Occasionally, TideNation's writers will answer a handful of questions that address a pressing topic regarding the Alabama football program. And with every Roundtable, we'll seek outside opinions. Edward Aschoff contributed to this week's roundtable.
Question: AJ McCarron showed last year he knows how to play winning football. This season, he's shown himself capable of executing the offense with remarkable precision, tossing seven touchdowns and no interceptions en route to an otherworldly 196.6 passer rating. Where does he go from here? Is he ready to take the offense to another level?
Aschoff: I've said time and again that McCarron has all the talent to be an elite player in this league and nationally. He knows it and Nick Saban knows it. The problem that he sometimes has is he presses. He tries to make the perfect play when there isn't a play to be made and mistakes happen. We saw it a few times last year, especially in the first half of the Tennessee game. He can get careless with the ball. So far, we haven't seen that from him this season. Granted, he hasn't been tested by any of the defenses he's played, but you just see a different quarterback out there. He has more to work with at receiver and the running game is stout enough that it makes the offense extremely balanced. I expect him to put up better numbers this year and be able to stretch the field as he continues to mature and take advantage of the weapons he has.
Scarborough: While McCarron has been pitch-perfect under center, we haven't seen a step forward in terms of just taking over the game. And frankly, he hasn't had to this season. When most Saturdays are over by halftime, the necessity for McCarron to take chances down the field hasn't been there. What has to be encouraging to fans is the depth at receiver and their effectiveness downfield.
Ostendorf: McCarron's been accurate. He’s been smart. He’s making the right decisions. But give credit to the receiving corps, too. His top three targets, Christion Jones, Kevin Norwood and DeAndrew White, are all averaging more than 20 yards per catch. That’s explosive. For McCarron to take the offense to the next level, the receivers need to keep making big plays.
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