Alabama Football: Five reasons Jalen Hurts will be much improved in 2017


Expect an even better Jalen Hurts in 2017. Check out five very good reasons why the Alabama football sophomore will be much improved.

Not since 2013 has Alabama football had a returning starter at quarterback. At first, it may seem improbable that a SEC Offensive Player of the Year has much room to improve. In 2016, Hurts rushed for 954 yards and passed for 2,780 yards for a combined 35 touchdowns. Despite those impressive numbers, Jalen Hurts has plenty of upside in 2017.

Alabama football fans are not alone in expecting a great 2017 from Jalen. Hurts was recently named to the Maxwell Award watch list that honors college football’s Best Overall Player. He was also named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list for the Nation’s Best Quarterback.

Not even the most rabid Alabama football fans suggest Jalen needs no improvement. His passing accuracy, reading defenses and quickly working through progressions all need improvement.

Let’s look at the five reasons Jalen will be much improved

Reason No. 1 could be labeled No. 1A, No. 1B, and No. 1C to signify the names Daboll, Werner and Weinke. The combination of the new offensive coordinator and two offensive analysts brings almost unparalleled experienced to Alabama football.

Alabama football fans should remember Dan Werner who was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Ole Miss for five seasons. Hugh Freeze fired Werner at the end of last season. Nick Saban quickly snatched up the talented coach.

Chris Weinke has extensive NFL coaching experience. If Daboll and Werner are not enough to be the Tide’s Quarterback Whisperers, Chris Weinke has the pedigree. As an FSU QB in 2000, Weinke won the Johnny Unitas Award, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy.

Exactly what offense will be conjured up by this trio will not be known until September 2. Current players, former players and most importantly Nick Saban are already praising Brian Daboll.

After the drama sometimes associated with Lane Kiffin, Daboll brings a stable, focused approach to his task. Daboll is described as having Saban-like traits, an obsessively hard worker, with meticulous attention to detail. Lane Kiffin was a gifted play-caller. Daboll focuses more on detail and player execution at a higher level.

Those wishing to know more about Daboll should read this profile. Nick Saban had this to say about Daboll,

"“Brian Daboll has done a really, really good job as offensive coordinator. The players have really responded to him well. He’s got a great personality. I think he’s exactly what we were looking for in terms of helping us re-develop a pro-style passing attack that would go with the athleticism and some of the spread elements that we use.”"

Reasons No. 2, No. 3, are all Jalen

  • It is axiomatic that football players, particularly skill players make their greatest improvement in their second season of frequent play. Even without a new brain trust, Jalen would likely improve as a sophomore.
  • Information about Jalen’s improved passing accuracy comes from three sources. The improved accuracy was evident in the A-Day game and also at the Manning Passing Academy. Most importantly, Tide wide receivers are talking about it from summer 7v7 drills.

Reasons No. 4 and No. 5

Insiders report Daboll is a perfectionist who wants the quarterbacks to consistently make the right reads and distribute the football quickly. In the Kiffin scheme, plays came in from the sideline, often negating the value of a pre-snap read by Jalen.

  • Jalen is learning the pre-snap, defense-reading process from three expert tacticians
  •  Daboll teaches making fast progressions, post-snap, and getting the ball out quickly. Not seeing open receivers and holding the ball too long will not hamper Jalen in 2017.

Next: 30 Great Tide Players who were 3-Star Recruits

Mark this down Alabama football fans. Based on the five reasons listed above, Jalen Hurts will have a big year in 2017. With Jalen’s development and the arsenal of offensive weapons available to Brian Daboll, the Tide’s 2017 offense will be explosive.