Apr 19, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims (6) during the A-day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Sims, Jacob Coker Prepare For Alabama QB Battle

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.

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football

  • Bama

    I think if Blake sims won the battle, we should throw in more qb runs if he has smart decision makin when it comes to using his legs vs staying in the pocket. Alabama has a strong core of rbs throw in the zone read/ read option

  • bamminer

    I don’t write Sims off, but he’ll have to show that he can pass more than run. Saban is not Fisher that he will allow him to mimic Malzahn’s tendencies. Taking all those hits is also not in the best interest of the kid, either. Plus, maybe the pressure to perform got to him a little. That’s the way it looked; he couldn’t really decide what he wanted or was supposed to do out there.

    1. Coker is looking really good from reports. He seems to really have taken not getting the starting job at State really hard! He seems to be “Clubber Lang”ing it as far as QBs go! He’s throwing well in the storms and good weather alike–practicing as hardily as a QB with NFL aspirations would for tryouts! He seems to be really dedicated! When you add that to an NFL arm with Bo Wallace’s mobility(at least) and Roethlisberger’s height and size, he has to be the favorite! How he manages all the pressure; transitions from spread to pro-style; and adds touch to passes so that college players can handle them easily may be the difference in him starting or one of the other 2.

    2. Sims may even be more mobile and have more touch at this point(he is much better passing than he used to be and Coker seems to be gunning the ball–throwing at college receivers and backs and not pro ones), but his height and A-day will work against him. Sims is also uninjured and if that protection doesn’t yield an average grade; he’ll have to be considered highly if the QB competition is very close! Also, Sims is working hard, too, but should split his time looking at Drew Brees and maybe he could pull the upset!

    3. Let’s not forget Cooper Bateman and his A-day performance. Just forget about the percentage(our defense appears to be great), already! He made some great throws and his decision making was on point(even with his errant throws)! In heinsight, the offense was watered-down! He is better height-wise than Sims–6’3 to 6’0. Plus, he is way more mobile than McCarron–and maybe even competing for most mobile on the team! Whoever battles through the competition pressure and that defense and coverage to emerge as the starter will be great enough to compete for Heisman, too! It would not surprise me to see either at starter when the smoke clears!

  • Scott Golden

    Simms is not good. He is inaccurate and makes stupid decisions. We are in trouble this year.