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2018 QB recruiting

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2015 and 2016 were absolutely Jeremy Johnson. Sean was good as a starter both years. He was better in 2016 than 2015, but he was a good QB. The issues in those seasons came (1) before Sean took over or (2) after Sean was hurt each year. Why? Because the other QB was Jeremy Johnson, and we didn't have a third option because we thought Jeremy was going to be a star. Very few teams are prepared to go to Plan C. So, yeah, QB issues in those seasons are pinned to one guy. 

2011. I'll agree. That's the one year we had QB issues that were not linked to Jeremy Johnson.

As for the commentary on Saban, you're changing your argument. You said he develops QBs that get drafted. He doesn't. In light of that fact, you've shifted to he develops QBs that perform well at the college level. I'll agree with that. Blake Sims was garbage. He wouldn't have started for us or Ole Miss or MSU or Arkansas, but he performed in that system with Amari Cooper and Derrick Henry, etc. flanking him. I'd argue is harder to bust at Bama than anywhere else, and I'd argue even the "he's had no busts" is really revisionist history.

He benched the guy pegged as the starter in 2015 and 2016. He's had a bunch of QBs transfer and never pan out. He hasn't had a full-year starter bust on the field, but he's whiffed on a lot of guys. The difference is roster management, not QB development. The difference is he asks less of his QBs than almost anyone in America and his backup plans (Coker was splitting reps and Hurts was a true backup) have come through. That's great roster management and a great system. But it's not true to say his QBs always hit.

You talked yourself into a corner on the NFL draft thing. It happens to me sometimes too. Saban does a great job at surrounding his QB with unbelievable talent, at asking him to do less (because of the running game, defense, and OL) than most QBs have to do, and at playing to his QBs and team's strengths. He hasn't had a QB perform poorly in college in a long time. Heck, that was true even at LSU with Matt Mauck (a 7th round QB with limited physical tools) or Marcus Randall or Rohan Davey. He puts less on his QBs than nearly any coach, and that works for him because his defense is always there, his running game is always there, and his recruiting is through the roof. But he's not a QB developer. You don't go to Saban to launch your pro career under Center.

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Side note, it's interesting to me that Malzahn has this rep of being no good at developing QBs (which, for my money, is totally overblown) when he's had really good QB play most of his years at Auburn.

2009 - Chris Todd - great QB play
2010 - Cam Newton - great QB play
2011 - Barrett Trotter, et al. - bad QB play
2013 - Nick Marshall - great QB play (although asked to do very little as a passer)
2014 - Nick Marshall - great QB play (much improved as a passer)
2015 - Jeremy Johnson/Sean White - toxic waste QB play
2016 - Sean White/Jeremy Johnson - very good QB play with Sean/very bad with anyone else
2017 - Jarrett Stidham - so far, very good QB play

I mean, again, Todd made a major leap from 2008 (I would say most of that leap was due to health). Cam got a LOT better from the start of the year to the end (but he's also the living embodiment of a Madden cheat code). Marshall got a lot better as a passer from one year to the next. Sean White made major strides from one year to the next and looked really good when healthy. Stidham has already made noticeable improvement. I don't think Malzahn should get most of the credit for those improvements. I think that has more to do with their position coaches, but it's just not true to say Gus has a history of bad QB play or fails to improve his QBs.

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Oh dear. So many words.

2016 was not Jeremy Johnson. It was Gus doing a piss poor job of dealing with Jeremy Johnson by refusing to build an offense around a perfectly good Sean White and then going after John Franklin and trying to give him the job instead. Sean succeeded despite Gus, not because of him. 

Chris Todd wasn't "great", especially as the season went on. 

As Cam got more comfortable in the offense and as we developed an otherworldly running game, yes, the greatest athlete to ever play the position got better. That's how sports work. People improve as, along with other talented athletes, they execute a plan together over and over. I wouldn't say his passing improved dramatically.

Marshall's passing didn't get that much better in 2014, and certainly not beyond what you would expect from a guy in the same system for a 2nd consecutive year. His receivers got better, though. Duke Williams made numerous bad passes look good.

Sean got good as soon as Rhett took over. Stidham got good as soon as Chip took over.

Gus isn't good with QBs. 

