Alabama QB Jalen Milroe says former OC Bill O’Brien suggested he switch positions: ‘That’s motivation’

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As Alabama prepares for its College Football Playoff semifinal crippled against Michigan, starting backmost Jalen Milroe was reflective connected his ain travel astatine Thursday’s media availability. Milroe’s late-season ascension — aft immoderate notable struggles successful September — was a catalyst successful Alabama winning nan SEC title and earning nan No. 4 seed successful nan CFP.

“When you look astatine me, you don’t deliberation I play quarterback,” Milroe said. “You deliberation I play protect back, tight end. You don’t deliberation I played quarterback. Growing up erstwhile I went to camp, they branded maine arsenic a receiver aliases they saw maine arsenic not playing nan backmost position. With that, I hit each likelihood by playing quarterback, and that is thing I effort to do arsenic overmuch arsenic possible, beryllium an businesslike quarterback, beryllium nan champion type of myself playing nan position, because astatine nan extremity of nan day, I want to beryllium nan champion that I’m doing correct now.”

Those labels continued astatine Alabama, according to Milroe. He said that erstwhile violative coordinator Bill O’Brien, who was connected unit during his first 2 seasons, told Milroe he should alteration positions.

“My ain violative coordinator Bill O’Brien told maine I shouldn’t play quarterback,” Milroe said. “So there’s a batch of things I could person information on, and that’s motivation.”

Milroe filled successful for Bryce Young successful 2022 nether O’Brien erstwhile Young was injured successful 2 games, against Arkansas and Texas A&M — some victories. This play nether caller violative coordinator Tommy Rees, Milroe has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,718 yards pinch 23 passing touchdowns and six interceptions. Milroe vanished sixth successful nan 2023 Heisman voting and confirmed earlier this period that he will return for nan 2024 season.

“The biggest point was to enactment existent to myself,” Milroe said. “I had a bigger intent than anyone’s opinion. (O’Brien) told maine a bunch of positions I could’ve switched to, but look wherever I’m at, truthful who has nan past laugh?”

Milroe and nan discourtesy will now hole for their toughest situation yet successful Michigan, nan No. 1 defense nationally successful points allowed per crippled (9.46) and No. 2 successful yards allowed per crippled (239.7). Rees stated connected Thursday he has afloat assurance successful Milroe, and his accrued power of nan discourtesy has been his biggest betterment this season.

“I deliberation nan point we’ve been capable to do passim nan play is you commencement building nan strategy astir nan quarterback,” Rees said. “It gives nan backmost a batch of confidence, and past erstwhile they commencement to person immoderate autonomy successful what you’re doing, it gets greater buy-in from nan player. I deliberation that’s each portion of nan growth, and that shows spot and belief successful nan individual, which yet past tin thief bring nan champion retired of what they have.”

Required reading

  • Alabama’s Jalen Milroe returning for 2024 season: What this intends for Tide’s QB room
  • How Alabama shot rode retired early-season large wind to scope SEC title crippled and possibly nan CFP

(Photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images)

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