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Jumbo Package: Michael Penix Jr. shares advice for Alabama QBs in new offense

Your latest Alabama football news and notes.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Oregon at Washington Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I was remiss in yesterday’s JP, as I forgot to link this very cool nugget about Jalen Milroe, who hosted a football camp for kids over the weekend.

Jalen is a fine young man and an outstanding leader. We are lucky to have him at Alabama.

Nick Saban participated in a charity golf tournament yesterday, where he appeared to be paired with rapper Travis Scott.

Retirement looks good on him.

Joel Klatt commented that replacement Kalen DeBoer has “stopped the bleeding.”

“Alabama seems to have stopped the bleeding,” Klatt said on The Joel Klatt Show. “It wasn’t pretty. It was pretty chaotic after Nick Saban retired, and that’s what you find now is that it’s going to be chaotic for any team that decides to change their coach and yet, they seem to have circled the wagons if you will, and calmed it down.

“I don’t want to say they were in a spiral but there was a bit of panic, right? It was a bit of eye-opening around the country and maybe even Bama fans that were like ‘Oh man, this can even happen to us.’ Now the bleeding has stopped and Kalen DeBoer can take a bit of a deep breath.”

We’ll say again that Alabama needed to lose about 20 scholarship players in order to fit what looks to be a phenomenal 2024 recruiting class. Caleb Downs and Isaiah Bond were major surprises, and Trey Amos to a somewhat lesser extent, but in this day and age it shouldn’t shock anyone if a player who hasn’t seen a ton of meaningful playing time bolts for perceived greener pastures. That’s just the state of the game.

Nick Kelly took a stab at breaking down what to expect from the new offense.

To put it simply, get ready for a lethal passing attack. The vertical passing game is a hallmark of the offense, both Haener and former Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. said.

“I would just say the ability to push the ball vertical, but not just throwing four (verticals) at all times,” Penix Jr. told The Tuscaloosa News. “It’s layered throws.”

The other two “godfathers” of the offense according to Haener are crossing patterns as well as what he described as the climb series.

“When I say the climb series, you’re going to see if you’re on the left hash, those 18-22 yard over routes by the number 2 (receiver),” Haener said. “And you can pair that with whatever you want (near the sideline) on the front side. You’re going to see a lot of pure progression pass in their system.”

Penix also had some advice for the Alabama QBs.

“Just buy in and lock into the details and just trust them,” Penix told The Tuscaloosa News. “They’re going to put you in situations to be successful, but you’ve just got to trust them. That’s the biggest thing.”

DeBoer and Grubb have an offensive track record worth trusting. In 2022, Grubb’s offense finished No. 7 in the country in scoring, averaging 39.7 points per game. The Washington offense was No. 1 in the country in yards per game (396.8). Then, it finished No. 2 this past season, averaging 343.7 yards per game, second to Oregon. The total offense was ranked No. 13 in scoring for the Huskies, averaging 36 points per game.

Penix finished No. 1 in passing yards this past season and second in 2022.

Raymond Lucas over at 247 says that the heralded Julian Sayin’s departure adds some pressure on transfer QB Austin Mack.

Julian Sayin was viewed as Alabama’s quarterback of the future, then he entered the transfer portal after Kalen DeBoer brought in Washington transfer Austin Mack. What does that say about Mack? That question will be asked through spring football, putting pressure on Mack to showcase his potential. The 6-foot-6, 226-pound Mack did not see any action as a true freshman. Mack ranked as a top-10 quarterback coming out of the 2023 high school recruiting class. He figures to begin the 2024 season behind incumbent starter Jalen Milroe.

Last, Alabama has scheduled Pro Day for the 2024 NFL Draft.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, four Alabama players rank within the top 25 overall prospects: Dallas Turner (10th), JC Latham (15th), Terrion Arnold (16th) and Kool-Aid McKinstry (21st). Justin Eboigbe and Chris Braswell are also highly rated at their respective positions. Both are at the Senior Bowl in Mobile this week, as is kicker Will Reichard.

It’s unclear which players will be present for pro day.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.