SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dan Enos didn’t exactly receive a warm welcoming when he arrived at Alabama. There weren’t any cold shoulders. But there were definitely some reservations.
As the Crimson Tide’s new quarterbacks coach this season, Enos had to win over his own position group.
“I didn’t know who Coach Enos was at first, but I did understand he was going to be our quarterbacks coach,” Alabama starter Tua Tagovailoa said Saturday at Alabama’s national championship media day in the SAP Center. “He kind of had to work his way in with not only me but all the other quarterbacks, to kind of have Coach Enos earn our respect because he just got there and we’ve kind of been there.”
That was the vibe Enos picked up on, too.
“I think there was a feeling-out period from everybody,” he said, “and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean that in a positive way.”
Enos started to gain his players’ trust starting with individual meetings. He sat down with each quarterback and evaluated where each one needed to improve both physically and mentally. They then built off that base together on and off the field.
Alabama’s three quarterbacks – Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones – all said Enos has helped them improve their game.
“I always tell them that you got to have the mind of a coach and the game of a player to be a great quarterback,” Enos said. “You have to be an extension of the coach staff on the field. When every play is called, you have to understand exactly why and how and what we expect to be accomplished on that particular play. Not just run the play.”
That’s why they do a lot of film work in their position room. There, they work a lot on communication. Tagovailoa said they all have the same vocabulary. For example, the quarterbacks use certain movement keys instead of announcing who they’re reading on the defense.
Then, on the field, Enos refines mechanics and execution.
The last time Alabama had a quarterbacks-only coach was 1998-2000 with Charlie Stubbs under head coach Mike DuBose. Normally the offensive coordinate worked double duty. Enos bucked that 18-year-old trend.
“It’s honestly nicer that way because you get so much one-on-one experience,” Jones said. “He gets to really spend time just on quarterback things. He doesn’t have to worry about other parts of the offense. So when we go to practice, he’s literally like another quarterback helping us out.”
And he has done a good job at it.
The Crimson Tide has the No. 6 passing offense in the nation, averaging 325.6 yard per game. Alabama has thrown for at least 300 yards in 10 of its 14 games. It has 50 passing touchdowns total.
With just one game left this season the verdict about Enos is in.
“He’s done a great job,” Tagovailoa said. “He treats us all with respect, and he’s a well-rounded, family-orientated guy.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.
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