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#pounditMonday, May 27, 2024

Jalen Milroe says notable NFL coach told him he should change positions

Jalen Milroe at a press conference

Jalen Milroe has silenced plenty of critics this season by leading Alabama to the College Football Playoff, and the quarterback says a notable former member of Nick Saban’s staff was among those who had little faith in him.

At his Thursday press conference ahead of Alabama’s upcoming game against Michigan, Milroe told reporters that people have been telling him to change positions “all my life.” He said even former Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien did not think Milroe had what it took to succeed as a college quarterback.

“All my life, even when I was in college,” Milroe said. “Shoot, my own offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien, told me I shouldn’t play quarterback. So, there’s a lot of things I can have motivation on and that’s something I have motivation from.”

A reporter then followed up by asking Milroe how he felt when O’Brien told him he should consider a new position.

“How would you feel if I told you you suck?” Milroe shot back. “OK then, that’s exactly how I felt.”

O’Brien, who is now the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, served as OC and quarterbacks coach under Saban in 2021 and 2022. Bryce Young was Alabama’s quarterback at the time, so Milroe obviously had no chance at starting. O’Brien may have felt that Milroe would have a better shot of carving out a role for himself if he tried a different position.

Obviously, Milroe is glad he did not listen. The redshirt sophomore has experienced plenty of growing pains and was even benched early in the season, but there is a reason he is preparing to start under center in a CFP game.

Milroe’s best play of the season was one that few quarterbacks could make. He also went 13/23 for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns in Alabama’s win over then No. 1-ranked Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. He’ll face another enormous challenge against Michigan’s elite defense on New Year’s Day.

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