CJ Mosley

AJ McCarron blames Alabama’s failures on Alabama’s past success

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Alabama’s success led to an unavoidable letdown for the Crimson Tide in 2013, according to former quarterback AJ McCarron. In a radio interview Thursday McCarron suggested Alabama’s championship success the past few years led to younger players thinking they could take the field and win whenever they wanted.

“We had a lot of young guys,” McCarron told The Jim Rome Show on Thursday at the Super Bowl’s radio row. “In the end, success was our killer. Too much success and a lot of young guys coming in who didn’t know what it took to get back to that point to win. They thought we’d just show up and we’d win.”

After winning two straight BCS championships, Alabama head coach Nick Saban expressed concern over his team getting too comfortable with the championship expectations in 2014. The Crimson Tide were the preseason number one and held on to the top spot in the polls for 11 games before losing to Auburn on a walk-off missed field goal returned for a touchdown. Alabama went on to lose to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, with five turnovers directly leading to 35 points for Oklahoma. The two-game losing streak for Alabama came out of nowhere, but it was not something McCarron was totally stunned by.

“Myself and CJ Mosley, we were basically the two leaders of the team and we felt like it was a matter of time before it was coming,” McCarron told Rome. “It’s definitely tough to lose, but it kind of shows when you don’t have everyone buy into one system, one belief, then sometimes a team is going struggle.”

Is McCarron throwing his team under the bus? McCarron accepted the blame for Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss in the postgame press conference at the time, but his more recent comments may shed some more truth than anything McCarron has said before. McCarron also took swipes at various recruiting services, who McCarron labeled as guys who never played football.

“You have guys who have never played the game of football rating these guys that they are a 5-star, because they’re sitting behind a computer screen watching their highlight film. Well, their highlight film is supposed to be good, the last time I checked. That’s the kind of thing that ticks me off about recruiting and when these kids come in, and they’re 5-stars and they expect to play right off the bat. It’s a little entitlement and when they don’t play off the bat, they get a little ticked off and they don’t want to work.”

For what it is worth, McCarron was rated four stars by Rivals back in 2008.

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley to skip Senior Bowl

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Feeling he has nothing to prove at the Senior Bowl, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley has decided to skip the Senior Bowl next week. His agent, the famed Jimmy Sexton, broke the news during a radio interview Thursday.

Th Senior Bowl is considered the nation’s top college football all-star event, and is the top showcase for potential draft picks outside of the annual scouting combine. The game serves as a great opportunity to work in front of NFL coaches an scouts from every NFL franchise and receive instruction from NFL coaches. The practices during the week sometimes carry more weight for a player’s draft profile than the game itself, so any player opting out is missing out on far more than a game experience.

Of course, for some players, the game ultimately means little for the potential draft positioning. Mosley is expected to be a solid first round draft pick, perhaps in the top half of the opening round. Even a shabby performance in the Senior Bowl practices and game may not have been enough to drop him far in the first round, never mind out of it completely, nor would a good showing do much to move him up much higher in the draft considering some of the options and needs of teams drafting at the top of the order. For Mosley, the focus will be on the scouting combine, and that is a perfectly fine decision.

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron also decided to pass on a Senior Bowl invite, feeling his workload over the past three seasons will speak for itself. McCarron will need a great showing at the scouting combine and any potential pro day workout in order to change his draft outlook. Most expect McCarron to be a third round draft pick, which made his decision to turn down a Senior Bowl invite a little more confusing.

Helmet sticker to AL.com.

Aaron Donald cleans up with awards, adds Bednarik Award

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Make room for one more award on the mantle Aaron Donald. The Pittsburgh defensive tackle added the Bednarik Award to his collection Thursday, being named the top defensive player in college football by the Maxwell Football Club.

Donald topped UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley for the honor.

Donald is the first player from Pittsburgh to win the award and the first ACC player since Maryland’s E.J. Henderson was named the Bednarik Award winner in 2002.

The Maxwell Football Club has awarded the nation’s top defensive player with the Chuck Bednarik Award every season since 1995. Current Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was the recipient of the award in each of its first two years in existence, in 1995 and 1996. Fitzgerald was the presenter for the award this season.

Last year’s winner was former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

Earlier in the evening Donald was named the Outland Trophy winner. Donald also won the Lombardi Award and the Nagurski Award earlier this week.