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Bama QB Coker 'more talented than anything they've had,' says ex-coach Jimbo Fisher

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Quarterback Jacob Coker transferred from Florida State to Alabama, where he's the favorite to replace AJ McCarron. Say, what do you think of AJ McCarron, Jimbo?

Jeff Gammons

Likely Alabama starting quarterback Jacob Coker sat behind Jameis Winston at Florida State last year. Any college quarterback would've done the same, as would've at least a couple pros.

Considering Coker actually pushed Winston in practice last offseason and has one of the country's strongest arms (perhaps even better than Winston's), there's a chance he could not just meet the competent standard set by recent Tide quarterbacks AJ McCarron, Greg McElroy, and John Parker Wilson, but surpass them all. A fair chance.

From an interview with

DCR: Some believe that a program with the stature of Alabama should not need to start anyone else's prior backup quarterback. How do you respond to that?

Fisher: Including what they've had, he's much more talented than anything they've had. I don't mean to discredit the previous guys, they were all great. But this guy is extremely talented. Arm and mind. He's a backup because he's behind the best quarterback in America. (Coker) may have been one of the top three or four quarterbacks in America physically.

More talented? That's hard to argue against. McCarron and the transferred Phillip Sims were four-star recruits, but no Alabama passer has inspired tall tales of physical renown since ... (help me out here). The 6'5, 230-pound Coker has every raw tool you could want in a quarterback, and we can assume he got excellent coaching at FSU.

But better in the offense Nick Saban wants than McCarron, the game manager who was a part of 36 wins in three years? That's the part we'll have to wait on. While there's hope that new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will take advantage of Coker's deep ball, Alabama fans still have their concerns:

My fear with Coker isn't can he throw the ball but with how he'll hold up against the SEC's elite defenses. MSU, Ole Miss, LSU, and UF will all have top-end defenses. So outside of what Coker saw in practice while at FSU and now with Bama, he will be facing elite corners and safeties on a consistent basis for the first time ever.

Fisher isn't doing his potential Playoff opponents a whole lot of favors by adding to Coker's hype, but the fact that one of football's premier quarterback producers is so publicly confident in the redshirt junior should ease a mind or two in Tuscaloosa.

ht Roll Bama Roll