Alabamaâ€™s senior quarterback, John Parker Wilson wasnâ€™t in Hoover today, but that didnâ€™t mean he wasnâ€™t a big topic of conversation. In fact, Wilson was discussed by Coach Nick Saban, and his senior center Antoine Caldwell.
Despite playing for his third offensive coordinator, Saban said the quarterback has adjusted extremely well.
â€œHe and Mac have a good relationship,â€ Saban said. â€œI think Macâ€™s helped him. I think he can have an outstanding year if he can just stay on task here.â€
Caldwell, the affable and versatile offensive lineman, said Wilson would be the most experienced quarterback in the conference playing with an experienced offensive line.
â€œI think he is going to have a breakout year,â€ Caldwell said.
Wilson is spending time working on and off the field. Caldwell said the quarterback has spent more time in the film room than ever before.
And Wilsonâ€™s relationship with new offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is said to be good. McElwainâ€™s system was described as more quaterback friendly, and easier to understand for the quarterback and the rest of the offense.
The simplicity will help the younger players, Caldwell said.
â€œOur offensive coordinator, McElwain, has done a great job making things simpler for everybody,â€ Caldwell said. â€œ It’s a faster system where don’t have to think as much and the younger guys have been in here this summer working with it so I think they’ll be more comfortable when fall practice starts next week…For John Parker, he has (simplified). He has not made the reads so complicated.â€
This simplicity was a theme Saban also talked about. By eliminating superfluous â€œthought processesâ€ the offense should improve decision making speed, judgment and throw accuracy.
Saban said this style is more akin to what Wilson experienced in high school. A location where Wilson excelled. Wilson also excelled under Mike Shula. But appeared to regress under Major Applewhiteâ€™s tutelage.
â€œ I think you can have a great system, but it also can be very complicated. And sometimes the complications slow down players’ ability to make good judgments and decisions,â€ Saban said. â€œThat can affect their ability to perform with consistency.â€
And Saban is all about consistency. He preaches consistency with the fervor of an evangelist. Fortunately, he is trying to make it easier for players to reach this performance marker.