Via Fox Sports South.
McCarron's absence symptom of Saban
It's not like he's shy.
In previous press conferences, McCarron has been thoughtful, articulate, poised, and on-message: all the things 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.
It's Saban, who continues to look at the quarterback position no differently than he does the left offensive guard.
Fact: The Alabama offense under Nick Saban is indeed much less quarterback-oriented than many others. More on that in a minute.
In 2010, then Alabama QB Greg McElroy appeared at SEC Media Days. McElroy was a rising senior and facing his last year of eligibility. In 2011, all three of Alabama's player representatives were guys expected to be wearing Crimson for the last time. Saban likes to bring players to the Media Days spectacle who aren't likely to ever represent their team in such a setting again.
McCarron is a redshirt Junior and while he has developed quite nicely, not many people expect him to forego his senior year and declare early for the NFL Draft, unless he absolutely sets the record books afire and has a Heisman-worthy 2012 season.
Could he? Sure. Will he? Probably not. From the piece linked immediately above:
So yes, it's true. Saban's not going to build an offense around the quarterback and anyone who thinks he'll let his offensive coordinator sling the ball around the field for four quarters hasn't been paying attention. There's just no way to win consistently. There's a reason why Offensive Genius Steve Spurrier won exactly one national title during his formidable run at Florida.One gets the sense that while the conference has produced several high profile, Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks, the conference isn’t exactly known for churning out stars.
Part of this phenomenon is explained by the difference between the college game and the game played on Sundays. History shows that the most successful college football programs don’t necessarily include stud quarterback play. In fact, the SEC’s two biggest stars in the NFL never won much of anything during their college careers. The two most recent high profile quarterbacks—Florida’s Tim Tebow and Auburn’s Cam Newton—aren’t exactly prototypical NFL signal callers and still rely more on their athletic ability than someone like Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers or Tom Brady.
There are four times as many major college football programs than their are NFL teams and college quarterbacks have only four years of eligibility. Furthermore, it’s rare for a college freshman quarterback to come in, start all four years and produce the kind of output that keeps his program in national contention. That quarterback must then be replaced by an as-good-or-better player who does the same thing. It just doesn’t happen in the college game.
It's also true that McCarron is a junior and barring the unforeseen, he'll be on the dais for 2013 Media Days. Imagine the media meltdown if Senior Quarterback AJ McCarron was left home next July.
Maybe Saban was considering bringing McCarron along anyway, what with him being the BCS Championship Game MVP and all. Maybe he was penciled in until this little electronic donnybrook ensued.
For the record, Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu isn't slated to attend Media Days, either.