Alabama's Barrett Jones stands up for linemen everywhere

COMMENTARY — Crimson Tide center's shove of quarterback AJ McCarron applauded by several linemen.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 8, 2013

photo - Alabama's AJ McCarron (10) and Barrett Jones argue during the second half of the BCS National Championship college football game against Notre Dame Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  ORG XMIT: BCS174
Alabama's AJ McCarron (10) and Barrett Jones argue during the second half of the BCS National Championship college football game against Notre Dame Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) ORG XMIT: BCS174

But such a public display?

“Never seen it before,” Carter said. “I thought it was cool. Sometimes a quarterback can get a little full of himself.”

Turns out, McCarron and Jones are roommates and best friends. They had a humorous, but smileless, response to their tat-a-tat.

Jones: “I was right.”

McCarron: “He's full of it.”

McCarron said they spat like that every day. “I love him,” McCarron said. “He takes care of me, I take care of him. We really are best friends.”

But offensive linemen take a lot of guff. They get little of the credit and much of the blame, and on occasion a quarterback condemns his blockers in the public marketplace.

“I've never been that mad at a quarterback,” Mayes said. “They know that you protect them. It's the running backs who never stop talking. If they miss a hole, it's your fault.”

Mayes said his old teammate, tailback Tatum Bell, often drew linemen's ire with his constant criticism in games.

“We wanted to hit him in the mouth,” Mayes said. “Especially in the fourth quarter, we were exhausted.”

Carter said his relationship with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jason White was solid. “We would share a (disgusted) look every now and then,” Carter said. “He didn't need to say anything. That's just the kind of relationship we had.”

Apparently, the relationship between McCarron and Jones was a little more volatile. Which led to Notre Dame linemen, standing there gawking like they were on the schoolyard — “Fight! Fight!” – waiting for the principal to break it up.

“That was awesome,” said Bubba Burcham, another former Sooner center. “I thoroughly enjoyed that.”

So did anyone who ever toiled on an offensive line.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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