I don't really care about saban. I initially replied to somebody who said that McCarron was his only NFL QB. I admitted my mistakes on the particulars. Let it go. 

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2016, we kinda did build the offense around Sean. You're pointing to the Clemson game, I guess, in saying otherwise, but for the year, that was Sean's offense (see Game 2-9). Until he got hurt. Then, it was Jeremy again.

Chris Todd was 1st team All-SEC and a record setting QB at Auburn. Call is less than great if you want, but that's a pretty damn high bar.

On Nick, goodness, he threw it more, completed a higher percentage, had a higher ypa, threw a 6 more TDs but only 1 more INT, and saw his QBR increase. Whether that's "expected" or not, it's called development.

I also think it's horse***t to give credit to everyone except the head coach when things go well ("Sean succeeded despite Gus") but put all the blame on the head coach when things go poorly. That's silly. Either it's his team and he gets credit/blame in equal measures or it's not his team and he's not the one to blame. We're not going to agree here. That's fine. 

Edited by mcgufcm
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Good conversation @mcgufcm and @McLoofus!

One thing that I'll add that makes a difference in this conversation is recruiting. Saban does a good job of recruiting quarterbacks (like every other position). That's one area where I think Gus struggles, and its very frustrating. It seems like every year that Alabama has a question mark at quarterback, they've got a really good 3-deep competition going on. 

One other note: I've always admired how well Alabama quarterbacks are coached when it comes to ball protection. You don't see them make a lot of mental errors, and they always seem to do a good job of throwing the ball away. AJ McCarron played really, really smart football and Hurts gets better every week. In that regard, I've been very impressed with the week-to-week improvement of Stidham. Whether thats attributable to Gus or Chip (or both) I don't know, but I've been really impressed with his progression. The more comfortable that he gets in the pocket, and the more disciplined he gets with his footwork and movement, the more plays we get down the field. I'm really excited to see where he is this week.

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25 minutes ago, mcgufcm said:

Side note, it's interesting to me that Malzahn has this rep of being no good at developing QBs (which, for my money, is totally overblown) when he's had really good QB play most of his years at Auburn.

2009 - Chris Todd - great QB play
2010 - Cam Newton - great QB play
2011 - Barrett Trotter, et al. - bad QB play
2013 - Nick Marshall - great QB play (although asked to do very little as a passer)
2014 - Nick Marshall - great QB play (much improved as a passer)
2015 - Jeremy Johnson/Sean White - toxic waste QB play
2016 - Sean White/Jeremy Johnson - very good QB play with Sean/very bad with anyone else
2017 - Jarrett Stidham - so far, very good QB play

I mean, again, Todd made a major leap from 2008 (I would say most of that leap was due to health). Cam got a LOT better from the start of the year to the end (but he's also the living embodiment of a Madden cheat code). Marshall got a lot better as a passer from one year to the next. Sean White made major strides from one year to the next and looked really good when healthy. Stidham has already made noticeable improvement. I don't think Malzahn should get most of the credit for those improvements. I think that has more to do with their position coaches, but it's just not true to say Gus has a history of bad QB play or fails to improve his QBs.

See, I don't think Marshall got "a lot" better as a passer from 13' to 14'. It was marginal improvement as far as passing goes. I do think that he improved as a quarterback. I think he was a smarter player, but as a passer there wasn't much of a difference between 13' and 14'.

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I'll give you that. "A lot" is maybe an overstatement. We put more on him as a passer and his numbers/play still improved. For me, that feels like a lot, but it's not like night and day difference. If we want to call that "regular" development, that's okay too. He was better as a passer in 2014 than 2013. That's a credit to him and his coaches.

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2 minutes ago, mcgufcm said:

He was better as a passer in 2014 than 2013. 

No argument there. 

For sake of comparison, his improvement between those two years is very similar to where Hurts is now as opposed to last season. And, its also worth noting that when you are running an offense with a strong running game and a quarterback who is a run threat, you don't need them to be a prolific passer. We were able to create so much space in play action (like Alabama is with Hurts) that we were rarely asking Marshall to fit balls into tight spaces. It was more like - hit the wide open receiver (or the broad side of a barn) :lol:

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In 5 years, I've not seen Gus developing any QB. Cam sure didn't need any coaching He's was a heck of a QB for us. Nick was meant to be a QB and not a DB when he was at Georgia. As for Jarrett, he's true who just needed to be running the right offense.

