Nussmeier fitting in nicely with Alabama offense

Associated Press Modified: August 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm •  Published: August 6, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Doug Nussmeier gives Alabama another high-energy offensive coordinator from the West Coast with NFL experience.

His task, like predecessor Jim McElwain, is more about executing the philosophy than changing it.

The Crimson Tide's offensive chief seems to be fitting in nicely leading up to his first season.

"We really like him," center Barrett Jones said. "I think he's a great fit for what we have going on here. What I like is he really hasn't come in and tried to change everything.

"He has added some things to our offense, but I don't think he's going to want to change the things we do well and try to mess up the good things we have going.

"I think he just wants to come in and add to that. He's really come in and done some cool things. It's almost like we haven't skipped a beat on the offensive end. He's worked really hard in the offseason to familiarize himself with everything we do and add some new stuff that he does. It's about as seamless a transition as I can imagine."

In other words, it will still be Alabama's offense taking the field Sept. 1 against Michigan. Pass? Sure. Run? Definitely.

"There won't be any confusion there," Jones said.

Nussmeier, a former NFL quarterbacks coach and Fresno State offensive coordinator, replaced McElwain, who was also a former NFL quarterbacks coach and Fresno State offensive coordinator, in January.

McElwain took over Colorado State's program after the BCS national championship game win over LSU.

"Coach Nuss" has been a hit with the players so far. He spent the past three seasons in the same job at Washington, where Steve Sarkisian was the offensive play caller.

Then he traveled across the country to a program that has won two of the past three national titles and to work for coach Nick Saban, who is known more for his defensive acumen but also has firmly established views of what he wants offensively.

Nussmeier received a $590,000, three-year deal, a proven quarterback in AJ McCarron and a veteran offensive line, if few proven receivers.

Another perk of the job: The chance to go against the defense of Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart daily in practice.

"I think it's outstanding from an offensive perspective to practice every day against our defense," Nussmeier said. "You see so many different looks. It exposes you, really, from a mindset that you have to really be looking at every play you're running. You learn really fast some strengths and some weaknesses you have in place — which is really, really good."



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