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I get the feeling that AJ sometimes "thinks" too much, especially when he's struggling. If you've ever gone into a slump in baseball and tried to overthink things at the plate, you know what I mean.
Look at the LSU game... lots of time to throw, lots of holding onto the ball... until it's a 2-minute drill and it's drop back, throw. Drop back, throw. No time to really "think," just execute.
AJ was 7/8 108 yards, a TD, and a rushing TD on those two drives. He was 7/19 for 57 yards the rest of the game.
To me, it seems that AJ is more of the "gunslinger" type QB: Drop back, take your shots, throw a deep pick now and again, but also throw a lot of TDs. When he tries to be the possession "game manager" he's playing out of his element.
Pass Rush for UGA was effective the first half which affected AJ; probably why the WR screen was utilized so much. I did not see the WR's really open and thought AJ played a heck of the game minus a couple of plays. Very difficult to throw that rope to Amari after the passing games struggles. I think most of the Bama Fans in attendance knew what was coming after watching UGA line up that play.
AJ may not be the greatest athlete but I really wouldn't trade him for anyone else in the college ranks now. He's a winner.
To me... he is a GREAT Leader... A great game manager... THE ONLY THING he lacks in my opinion is the ability to go through his progressions... I played the position, and you see him lock on to a receiver as soon as he is making his drop.... His head doesn't move from right to left or vice versa... Saturday night when he was just about to go down on a sack, EL was wide open for a dump off pass but he didn't see him because he does't move his head... I am NOT bashing AJ.. I love AJ... I am simply stating something he needs to work on...
I will speak to one play, which I think occurred in the second half. It was 3rd and long, and We went with our typical 1 back protect set (the RB stayed back to protect AJ). AJ had plenty of time and scrambled to his right before dumping it OOB. I took the opportunity, when the camera panned to the wide angle, to look at the final position of the WR. We had one WR that ran a pattern to the right sideline, a VERY dangerous pass for a right handed QB scrambling right (the WR was blanketed by his man). One other WR, on the far left, ran a post route heading way downfield. The other two WR were short field aligned left to center in the formation (neither would have been able to run for a 1st unless a miracle happened). This was a pure mistake in play calling as AJ should have been schemed to have at least 2 options that were high percentage passes for a first down, instead he essentially had zero as a pass to his only true option, WR 1, could have resulted easily in a pick 6. I have had the suspicion all year, but I bet one of the points of focus in the off season is third and long. We have to get more creative in making space and putting in high percentage pass plays on these downs.
"Touch that thang four" - Courtney Upshaw
He missed WIDE open players in the LSU and TAMU games as well.. He is going through his progressions too fast IMO but then again I dont have a 250 pound mad DE wanting to kill me.
It's not football season if Alabama fans aren't bitching about the QB.
Come on, guys! AJ's numbers are either currently the best or in the near future will be the best that Alabama has ever had at the position. Period.
And you guys want to complain about what you perceive to be his lack of ability to do something?
Give me a break.
Hey AJ....keep on keepin' on! Roll Tide!
The played coverage a lot.
They were able to rush 4 and still get pressure. Seven on 5 or sometimes 4 ain't a good match-up.
If that is the case, tuck the ball and run but make a quick decision. Better to pick up a few yards then take a loss
The Dynasty is Here!
There's a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success.
IMO you nailed it. I don't think that it is a lack of skill or a handicap, but more of a mentality. AJ doesn't appear to go through a progression. You heard it numerous times this weekend, the comparisons to MJ and the bulls. We call a play, you may know what it is, we know what it is, and we expect it to work anyway. Well, I think in the passing game, AJ expects his target to be wherever the play calls for him to be, and he doesn't progress from that primary to a secondary unless it's a check down. When the intial call isn't there, he goes into survival mode. The closest that he comes to a progression is waiting for someone to get open on a boot, but in the pocket, forget about it. I'm a huge AJ fan, but I think that he will benefit from another year to learn his progressions, if Saban allows him to actually make the reads. You have to credit the staff for seeing that AJ wasn't comfortable, and that Coop(AJ's security blanket) wasn't getting enough separation for AJ to let it fly. Those body shot running calls just set UGA up for the upper-cut which you could have seen coming a mile away, but UGA was just defenseless to stop it.
I was really shocked that we did not bootleg AJ at all. With the rush that Georgia was supposed to have (which really wasn't that significant, although AJ sometimes acted like it was), I would have thought we would have seen many more plays like we ran against LSU in the NC game last year.
White and Bell back, Black able to play, Amari with a year in and add in Foster.... Our recieving core is going to be nasty next year
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