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The Impact Dan Enos Had On Alabama’s Quarterbacks, And What That Could Mean For Miami’s QB’s

Alabama’s quarterbacks flourished under Dan Enos. Can the new Miami OC translate that success to the Hurricanes QB’s?

Miami Spring Game Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

When Manny Diaz brought aboard Dan Enos as Miami’s offensive coordinator in January, there was much excitement surrounding the hire.

Even though Enos doesn’t run the spread-offense like fans would’ve wanted to see in the new OC, all they had to do was look at what he did the year prior in 2018, when he was quarterbacks coach for Nick Saban and Alabama.

Enos had multiple jobs before he was at Alabama, and at those other schools he had success also, but none like he experience with the Tide.

He was only in Tuscaloosa for one season, but what he was able to do with the Crimson Tide offense was something that nobody had seen in the Saban era. Here are some of the records Bama set during Enos’ one year.

You can make the argument that Enos wasn’t the primary play-caller with the Tide, but you can’t ignore those stats, especially what Tua Tagovailoa did at quarterback with Dan as the position coach. Since the year 1892 when Alabama football originated, no QB in school history had a finer season than Tua did in 2018.

Enos’ impact on Alabama was so much so that Saban wanted to promote him to OC, though coach Diaz was able to bring him to Miami instead.

With Tua, everyone knew that he was an extremely talented quarterback going into the 2018 season. With Enos however, Tagovailoa improved tremendously with his footwork, as well as developing confidence heading to the line of scrimmage.

There’s also the work that Enos did with Jalen Hurts. Through 2016 and 2017, Hurts was known best as a dual-threat QB more so than a passer. With the help of Enos, Jalen transformed his game. In 2018, Hurts improved to completing 72% of his passes, compared to 60% the year prior. He also went from a 150.2 QB rating in 2017 to 196.7 in 2018.

Enos also influenced Hurts’ decision not to transfer from Alabama early in the 2018 season. With Tua the starter, many thought Jalen would leave after the decision, though he credits Enos’s presence and coaching when he decided to stay the rest of the year. Hurts, knowing he was the backup, chose to stay and learn all he could from Enos. That’s saying something.

The two biggest things that Enos helped Hurts with, according to reporters, was with his vision as a quarterback as well as his footwork. In 2018, we saw Hurts not leave the pocket as much, and improved with his reads.

Hurts was able to transform his game and became a more polished passer, which was why he was perhaps the biggest name in the transfer portal, and is why he’ll probably start at quarterback for Oklahoma in 2019 and the pass-happy Sooners.

Now, Coach Enos needs to take what he did at Bama with quarterbacks, and apply it to the QB’s at Miami, N’Kosi Perry, Tate Martell and Jarren Williams.

Back in April at the end of spring practice, Enos told reporters that he’s looking for the guy at QB who can master the fundamentals, the emotional and also the mental side of playing quarterback.

First things first, with the task of naming the starting quarterback at the biggest football program in America, Enos handled the situation well with Tua and Hurts. There was never drama or inconsistency, Dan had picked Tagovailoa and that was that. Miami was the complete opposite last season when handling the starter at QB, with Perry and Rosier switching off throughout games.

With Perry, Martell and Williams, Enos has three players who are talented and would make fine quarterbacks for Miami, and with Dan deciding who’s going to start, I'd expect a much smoother process in 2019 with the Canes.

Staying with Martell, fans are hoping that Enos can work the same magic with Tate as he did with Hurts, primarily when it comes to becoming an improved pocket-passer. Martell’s well-known for his scrambling abilities, and even though he’s not your traditional drop-back quarterback, look for his passing skills to improve under Enos.

“We already know you can run. We don’t need to practice watching you run every day. We need to develop you as a dropback passer, because the more you get better at that, the better you’re going to be,” Enos told reporters regarding Martell.

When it comes to N’Kosi Perry, also similar to Hurts, Enos will try and help #5 improve on his accuracy. If Perry wants to be the next great QB for Miami, his 50% completion percentage is going to have to improve. As mentioned above, Hurts went from a 60% to a 72% completion rate with Enos.

Professionalism and maturity is another thing that Enos will look to teach Perry, who had issues in 2018. To the delight of everyone, Kosi has been and looks like a different player according to his teammates.

As with Jarren Williams, he’s definitely the most “polished” when it comes to being your traditional pocket-passing quarterback. With Enos, I'm really looking forward to see him increase his confidence, whether it’s in the huddle, at the line of scrimmage, in the pocket, on the practice field, whatever.

Like Hurts early in the 2018 season, Williams also flirted with the idea of transferring towards the end of last year. Now with Enos as his new OC, you have to believe that 2019 is going much better for Williams.

Throughout his career in coaching quarterbacks that has spanned over 25 years, Enos’ work at Alabama last season was his most impressive. He now looks to have that same success with the Hurricanes.