McElwain wants physical offense

ALSO: John Parker Wilson maturing
Alabama’s new offensive coordinator, Jim McElwain took center stage Sunday; he spoke to the media and shed some light on his offensive philosophy—a philosophy often called “quarterback friendly.”

“I don’t know where the quarterback-friendly came from, but he better throw completions,” McElwain said.

That is a reasonable expectation to set for your quarterback. But how do you get there?

You must have a team structured around the players. You don’t just throw players into a system, but you enable the players to make plays with the abilities they possess.

“It is our responsibility as coaches to find out what these players do best, and put them in situations to their advantage,” McElwain said.

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There are elements of McElwain’s philosophy that are immutable. He cited two key principles fans should see in the 2008 iteration of the Alabama offense, physical play, and composure.

He said he wants his players to be physical on the field. “Make sure the team you are playing knows they better bring their lunch because we are going to come after you on every play,” McElwain said.

The second part is the composure, or as McElwain said “stay level.” He said in each game there is an ebb and flow, but you can’t go up and down with the game. You have to stay level.

This poise, composure or “staying level” is an element to something Coach Nick Saban touched on, being business-like.

“Sometimes playing quarterback you want a guy to make business decisions and not get caught up emotionally and trying too hard and forcing things,” Saban said. “ And he (John Parker Wilson) seems to have developed a real maturity in that area which I think could affect his play in that area in a positive way.”

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McElwain defended Wilson. He said the senior quarterback has done good work during the offseason.

“This is a great kid, somebody who cares about the state of Alabama, somebody who really cares about Alabama football,” McElwain said. “And a guy who is doing everything he can to help us win games.”

The combination of a good bowl game, spring and offseason is setting Wilson up for a good fall camp. He also benefits from what appears to be a good relationship with his present offensive coordinator.

“He and Coach Mac seem to work well together,” Saban said.

Are there signs of progress from Wilson?

“I think technically he has improved, and I think his decision making and judgment has improved,” Saban said. “And hopefully, we can continue to make the big plays, and minimize the not-so-good plays that we have especially when it comes to turning the ball over, which is still one of the most critical statistics to winning.”

Depth at quarterback?
Scuttlebutt is that Star Jackson has looked good in practice. McElwain cautioned it is early in camp, but that the team may develop some depth at the quarterback position. Is that comment confirmation about Star looking strong in the first couple of practice sessions?