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A.J. McCarron got some playing time, but has some competition from redshirt freshman Phillip Sims
All eyes will be on the Alabama offense in 2011. Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Greg McElroy and James Carpenter are in the NFL, stalwarts of the last two seasons, including the 2009 National Championship.
But the O-line is back and intact, with the exception of Carpenter. At quarterback, a healthy duel is going on between A.J. McCarron and redshirt freshman Phillip Sims. Both can throw...and run a little.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a two quarterback system from Saban early on, but that’s just a guess. Then you have an all-purpose player in redshirt freshman Blake Sims, a quarterback in high school. He does a lot and could see duty returning kicks, at slot receiver or in the Wildcat.
Replacing Julio Jones at receiver might seem a tough proposition, but remember Jones was banged up a bit—and I do remember a video montage of dropped passes at the NFL draft. Bring on senior Marquis Maze to pick it up, plus Darius Hanks, Michael Bowman and potentially Duron Carter from Ohio State, son of legendary NFL receiver Chris Carter. There's also a host of other solid receivers waiting in the wings.
Last year at running back Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson traded off the duties, but this year Richardson is on his own. He had an incredible A-Day game, his attitude seems right and the Heisman people have taken notice. He’s got talent behind him as well, with Eddie Lacy and Jalston Fowler.
The bottom line here is that if the quarterbacks can get their throwing game together, the running game will have no problem. Otherwise the whole focus for opponents' defense will be Trent Richardson.