Is AJ McCarron burning bridges in Alabama?
It wasn’t all that long ago that AJ McCarron would have been a popular pick for governor in Alabama, at least among the Tuscaloosa faithful. The former Crimson Tide quarterback won two national championships and was a missed field goal return away from likely competing for a third.
Now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, McCarron still follows his alma mater closely. Some of his opinions on the team may rankle Alabama’s fans and current members of the team.
During the fourth quarter of Alabama’s loss to Mississippi — something that did not happen during McCarron’s time in Tuscaloosa — McCarron sent out a tweet that he wished he could take the reins of the offense from quarterback Blake Sims for the drive.
Man I wish I could have this series. Just one more drive for the Crimson Tide.. Come on Blake get them going bud..
— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) October 4, 2014
If that wasn’t enough, McCarron went on to levy some criticisms against the way the Crimson Tide are operating this season. Speaking during his weekly segment on Tuscaloosa radio station Tide 99.1, McCarron said that he didn’t see anyone taking charge of the team.
“They have to find that leader on offense, I don’t know if that’s Austin Shepherd or, with Ryan (Kelly) being out, somebody needs to establish that. Blake needs to step up and do it. It’s going to be a tough road,” the quarterback said.
McCarron did say that guys like Landon Collins and Trey DePriest were doing their part for the defense. He went on to say that he does not approve of the way the offense relies on Amari Cooper, saying he thinks they should spread it out more.
“I don’t know if that’s Lane doing that or if coach [Nick] Saban is kind of putting the handcuffs on Lane [Kiffin] like I’ve known coach to do in the past on his offensive coordinator and we’re going to be very bland and run this play and do this and we’ll throw it on third down if we have to,” McCarron said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how they bounce back against Arkansas this week and what kind of offense comes out this week.”
McCarron had plenty of praise for his former teammate Cooper, calling him “an unbelievable player,” but went on talking about how his Alabama teams spread the ball around the everyone on the field, making them a better offense than what the team has now. McCarron said he expected to see more from senior receiver Christion Jones this year.
While the former Crimson Tide star told fans not to overreact to one loss or push the panic button, they surely don’t want to hear him leveling criticisms against the current iteration of the team, both players and coaches. We all heard how defensive Phyllis was when she called into Paul Finebaum’s show, letting everyone know how defensive of their team Alabama fans can be. McCarron should be careful calling out his former teammates and coaches, or he could end up on the wrong side of a rant.