Alabama Football: The odds are Mac Jones is better than most expect

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Beyond the confines of the Alabama football complex in Tuscaloosa, the expectations for Mac Jones are not high. The redshirt sophomore may surprise us all.

The new Alabama football starting quarterback, Mac Jones may be one of the least appreciated signal-callers on Power Five teams. There are some, albeit slight, indications Jones might just be sneaky good.

No matter how good Mac Jones is or will become, he is no Tua Tagovailoa. The obvious comparison is grossly unfair. Tua is one of the greatest college quarterbacks of his generation. Tua is arguably the best quarterback in the history of Alabama football. That history includes some great ones; Harry Gilmer, Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler. Comparing players of different eras is almost impossible. Still, a fair argument can be made none of the older trio were, in their college careers, any better than Tua.

Mac Jones stepping into such footsteps may seem, at first, aligned with future failure. Resulting in almost sure disappointment even with reduced expectations. But those expectations must only be reduced if Tua is the standard of measurement. Look at it another way. Mac Jones is better than the quarterbacks of at least eight, maybe nine SEC schools and one of those schools is Auburn.

It is important to remember Mac Jones has never been afraid of challenge. Having first committed to Kentucky, Jones flipped to the Crimson Tide after Tua committed. Jones knew well Tua’s Elite 11 MVP credentials. Mac had 23 offers coming out of the Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL. Along with Alabama football and Kentucky, Jones had offers from 15 other Power Five programs.

His high school offense did not fully showcase his talents. It was run-heavy and Mac’s major contribution to the rushing attack was handing the ball off. Plus, he was skinny. It was obvious his body would take time to develop. In spite of those limiting factors, he was rated the No. 18 Pro-Style QB in the 2017 class.

Now almost 30 pounds heavier than his high school weight, Jones can take a sack and get back up. He is not as mobile as Tua and does not possess anywhere near the ability to scramble. What he does have is a more than adequate arm and he is smart. Teammates are secure Mac understands Sark’s offense completely.

What Sark will ask Mac to do is read the defense and make good decisions. A game manager of sorts, but not in the traditional Alabama football sense of ground-and-pound football, mixed with play-action passes. The Crimson Tide has too many playmakers for such a conservative style. It also cannot rely on its defense to win games.

The Crimson Tide must score. It still will be able to put up points with Jones. All of how Sark intends to do that will not be seen in Bryant-Denny this season. The Mac Jones offense will be unveiled in Jordan-Hare.

Next. Thank You, Tua!. dark

Alabama football fans should not be surprised if Mac Jones turns in a better than expected performance. The challenge of the Tigers’ defense will be great. Kevin Steele will probably load the box to take away the Tide run game and dare Mac to beat them.