Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 7/10/12

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02: Kick returner Javier Arenas #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with head coach Nick Saban after Arenas scored on a 73-yard punt return in the second quarter against the Utah Utes during the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
It isnt like there arent plenty of questions for him. Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarrons last football game was the BSC National Championship where he was offensive MVP. Since then, the redshirt junior has had a productive spring, working with a team that will likely be the national championship conversation yet again. Not only that, McCarrons backup, Phillip Simms, the guy who split time in the starting role at the beginning of last year, announced that he is transferring, leaving the most important offensive spot on the field in McCarrons hands alone. Yet, McCarron will not be one of the Tide players making the rounds at SEC Media Days next week. Its not like hes shy. In previous press conferences McCarron has been thoughtful, articulate, poised, and on-message: all the things head coach Nick Saban wants from his guys. McCarron even survived a near-fatal Jet Ski accident when he was a youngster and has a tattoo of a weeping, thorn-crowned Jesus on his chest. Who could be better for the hungry media? There is nothing to indicate any problems coming out of Tuscaloosa. In fact, the most likely rationale for leaving McCarron at home has nothing at all to do with McCarron. Its Saban, who continues to look at the quarterback position no differently than he does the left offensive guard. When asked about putting together a more pass-oriented offense in 2012, Saban shrugged as if it was the least important question in the world. You have to do on offense what you have the players to do, he said. Now that we have a quarterback that is very capable as long as he makes good decisions and judgments in how he distributes the ball and doesnt turn it over I like our young skilled players. That isnt exactly a ringing endorsement, especially for a quarterback whose play in New Orleans sealed the Crimson Tides 14th national title. But its typical Saban. About the nicest thing he ever said about Greg McElroy, the Jets quarterback who led Alabama to their previous BCS Championship title was, Greg is getting better. I also believe there are some young guys that can make some plays, Saban continued in response to the quarterback question that never got answered. I like our runners, too. I think the strength of the offense is the offensive line and the quarterback. So, hopefully they help those other guys look good. When he won his national championship at LSU, Saban didnt sing praise and hallelujah to Matt Mauck, and he was even less committed to his quarterbacks the following year when Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell were battling it out. He is simply not a quarterback-centered coach. He would much rather work with the cornerbacks and safeties, drill reads into the linebackers and motivate his defensive ends. You know, A.J. had a good spring, Saban said with all the enthusiasm of someone reviewing cucumber-flavored ice cream. A.J. still has to stay within the structure of the offense in terms of taking what the defense gives. You cant force plays. You have to be patient, and that is the key for him to be successful. He can make the throws. Its just continuing to make the right ones. No one will know how McCarron has progressed until the first snap on September 1 in Cowboy Stadium. Nor will anyone know what he thinks about his team or his prospects until his head coach makes him available. And, like the quarterback position itself, that doesnt appear to be high on Sabans priority list.
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