Alabama's Greg McElroy Not a System Quarterback, Just a Systematic Winner

Larry BurtonSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2010

Saban and his favorite field general - Greg McElroy
Saban and his favorite field general - Greg McElroy

Larry Burton (Syndicated Writer) If you only listened to the members of the media with the loudest voices, you might not know Greg McElroy is the nation's fifth leading quarterback right now.

He never is included in of the media giants list of hot quarterbacks, he hasn't been on any ones Heisman list and the reason he's on the Unitas Watch List, (for the nation's top quarterbacks) is because this is a group devoted to the actual play of the quarterback, not his media branding.

And that's OK with McElroy, who prefers to let his actions speak louder that his words.

Though he doesn't seem flashy to the media, he led the nation in bomb percentage completion last year and there isn't anything more flashy that that.

And with a game on the line and time running out, is there anybody else you'd want driving your team down the field? Not according to the heart broken Auburn fans who watched him go 7-7 in final minutes to drive down the field to win the last Iron Bowl over Auburn.

Aren't guts deserving of media attention and acclaim?

Had the nation been aware of the fact that he played a national championship game, and won it, with cracked ribs that were so sore he could barely attempt a throw, maybe they would have looked at him a bit differently during that game and made less excuses for the Texas quarterback who couldn't or wouldn't try and gut out an injury in that game.

Or what about the gutty one leg hop down the sideline for five extra yards to get a big first down in the SEC Championship Game?

In that game, he simply out Tebowed a Heisman Trophy winner and left his counterpart in a Florida uniform literally crying on the sidelines.

Maybe he doesn't get the respect he deserves because he has the best two running backs in America at his disposal and doesn't get the big flashy numbers that some quarterbacks do.

But when teams sold out to stop the run and dared Alabama to beat them throwing, he had the big flashy numbers to show what dumb a mistake that was.

Simply put, he not a "system quarterback." He's an athlete with great leadership skills, down field vision and an uncanny accurate arm.

Interceptions are something almost out of the equation when you talk about McElroy, and few realize what a huge impact he made with the people who watch college quarterbacks the closest, the people who watch the Manning Passing Academy.

He left there last year with people asking, "Who is that guy?", "That's an untested rookie?" and "That guy is going to going to be something to watch at Alabama!"

The replies to those questions and statement are, Greg McElroy, rookie yes, untested no and thank you, he was!

But all these past accomplishments mean little to the media members these days.

Big numbers seem to be more important when you talk about quarterbacks. But to the fans of Alabama, and more importantly to his team mates and coaches, the most important number McElroy has is the lowest of any quarterback last year and this year is absolute zero.

That's how many games he's lost.

So if you want quarterbacks with big numbers, you can have them all. The team and fans at Alabama are happier with the quarterback with the lowest number possible.

They'll take McElroy.