HOOVER, Ala. — Greg McElroy knows a thing or two about winning a quarterback job, and in fact the former Alabama signal caller knows plenty about winning period.
So when McElroy speaks about this year’s battle, which marks the third straight year coach Nick Saban has had to find a new starter under center, people tend to listen.
“Winning the team. The biggest thing always,” McElroy said of the upcoming fall camp battle. “And that was what I think made the difference for Jake (Coker) last year. Who is the quarterback the team is most willing to play for? Because at the end of the day as a quarterback a large part of your job is being a salesman.
“The reality is, when I step in the huddle, or Jake, or Blake, and you call the play, the other 10 guys in the huddle better think that’s the greatest play-call in the history of the world. Because you want them to go to the line of scrimmage with unbelievable confidence… You might be the most talented guy in the world, but if the guys won’t play for you, it’s not going to be an easy road.”
At SEC Media Days on Monday, McElroy gave his thoughts on all four of Alabama’s current quarterback candidates. Here’s what the new ESPN color analyst had to say about each:
“He’s an outstanding athlete. If he were to get the job, I imagine it would look a lot like what Blake Sims was at the position, the type of offense they tried to implement. He was really good in the Ole Miss game. I know he made a bad decision that resulted in an interception and had a couple of inaccurate (throws). But at the end of the day, 11-for-14 (passing) against that defense is pretty dang good in your first start on a national platform.”
“It’s unknown at this point. He’s never done it on the field. That’s OK. You can win the job as a redshirt freshman. But he’s going to have to prove to his teammates that he’s going to be able to function as well as he possibly can. Because if you haven’t taken a hit at this level, it’s difficult, and obviously he hasn’t taken hits in practice.”
“I think David was a guy last year that kind of disappeared a little bit after the spring. If you would’ve asked me at (SEC) Media Days, I would’ve said he might be the guy. Cooper was playing wide receiver in the spring last year. So he wasn’t even really on the radar for me… (Cornwell) has got a big arm, a similar game to Jake Coker. I don’t think he’s quite the athlete. His release is quicker. I’m not sure his arm is any weaker.”
“An athletic guy, very different when it comes to the skill set he brings. He could have a package. He seems like the type of guy that certainly could be beneficial to the game plan even if he’s not the featured player.”