All eyes will be on Jacob Coker, Blake Sims, and the other Alabama quarterbacks when fall begins as the Crimson Tide’s quarterback competition heats up heading into the 2014 season.
Many anointed Coker as the Tide’s replacement for AJ McCarron the minute it was revealed Coker would be transferring from Florida State to Alabama, but Nick Saban has been very clear that the job isn’t going to be just be handed to the Mobile, AL native.
Blake Sims worked extremely hard in the spring and according to Saban “took command” of the competition following the first spring, but following A-Day many have written Sims off after a rather mediocre day as a whole from the offense.
Those that are going to completely write the senior off probably aren’t taking into account that what we saw from the Alabama offense was not only very vanilla, but likely less than 10 percent of the actual playbook. Sims seemed to be trying to force himself to stay in the pocket and the few times he did try to scramble he was “touched down,” meaning he was touched by a hand and he was sacked. Those types of rules in exhibition games and scrimmages tend to hamper a mobile scrambling quarterback like Sims.
Jacob Coker is going to be the favorite coming into the season. He has all the tools to be a very successful quarterback in the SEC, from the height and size to his impressive arm strength, but probably the thing people point to far too much is that Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher claimed the competition between Coker and Jameis Winston was down to the wire and as close as a competition can get.
Let’s not forget that the QB competition between AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims heading into the 2011 season went down to the wire as well. In fact the duo shared the QB job in the season opener. Since then Sims has bounced from Alabama to Virginia to Winston-Salem State.
That’s not an indictment of Coker, because he very well could end up being one of the final pieces of the puzzle to a truly special football team, but it’s also a warning not to just assume Coker has the job.
Sims and Coker both recently revealed that they passed up heading to the beach and hanging out partying like many college students during spring break. Instead, the quarterbacks were working with their own private quarterback coaches during that time, trying to get better.
Sims and Coker will head into the 2014 season vying to be the heir apparent to AJ McCarron. Whomever it ends up being will have some massive cleats to fill, but the focus both of these quarterbacks have shown in trying to become that guy already is a good sign. That quarterback battle will officially take off in May as Coker graduates from FSU.