Don’t you just hate it when your exact words are directly quoted verbatim by reporters and used in stories? AJ McCarron does.

The former Alabama quarterback and current Cincinnati Bengals benchwarmer had some stern words for his former team in the week after its first loss of the season. In his weekly appearance on Tuscaloosa’s 99.1 FM, McCarron said the offense needed more vocal leaders and that Saban may have “handcuffed” offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin in the loss at Ole Miss last weekend. (Part One is here; Part Two is here)

This was obviously written about by those on the Alabama beat and by those from the outside who saw it as a story. A former quarterback constructively criticizes his former team? Sounds like news, right?

Alabama head coach Nick Saban disagreed with these quotes during the weekly SEC Coaches teleconference Wednesday. When asked about McCarron’s comments, Saban supported current quarterback Blake Sims and said he thinks the leadership on the team is good hands.

I don’t know how AJ would really know, but I don’t necessarily see that as the case,” Saban said. 

After these quotes surfaced in the media, McCarron heard the immediate response from fans, even having to defend himself on Twitter last night. NFL legend Fran Tarkenton blasted him on Birmingham’s JOX FM earlier today and he’s been criticized by former teammates.

So, to clarify these comments and ease the tension, he returned to “The Game” on 99.1 FM Wednesday. McCarron thought these comments were taken out of context and misshapen by the big bad media industrial complex.

“It comes with playing the position of QB at the University of Alabama,” McCarron said. “For the rest of your life and however long your career lasts in football and then after football, people are going to want to hear what you have to say about the University and sometimes that’s going to be taken out of context and blown up to be more than what it actually was intended for. That’s the bad side of media.

“I don’t understand how the things I said got turned in such a negative way, but like I said, again, that’s the ugly side of the media, which is a shame, because not all media is that way and not all media reporters are that way. You’re gonna have people who want to create controversy to sell and that’s their job, I’m not knocking those people. I respect them for what they do, because everybody has a job. But I just thought the way everything got spun was a little over the top, especially when I didn’t say anything negative towards the team.”

He then backtracked on his comments toward Sims, saying he didn’t mean Sims wasn’t a leader, he just isn’t a “vocal leader.” Because leading by example – which Sims has said is what he does, multiple times – is apparently different.

“I misworded it last night and I’ll admit that,” McCarron said. “What I meant, because I gave an example right after I said that, which was a ‘vocal leader’ example.

“That was my fault last night, wording it the way I did. I thought I said ‘vocal leader’, which I didn’t I said ‘true leader’ but I gave an example of being a vocal leader after. I really don’t see what all the fuss was that people on the internet or on Twitter were talking about me bashing the team.”

Just another day with McCarron saying something sassy and then blaming the media for quoting it directly in articles. But we are clearly twisted; there’s no doubt about it.

About Jonathan Biles

Jonathan Biles is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

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