TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Having former New England Patriots assistant coach Brian Daboll as his offensive coordinator has its perks for Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Daboll coached tight ends for the Patriots before joining Alabama’s coaching staff and remains connected to some of the team’s biggest stars.
“We always face time (Rob) Gronkowski and Tom Brady,” Hurts said.
Hurts said Daboll calls up Brady to ask what some of his favorite plays are since Alabama is incorporating aspects of the Patriots offense into its scheme.
Not too many college quarterbacks have access to Gronk and a five-time Super Bowl champion quarterback. That’s one of the many ways Hurts and Daboll have become close in the months since Daboll came to Tuscaloosa.
“We gelled really quick,” Hurts said. “He came by to visit one day, and he came straight up to me and we talked. He told me what his intentions were and how he did things. He kind of told me his history and what he’s done. We’ve built a really good relationship in a short time.”
Daboll recently attended an academic awards ceremony with Hurts. Hurts described Daboll as a “very involved” coach who is “cool and laid back.”
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) April 3, 2017
Hurts is back for his sophomore season after leading Alabama to the national championship game as a true freshman. He won SEC Player of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year honors, but there is still plenty of room to improve.
Alabama coach Nick Saban outlined what he wants Hurts to work on this spring.
“I think decision-making, getting the ball out of his hand more quickly, not looking at the rush, not drifting in the pocket, reading and having his eyes in the right place relative to the coverage and read what that particular play has,” Saban said. “I think those are the things that are fundamentally what we’re trying to improve on and I think he’s doing a much better job in that regard.
“He still has the ability to run and make plays with his feet, but that’s not what we want to focus on right now. I think he’s kind of bought into that and done a really good job with it.”
Watch Jalen Hurts interview below