most of the time. One of the managers gave him a football helmet that fit. He smiled at us and said ‘them sons-of-whatevers can throw their bottles at us now, by God. We’ll go show them we’re ready.’ ”

Alabama won, 24-7.

Balling out

Maybe the most remarkable component of Alabama’s dominance last season was its consistent streak of ‘NOTs’–non-offensive touchdowns. All told the team produced 15, between pick-sixes, fumble returns, kick returns, etc. Alabama’s defense and special teams are convinced they can beat that mark in 2017.

Built by Bama

Veteran running back and U.S. Army paratrooper Glen Coffee is back with Alabama as a student assistant, working alongside running backs coach Burton Burns. Coffee was all-SEC in 2008, and played one season with the San Francisco 49ers before joining the Army.

AJ McCarron’s sushi restaurant, AJian, is open in Tuscaloosa. 

Former Alabama basketball star Robert Horry punched a man who shoved him at his son’s basketball tournament.

Haylie McCleney hit a home run in the U.S. National Softball team’s 6-0 win over Venezuela on Tuesday. 

In the majors…

  • David Robertson pitched 1 scoreless inning in the New York Yankees 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

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