Amidst the quarterback controversy in New York this season (with Tebow and Sanchez basically duking it out for the spot all year, playing some ugly football along the way) was backup quarterback Greg McElroy. McElroy seemed to patiently wait out the storm until he finally got his chance to start on December 23rd against the San Diego Chargers. He was injured with a concussion in that game, but the 2009 National Champion QB has a bright future in the NFL. We talked about the Jets’ rough season, QB situation, the NFL Playoffs and his Alma mater Alabama’s chances in this year’s National Championship game.
- Q: It was obviously a rough season for the team. Why do you think things fell off the tracks the way they did?
- GM: It was just a matter of a losing streak causing guys to be extremely selfish. Everyone was out for themselves at the end of the season and it felt like we had no unity. It was a year where we massively underachieved, and we didn’t really deserve to back into the playoffs after that.
- Q: You made similar comments to various media outlets and you were called out for them by people who said a backup QB has no place to make those comments. What do you say to that notion?
- GM: Somebody had to get that out in the open. Everyone was thinking it, no one would come out and air the frustration. I felt like I couldn’t hold it in anymore if we hoped to make changes for next season.
- One of the changes that was made immediately was Woody Johnson’s decision to let Mike Tannenbaum go. Tannenbaum left, but Rex Ryan stayed. Did your owner make the right decision?
- GM: I am happy that Rex is returning next year. He is a great coach and a great motivator. I think he did all he could this year to help our team win. He was highly criticized, but I think some of that criticism was unfair. He wasn’t out there losing those games, we were. I was happy when I heard that he was staying here in New York.
- Q: What about Mike Tannenbaum’s firing? Was that the right decision?
- GM: That was obviously up to Mr. Johnson and the ownership. This change does present an opportunity for a new GM to come in and make some moves to try to improve next season. We will have to see how the front office does in the offseason; I am confident that they will make the right acquisitions for this franchise.
- Q: Who will be the starting quarterback next season? There has been talk about the team going after Michael Vick.
- GM: Michael Vick is obviously a great quarterback who has been around for some time in the league. I honestly cannot answer the question of who is going to start next year, there’s a lot of time and a lot of moves that can be made before September. I’m just going to do whatever I am asked to help this team win. That’s all you really can do.
- Q: Ok, now comes the fun question. Your alma mater Alabama, the team you led to the 2009 National Championship, is playing tomorrow night in the BCS Championship once again. How confident are you that they get it done?
- GM: You can’t be overconfident, but I’m pretty confident in our chances. A.J. (McCarron) is playing extremely well as we’ve come to expect, and the running game is the best in the country. Notre Dame’s a good team, but I have faith in the defense.
- Q: If Bama wins, that’s four national titles in Nick Saban’s legendary coaching career. The only coaches with four are Bear Bryant, Frank Leahy, and John McKay. Where does Coach Saban rank among the all-time greats?
- GM: I think when it’s all said and done he will be up with those guys if not higher than them. Bear Bryant was the best there ever was when it comes to college football coaches, and if Coach Saban can be mentioned in the same breath as him, I think that’s a testament to his coaching ability and how good the Alabama football program is.
- Q: Can we get a final score prediction out of you Greg?
- GM: I think the game will come down to the wire, 27-24 Tide.
There you have it football fans, Greg McElroy is (as expected) going with his Crimson Tide! Very interesting insight on Coach Saban’s legacy and the Jets as well. What’d you think? Drop a comment or tweet me @chuckiemaggio.