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Rain drenched Saban discusses Alabama’s first scrimmage

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Prac0809PM_30As a rain soaked Nick Saban stood at the podium following Saturday’s practice he asked the media “Is anyone in here complaining about not being out there today”?  For the most part everyone seemed to be perfectly fine staying cool and dry in the media room but everyone still wanted to know how did the scrimmage go and how did they look?  While the scrimmage helped identify areas to work on that wasn’t the only objective for the days scrimmage.Prac0809PM_25

“We knew we were going to have some problems with the weather today, but I felt it was important for our team to come here and scrimmage in the stadium” Nick Saban said in his opening remarks.  Prior to the scrimmage there was a thunderstorm that went through to make things very muggy but the rain was gone before the actual start of warm-ups.  However, the rain didn’t stay away very long and even more storms were on the way.  With the remainder of the Crimson Tide’s practices being closed to the public and the media only get five to ten minutes of  viewing at the beginning, Alabama’s first scrimmage could have taken place at the Hank Crisp Indoor practice facility.  “I thought it was important for the game administration part of it, using the press box, having people call plays from the press box, using our press box organization and those types of things…practice indoors we would have never been able to do it.” Saban said.

Prac0809PM_27Now onto the scrimmage: “I thought we ran the ball really effectively and thought both quarterbacks did a good job” Saban said.  The biggest question mark going into this season is at the QB position.  And, apparently that question still remains.  If the season were starting today both Sims and Coker would most likely play.  Saban answered a question regarding the play of the quarterbacks during the scrimmage “Both guys are capable of doing what we need them do on offense so that we can be affective”.  There is no doubt that both Sims and Coker have the ability but Saban went on to say that “We’re not pleased or satisfied with where they are but we’re not disappointed with the progress we are making”. With 20 days remaining until the first game one or the other will need to make that next step towards being the starter.

“Defensively, we have a long way to go” Saban said.  However, that could be for multiple reasons with the most obvious being due to injuries.  With A’Shawn Robinson out with a sprained knee, Jarran Reed and Brandon Ivory both just now getting back into swing of things after being suspended “We have a lot of young players that are getting a lot of opportunities because of the players that we have out” Saban said. Junior Geno Smith was carried off the field today with the same type of injury as Robinson and is “expected to be out a couple of days” according to Nick Saban. So, another position to add to the list that has an injury.

The good news for the defensive line is “Jonathan Allen has really been playing well, Pettway has really been playing well, Darren Lake has made some improvement, Foster is a freshman [thinking he meant sophomore] that is getting lots of turns and lots of reps, there are a lot of guys playing well and making improvements” Saban said.  So while the primary three that started A-day are currently “out” others are getting better and making progress.

Prac0809PM_19Moving over to special teams, which is an area that actually doesn’t have any injuries. “The punter [Scott] punted well, and Griff [Griffin] was four out of five” Saban said showing that he was “really pleased with the kicking game”.

The key take-away’s from today’s scrimmage based on comments from Coach Saban are;

  • There is not a definitive QB and while both did well today, there is significant room for improvement for both.
  • The defense is beat up with injuries and they need to work on fundamentals (tackling), and developing players.
  • Special Teams is showing growth but still needs work.
  • Offensive Line is getting more consistent and stable.
  • “We have a long way to go” Saban said

After eleven straight practices the Crimson Tide is finally getting a day off on Sunday.  Maybe they can take the time to heal a few bumps and bruises and ready to start back fresh on Monday for their third two-a-day.

*Stats include 11-on-11, situational drills, red area, goal line, 2-minute

 

RUSHING LEADERS

Kenyan Drake – 6 rushes, 88 yards, 1 TD

T.J. Yeldon – 4 rushes, 35 yards

Tyren Jones – 13 rushes, 30 yards, 1 TD

Derrick Henry – 6 rushes, 23 yards, 1 TD

 

RECEIVING LEADERS

Kenyan Drake – 4 rec., 65 yards

Robert Foster – 2, rec., 57 yards

Amari Cooper – 4 rec., 56 yards, 1 TD

Christion Jones – 2 rec., 45 yards, 1 TD

ArDarius Stewart – 3 rec., 33 yards

 

DEFENSIVE LEADERS

Jonathan Allen – 5 tackles, 2 sacks

Dillon Lee – 4 tackles

Da’Shawn Hand – 4 tackles, 1 sack

Reuben Foster – 3 tackles, 1 sack

Reggie Ragland – 3 tackles

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