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Paul Finebaum Has A Message For Bryce Young's Critics

Most dual-threat quarterbacks take heat for tucking and running the ball too frequently, rather than letting plays down the field develop. Alabama freshman Bryce Young has caught some criticism for doing just the opposite, in days following a close 31-29 win over Florida.

Through three games, Young has completed 68-percent of his throws for 811 yards, 10 touchdowns, and no interceptions. It has been an impressive start to his first year under center by any metric. Young hasn't used his legs much at all though, attempting just eight rushes for -4 total yards.

After the Florida game, head coach Nick Saban mentioned one play where Young could have picked up a first down on the ground, but instead tried to take a shot downfield. "I think overall he's done a really good job," the legendary head coach added.

ESPN's Paul Finebaum isn't here for talk that Young isn't being aggressive enough. He thinks that the young quarterback has been "very wise" with how he's approached things.

“I know he’s come under some criticism by people who feel like he’s not taking too many chances," Finebaum said in a radio spot on The Opening Kickoff on WNSP-FM 105.5 today, via “I, quite frankly, think he’s been very wise so far.

“He’s still starting. He’s not hurt. And, quite frankly, that’s not a problem Alabama fans want to be dealing with.”

That is a fair point as well. While Bryce Young can't totally focus on not getting hurt, this isn't 2019, when the Crimson Tide had Mac Jones behind Tua Tagovailoa, or even last year when Young sat behind Jones. Paul Tyson and Jalen Milroe, two largely unproven players, are the QB2 and QB3. If Young goes down, Alabama's national title hopes likely go with him.

Bryce Young has weighed in on the situation himself, on his podcast. Via Saturday Down South:

“There was always, I felt like, a big misconception about, like, quarterbacks, especially quarterbacks who are described as mobile,” Young said. “Especially back when I was younger. There was a big narrative, one about mobile quarterbacks and especially about African-American quarterbacks that are mobile. One about just wanting to run, and just wanting to not be able to go through reads, or whatever it was.

“You’re always going to be assumed you’re just a runner, that you can’t throw. So that was always something I stressed, was to make sure that I kept my eyes downfield whenever I was out of the pocket, kind of scrambling, moving, making sure I always remained a passer.”

He'll probably get his chance to prove that he can be very dangerous with his legs as the year goes on. For now, it's hard to knock his approach.