A year older, McCarron wiser, still confident

Back to football. Back to the grind. Here is today’s print story from today’s edition available for a reasonable price on a news stand near you …

TUSCALOOSA — The game of football can move real fast for a first-year starting quarterback.

AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Michelle Lepianka Carter

Whoa, did AJ McCarron learn that a year ago. His facial expression when asked about it said that much. Still, he made it out the other side with a national championship ring after things slowed down.

Now entering his first spring as the starter, the rising junior from Mobile can look back at the growing process of Year 1.

“I thought they were cheating,” he said. “I didn’t think they were playing with 11. I thought there were 22 out there.”

Things came together in late October and played his best game (24-of-34 passing for 234 yards) in the Crimson Tide’s 21-0 pounding of LSU in the national championship game.

Before coming back for spring practice, which restarted with its second of 15 dates Monday, the quarterback took care of his arm. McCarron confirmed after Monday’s practice that he had off-season shoulder surgery.

“I mean it was just a minor thing,” he said. “It wasn’t anything big.”

Cosmetically, things appeared different entering this spring for the Alabama offense. Former coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jim McElwain is now leading the Colorado State program and new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier took his place.

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