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Sean White averaged 55 yards more in the air for his first 3 games with Rhett calling the plays than he did in the first 3 games of 2016 with Gus calling the plays. That includes the MSU game during which he got hurt.

I need not bother looking up Stidham's stats pre- and post- Lindsey moving up to the box and Hand moving down to the field. 

I regularly and vociferously praise Gus for his hires, recruiting, discipline and chemistry building. For two seasons now, though, our offense has gotten demonstrably better immediately after he has given his OC significantly more influence over how the offense is run. 

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Again, Sean was better in 2016 than 2015. That's development. Whether that's Rhett or Gus or Sean (I'd vote all three), that's what we want. That's proof of a player improving. Sean also got better as 2016 progressed as a player during the season until he was hurt. The offense didn't fall apart and the QB play was good until that time. The only part of 2016 that had bad QB play was Clemson (Gus' fault) and Jeremy Johnson (not really Gus' fault).

What was the Chip Lindsey in the booth thing meant to signify? According to Chip, he made the decision to call plays from the sideline or at least strongly agreed with it. His exact quote was, "I think it's really important, especially when you're on the sideline and you can look that guy [young QB] in the eye, you've got the opportunity to see how he's reacting to things. I think that's a huge advantage to be able to do that. . . . I think it's the best scenario for me to be there and for me to be able to communicate with the quarterbacks on the sideline."

Were you saying Chip, not Gus, screwed that up? I assume the decision to move upstairs was Chip's call as well. I give Jarrett and Chip and Gus credit for the improvements we've seen so far this year.

I'm not saying Gus is perfect. Far from it. But, for me, the "he can't develop a QB" commentary just doesn't square with reality.

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Again, you expect players to get better as they play another year in a system. 

It's odd. There seems to be a theme this year where a lot of discussions revolve around experience. I always thought it was kind of a given that you prefer to have experienced players, and that there's a reason for that preference. Maybe not though. A lot of people have suggested that experience doesn't matter all that much. Maybe I need to rethink a lot of things.

As for Lindsey, we've both gotten the same information and have arrived at different conclusions. As you said, we're not going to agree and that's okay. 

Oh, and I've not discredited any of the QBs or the work they put into their own development. We're talking about the roles their coaches have played in said development. 

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5 hours ago, McLoofus said:

 

I regularly and vociferously praise Gus for his hires, recruiting, discipline and chemistry building. For two seasons now, though, our offense has gotten demonstrably better immediately after he has given his OC significantly more influence over how the offense is run. 

do you reckon he would ever admit that?

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42 minutes ago, au_bsci_04 said:

Hasn't he?

Not really.  I don't think I have heard where he has been explicit there.   We could be splitting hairs.  

I just want Gus to to continue to learn this new style of HC and let his coord coach their disciplines.  And when things get tight, and they will, stick to the gameplan.  Don't swoop in and try to revert back.  

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12 hours ago, au_bsci_04 said:

Hasn't he?

I think Chip's going to have to prove it a little more before Gus goes from reluctantly agreeing to genuinely buying in. Just personal opinion.

I noticed something the other day in Gus's post-game presser, and I will preface this observation by saying that my own confirmation bias is heavily in play, but... listen to his response about the WRs below. We're starting to have a deadly passing game, and we're seeing guys make plays for huge chunks of yardage and touchdowns, and listen to what Gus has to say about it. I find it very telling.
 

 

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15 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

I think Chip's going to have to prove it a little more before Gus goes from reluctantly agreeing to genuinely buying in. Just personal opinion.

I noticed something the other day in Gus's post-game presser, and I will preface this observation by saying that my own confirmation bias is heavily in play, but... listen to his response about the WRs below. We're starting to have a deadly passing game, and we're seeing guys make plays for huge chunks of yardage and touchdowns, and listen to what Gus has to say about it. I find it very telling.
 

 

excellent clip and point you made.    I have never seen our passing game this lethal. 

Maybe I have old man syndrome, but even when Leard and others were efficient, we weren't this vertical.  And when we had passers that were vertical, we weren't this efficient.   That's the way I see things.

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