Friday, October 25, 2019

Free Mac Jones!

Believe it or not, Mac Jones may be a critical part of Alabama's trek to a title. The question may then may be whether or how much he grows in the next three weeks. You tell me if I'm saying what you're thinking.

First, let's set the table. Tua Tagovailoa suffered the dreaded "high ankle sprain" in the first half against Tennessee last week. He underwent surgery the next day and was said "to be out for a few weeks," or something like that. So Mac will be the starter against Arkansas tomorrow night. He'll work with a healthy receiving corps, an improving offensive line and a pair of running backs who have gotten better as the season has progressed.

Arkansas is 2-5 and appears headed for a bad 5-7 (at best) or a dreadful 3-9 (at worst) final record. But the Razorbacks are not without teeth or talent. Defense was supposed to be the plus side of a talented but young team that just needed time to jell. It hasn't happened as well as hoped, but the team is good enough to make Alabama work a little harder with a backup quarterback.

The reason I say Jones' development over the next two weeks could be so important is that there's a high likelihood that Tua won't be ready enough for the onslaught that will be a ferocious LSU defense. Jones may get the start again, with big time stakes on the table. How much he grows with things running at real game day speed will make tomorrow night a must watch game.

Now we have to ask: How much will freedom will Nick Saban and Steve Sarkisian give Mac? I would like to see him given all the leeway he wants, even if that means he makes mistakes he can learn from. Arkansas won't have the  horses to turn those mistakes into an upset so if those mistakes become important lessons to use against LSU, all the better.

There's also the issue of Jones being right-handed playing with an offense that's used to the motions and tendencies of a southpaw. The blind side has flipped, the quarterback moves differently and the ball spins the other way. That's gonna be a thing to watch all night. What does the brain trust do to mitigate risk that they weren't doing before? I think playing safe and shrinking the playbook would be a mistake but hey... for a football genius your beloved blogger makes for a brilliant economist, so...

I think a player who might please us all is another quarterback, Slade Bolden. New Orleans Saints' fans will recognize what a threat he could be in (dare I say it?) the Boldcat Formation. But not many previews of this game are talking about how important a play or three out of this situation could give future opponents a real planning headache.


Post a Comment

You must have a Google Account to post a comment.

WARNING: Posting on this blog is a privilege. You have no First Amendment rights here. I am the sole, supreme and benevolent dictator. This blog commenting system also has a patented Dumbass Detector. Don't set it off.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.