INDIANAPOLIS — AJ McCarron has already called his first NFL audible.
After declining an invitation to the Senior Bowl last month, he was trying to decide whether or not he would throw at the scouting combine. That indecision was put to rest on Friday when McCarron said he would throw and do all of the drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"I just felt it was a good choice for myself," he said. "I'm healthy, better than I've ever been. I know free agent week starts the same time as our pro day. So some teams' coaches and GMs might not be able to come down. So I felt this was the best opportunity to showcase what I've been working on since our last game."
As for his decision to forgo the Senior Bowl, McCarron has no regrets.
Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron addresses the media at the NFL Combine.
"I don't ever regret any decision," he told reporters on Friday. "I think everything happens for a reason. But I'm happy with mine."
Had he decided not to throw at the combine, it could have hurt his draft status. But neither that nor potentially lost dollars ever weighed on his decision to participate in the combine drills.
"I don't try to worry about any of that," he said. "If you ask anybody, any GMs or head coaches, nobody knows where anybody is going to fall. "The draft is just kind of here and there really. One guy could get picked up earlier than expected, and it can change the whole draft. I'm just worried about what I can control. And that's me going out there and performing to the best of my ability. Wherever the chips fall they fall.
"I don't worry about money. I was raised without any money. Being broke, I'm used to it. If you're money-hungry, it's not going to come to you. If you're just patient and go with the flow and let the chips fall where they fall."
McCarron likened opinions about his arm strength, athleticism, hand size and speed to that of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was a sixth-round pick out of Michigan in 2000.
PHOTOS: Katherine Webb, McCarron's girlfriend
"He still moves in the pocket pretty well to get away from blitzes," McCarron said of Brady. "Everybody doubted his arm strength coming out. He's turned out pretty good so far, I would say."
And McCarron would love to be Brady's understudy in New England, where Nick Saban's mentor, Bill Belichick is the head coach.
"I love the Patriots organization," McCarron said. "If I had the chance to go there and sit behind Brady for however long and learn from one of the best to ever play the game, that'd be an awesome experience.
"It's almost like New England is the Alabama of pro football. Coach Saban learned under Coach Belichick. So it'd be almost like déjà vu in a way."
Despite being the starting quarterback on three BCS title teams, McCarron is also referred to as simply a manager of a team full of NFL talent.
"Everybody says I played behind NFL talent at Alabama," he said. "Well, usually in the NFL, what's in the NFL is NFL talent. So I don't see how that can be a knock.
"I feel like I've been disrespected my whole college career because I won. And it's not like we didn't play anybody. We played in the SEC, which is the best conference in college football. I think somebody figured out I had played against 40-some guys who have been drafted from the time I arrived in '09 that are still playing in the NFL. That's a crazy amount of guys.
"So I definitely have a chip on my shoulder. I'm anxious to get out there and prove everybody wrong."
Clements also writes for the Montgomery Advertiser
PHOTOS: 14 offensive players making news at the '14 combine