Former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy said Thursday that it’s time for AJ McCarron to shut up and play ball.
Speaking in Nashville at a Crimson Caravan event, the analyst for the SEC Network said that McCarron’s brash attitude is a help on the field, and can be a hindrance off it, as may have been the case in the recent NFL Draft.
“I think he does have a fiery personality,” McElroy said. “I think he has a chip on his shoulder. I think all of those things are accurate. And I think AJ is a great kid. I think that right now, he just needed the draft to be settled and maybe not say as much as he did, but that’s all been said and done now. Now he’ll be able to go forward and speak through his play and he’ll do a great job of that.”
McElroy played for McCarron’s new team – the Cincinnati Bengals – last season. He was the starting QB for two seasons at Alabama, with McCarron backing him up the last year.
When asked about McCarron’s comments prior to the draft, McElroy did not pull punches in his assessment.
“I feel like he needs to stop making excuses to a certain extent. But, I think AJ, he’s going to go to a place, a good situation, a really good organization, and all of those things will be water under the bridge and he’ll be able to prove himself worthy of wherever it is he was picked by his play.”
In McCarron’s defense, McElroy said that the expectation now is that the NFL rookie will continue to run his mouth, and while that’s not fair, he may have brought it on himself.
“I think people are also looking for him to say something, and I don’t necessarily think that’s fair. But I also think he created that by putting undue expectations on himself in the actual draft situation.”