Mike Rodak got a chance to cover Bryce Young at the University of Alabama. He is the Crimson Tide columnist for Alabama.com.
So, let's get right to it, sir. What was it like covering Bryce Young? Yeah, Bryce is definitely a very calm personality. That was always a trait that even early on I think people picked up on. You know, I started to see it in games too, but just even off the field and the few times that we got to speak to him early on. You know, just a very sort of even keeled, you know, from a coverage perspective, not the easiest guy to cover because he never really said anything too notable or too controversial or anything like that. Sometimes almost like a computer program that would stand up there at the podium and talk to us. But, you know, obviously Alabama, Nick Saban, they love that.
That's kind of right up their alley. So he was always very, I don't want to say robotic. I don't know if that's fair, but you know, it's definitely a guy who is kind of unflappable in front of us. And we saw some of that translate to the field too, because there'd be some pretty stressful moments in games where I think even one guy said he was smiling in the huddle, you know, when they're down seven points with a minute to go in the iron bowl and they need to drive 90 something yards down the field.
So he's definitely a very stable personality, not someone I don't think you have to worry about off the field, but from a, you know, trying to cover the guy perspective, he's not going to give you a whole lot. It just sounds to me like you just described Russell Wilson and I covered Russell Wilson while he was the quarterback at NC State. And it was almost comical just how he was just a walking football cliche. And we all knew that when they got to the end, when he got to the NFL, that the NFL media would eat it up because he just, he gets such red meat for football writers. Was the comeback in the iron bowl, that drive, was that his signature at Alabama or were there moments that you think rise above that?
Oh, that's, that's pretty high up there. I mean, he had a few drives this past season because that iron bowl was two years ago, 2021. But you know, the Texas game this past year, you know, you drove down the field, they didn't score touchdowns, a field goal that won the game. Even the Tennessee game, they lost, but I mean, Bryce young had a drive in that game later on and led them back in a pretty tough environment there. So, um, you know, he was always a guy who never really seemed to be bothered by those moments.
You know, supposing stadiums, you're down in Alabama, the last couple of years has been down in games more than they have been in a while. Um, but that didn't really seem to phase them. Um, and that, you know, something like I said, everybody kind of picked up on it when everybody was writing their future stories about him the last couple of years, it was always kind of centered around. Here's this guy who's just, you know, cool, calm, collected. Um, and he's, he's football first, you know, he's, he's definitely a guy who, you know, enjoys football cares about football. Um, again, he's not really someone I don't think any team's gonna have to worry about off the field. I don't think there's any character questions on him.
I think the only questions about him are, you know, football related and obviously with his size. Mike Rodak on Twitter covers the Crimson Tide for Alabama.com. How do you compare him to other Alabama quarterbacks and I'm not going to go all the way back to like Namath and Stabler and those guys, but, you know, to the Tua's or the Jalen Hurts of the world. And I guess Hurts at Alabama was different than Hurts at Oklahoma, but how would you compare him to recent Alabama quarterbacks? Yeah, there's definitely differences between all of them. Um, you know, Mac, Mac Jones and Tua and Jalen Hurts. They're, I'd say four different quarterbacks and four different styles and I think four different offensive coordinators too.
Well, that'd go back and think about that. There's been a revolving door there. It has been, but it's, you know, they've, they've changed the system a little bit, but they, they try to run the same thing. I mean, Nick Saban doesn't like to change his playbook, so it's, it's kind of been the same system for the most part.
You know, I, I think Tua ran more of the RPO stuff. And, um, obviously he's a lefty and it kind of depends on what they had around them too. Tua had these really great wide receivers who are really fast and he can kind of get those slants going over the middle.
They catch the ball and run. Bryce Young didn't really have that. Um, had more of, you know, it's some downfield guys his first year with Jamison Williams, John Batchy. And he threw to those guys this past year.
He really did it. It was more possession type receivers. So, um, you know, I think it's changed based on what their personnel has been around them, but Bryce is, he wants to be a passer first. I think there's, there's this kind of this where there maybe was when he first started at Alabama misconception that he's athletic, he's fast, he's going to run the ball. Like he really didn't run the ball a whole lot.
He didn't want to. And there's definitely times when he had some open field in front of him and he was still looking down the field and it actually frustrated fans because they wanted him to run more, but he was always thinking pass first pass first. And I think that part of that was probably he wanted to protect himself.
Um, and he did a very good job of that. I'd say his two years as a starter, but he's a very good passer. I mean, I think ideally in his mind, he wants to sit back in the pocket and throw the ball. He can move around. He can make people miss in the pocket, but he's not, even though he's the same size as Cala Murray, he's not going to run around the field like Cala Murray. He's, he's still a very much pass first quarterback.
Mike Rodak from Alabama.com al.com is joining us here on the Adam Gold show final thing. And this is going to be like, I'm asking you to sell his best quality as the number one overall pick. So if I had to say, give me the thing that separates him from the other guys, what is it? It's a combination of things, but I would probably say, honestly, his, his recognition in his, just his overall football mind. And I, I can't speak exactly to what CJ Stroud has or Richardson has or Levis has, but just from listening to Nick save and talk about him the last couple of years. And Bill O'Brien and everybody else around him, he's a guy who knows football and he can step to the line of scrimmage and look at a defense and know exactly what they're trying to do.
And I think there's even been some reporting on that. And Bruce Feldman just did a big story with the athletic, you know, talking to opposing defensive coordinators and they really had to work hard to fool him. And if, if he knew exactly what the defense was doing, he could just tear you apart. So that football mind, again, he's, he's very much football focused. He spends a lot of time on it, watches a lot of film. And I think that's obviously what you need in the NFL.
And if there's going to be something that overcomes his deficiencies in size, it's going to be his arm and his mind and how that all interconnects as a passer. I appreciate your time. Mike Rodak at Mike Rodak on Twitter, al.com covers the Crimson tide.
Thank you much. You don't get paid extra if Bryson goes one, right? Certainly not, but it hasn't happened for an Alabama player since 1948. That's kind of is an amazing to me that that had no Alabama player since 1948. That's right. Harry Gilmer was the last one. Yeah.
Well, you didn't cover him, right? I'm just kidding. Certainly not. Mike, thank you so much. You got it. Thank you.
All right. That we did all four, all four probable top 15 quarterbacks. As we get closer to the draft, everything sort of, it's got to separate. We might see Young go one, Stroud go two, and then maybe we don't see another quarterback go until nine. We really have no idea what is going to happen here.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 16:49:51 / 2023-04-20 16:53:40 / 4