With reports continuing to circulate with immense speculation about the new destinations for quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Everett Golson, many Alabama fans are split as to whether Tuscaloosa is indeed an acceptable landing spot. With a total of five quarterbacks already competing for a chance to lead the Tide this fall, the addition of one more candidate must be one that will truly help in all areas, not just on the field.
While speaking to reporters the other day, Nick Saban was once again asked about graduate transfers and his position on accepting them as part of the team.
“I guess the first consideration is what kind of person, how would he fit with your team,” he said. “Character, attitude, competitive spirit that would blend in and fit with the team that you have … They need to make sure they would have the opportunity to play, relative to their skill set and the players that you have.”
While most Alabama fans don’t seem to be interested in having a revolving door of transfers (especially at the quarterback position), Saban has shown he’s more than willing to consider the option and last year proved true as former Florida State quarterback Jake Coker is now vying for the opportunity to lead his home state team.
As for Golson, Alabama fans have seen him before and the results were not necessarily awe-inspiring as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were slung around like rag dolls the entire night to the tune of a 42 -14 drubbing. The most action against a Tide player was probably when quarterback A.J. McCarron and center Barret Jones got in a shoving match in the waning moments of the game…
Still, Golson has shown he possesses the talent to lead a team, but what is required from Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin may not be ideal for a quarterback used to running a spread offense. If last year was any indication of the difficulty one can face when adapting an entirely new set of principles to an established offense, Blake Sims was Exhibit A. Sims, long was considered a read-option style quarterback and when Kiffin took over as OC, many believed Sims would be relegated to package plays and clipboard duty making way for Coker to ride in on a white horse from FSU.
That of course did not happen. Sims adjusted to the system and flourished at times, but it was not without his struggles. However, unlike Golson, he had ample time to prepare and practice in the west coast offense system and made the most of it. Golson would not have that luxury. We saw what happened with Coker who came from Jimbo Fisher’s pro style offense which was supposed to mirror what Saban does, yet he struggled mightily in fall camp, thus ending further speculation whether he would take over as the starter.
If you ask the majority of the fan base, they will tell you they would rather develop from within. That’s exactly how Saban won three of his four championships. Greg McElroy for instance, was a fourth-year junior who sat and learned behind John Parker Wilson and was ready to lead by the time his number was called, and effectively lead them to the first national championship in 17 years. McCarron was the same. He was a third-year player who captured back-to-back titles and was an Auburn miracle away from a possible three-peater.
What the others have and what Saban requires from his aforementioned comments does not exude from Golson to give Tide fans hope that he would make them an immediate candidate for a national title. Of course, that’s not to disparage what he’s already accomplished, but when Saban states he’s looking for transfers who are “the right fit” that ultimately means those who can come in and win a championship. Golson again is talented, but he’s no Cam Newton. I do not see him immersing himself in an Alabama locker room and galvanizing the team en route to a national championship.
If Alabama can get back to playing stifling defense and be effective in the kicking game, honestly, it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is as long as he can manage the offense and make minimal mistakes. Saban can accomplish that without Golson. Miller, however; now that may be another story.