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August 5, 2012

Nussmeier excited about McCarron

TUSCALOOSA | Doug Nussmeier has worked with his share of successful quarterbacks.

Jake Locker at Washington, for instance, who was a first-round NFL Draft pick. Former Wisconsin standout and NFL quarterback Brooks Bollinger is on the list, and so is former NFL starter Gus Frerotte. There was former Michigan State standout Jeff Smoker, too.

So when he arrived at the University of Alabama to work with AJ McCarron as UA's new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, he had plenty of comparative experience. And he likes what he's seen so far from the Crimson Tide junior.

"AJ's attitude, his willingness to work, like I've said before, when you look at his body of work, from where he started at the beginning of least season to where he ended and then where started spring ball and finished it, and where he started fall camp, I think he continues to get better every day," Nussmeier said. "He works extremely hard. He's very conscientious. I'm really excited about what the future holds for him. I think he has a very, very high ceiling."

McCarron, for his part, can't wait to get his second season as a starter underway. With Nussmeier having a background coaching with former UA coordinator Jim McElwain, McCarron said there are enough similarities between the two to make for an easy transition as a player.

The offensive principles of Nick Saban-coached teams, like run-pass balance and a strong emphasis on ball security, won't change with a new coordinator. But that doesn't mean Nussmeier won't bring a few new ideas that can be incorporated into the look of the Crimson Tide's 2012 offense.

"I guess we'll have to see on Sept. 1 what all new stuff we've got, but we're definitely throwing in some good things, some new things from Washington and things coach Nuss has done throughout his coaching career," McCarron said. "We're taking some things from our old offense. I think it's definitely going to be a very explosive offense we have this year and a fun one to watch."

Nussmeier, for his part, isn't offering any hints.

"Obviously, we want to be balanced on offense. The goal is to put our playmakers in the best positions to make plays," he said. "We'll use a variety of things, whether it be shifts, motions, formations, whatever it is to create advantages for us, hopefully."

Saban expressed excitement for Nussmeier's contributions.

"He's a very bright guy with a lot of positive energy. He has a lot of good ideas that we've implemented into our offense," Saban said. "The players respond well to him, the players like him. The adjustments we've made in the passing game are going to be beneficial to our offensive team maybe being more explosive and creating more balance. I'm really excited to have him."

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Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.

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