Alabama notebook: AJ willing to take heat for sack
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Nov 11, 2013 | 2243 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) with Alabama head coach Nick Saban at the end of Saturday's game. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) with Alabama head coach Nick Saban at the end of Saturday's game. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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TUSCALOOSA -- After going four full games without allowing a sack, Alabama’s offensive line let quarterback AJ McCarron get dropped in the backfield against LSU on Saturday.

But it may not have been the line’s fault, according to McCarron.

“They asked me -- it was funny -- yesterday we were out here and going through some things as an offense and the O-line was like, ‘Does that sack count on us?’ Which it’s not their fault,” McCarron said. "It’s a naked play, Nashville, and O.J.’s supposed to go high, but O.J. (Howard) got caught up in the defensive line. The guy got outside of him. He was supposed to go now, but he got caught up.

"So I turned around to throw it, and I saw O.J. wasn’t there, so I just fell down. It’s really not their fault. So you can put half of it on me and half of it on the tight end. I’ll let them slide on that one.”

In an ESPN College GameDay feature on how McCarron feeds his offensive linemen every week, McCarron jokingly said the offensive line would get steak if they continued to keep him clean or leftovers if he took too many sacks. Expect the tab for the groups next dinner to be a little higher.

“I don’t know. I usually let those big guys pick it out,” McCarron said. “They’re the ones that are the hungriest. I usually let them pick it out, and I just pay for it.”

JONES SHINES AT CORNERBACK: Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones continues to progress at the position since moving there from wide receiver in the spring.

Jones has started the past two games in place of Bradley Sylve who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

Jones was credited with five tackles and a sack for a loss of 10 yards in the Tide’s 38-17 win over LSU on Saturday. On the season, Jones has 17 total tackles and two interceptions.

“He did better in the game as the game went on,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “He got more confident as the game went on. We obviously did a better job of covering them in the second half than we did in the first. We also did a better job of pressuring the quarterback, which I think is also something that goes hand in hand with getting off the field on third down and playing a little better.”

But Saban wasn’t ready to name Jones the starter long term.

“We were pleased with the way Cyrus played,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence in Bradley Sylve, if we can get him healthy. There’s certainly going to be competition at every position with guys that have played well for us in the past. I’m sure those two guys will continue to compete as well.”
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