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Nick Saban Reveals His Message To QB Mac Jones

Nick Saban running off the field.

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after the first half against the Clemson Tigers in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

With Tua Tagovailoa out for the year with a hip injury, it now falls on backup QB Mac Jones to lead Alabama down the stretch and into bowl season. Head coach Nick Saban is very aware of the new, massive burden on the sophomore QB, and had a message for him.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Saban made it clear that Jones needs to take being a leader seriously. He said he called the 21-year-old "the lead dog" and says he has to demonstrate the qualities of a leader.

Via Bleacher Report:

"You're not a sparring partner anymore. You're the lead dog, so you've got to be in control of what you're doing and have positive body language, not only in terms of what you do but in how you affect other people."

Jones has been solid in his limited time on the field this year. To date he has completed 64 percent of his passes for 689 yards and five touchdowns in limited duty.

His only start of the season so far came against Arkansas, when Tagovailoa was injured. He went 18-of-22 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in an easy win over the Razorbacks.

Jones will likely have very little difficulty beating Western Carolina this week. But his biggest challenge will come next week against the Auburn Tigers.

He'll need to take Saban's words to heart, because even some of Alabama's best quarterbacks have sometimes struggled in the Iron Bowl.