Alabama Football: Post-scrimmage Saban comments and other observations

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: Calvin Ridley
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: Calvin Ridley /
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Alabama football conducted its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday afternoon. Let’s review Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage comments.

Alabama football will scrimmage twice during fall camp. The first scrimmage, Saturday in Bryant-Denny was closed to the public, meaning only special quests (family members, mostly) were allowed to observe.

Next Saturday’s scrimmage will be closed as well, but boosters, like Red Elephant Club members, will be allowed to attend. Alabama football does not want anyone leaking out details about either scrimmage. Bits and pieces of information do leak out, more from the second scrimmage than from the first.

Every day we sort through some of those bits and pieces. Knowing what to ignore and what to share is not easy. During today’s scrimmage, a tweet stated Raashan Evans had been carted off the field. It now appears that did not happen.

Another tweet stated Calvin Ridley got into a tussle with teammate(s) and was ejected from the game. Most sources claimed the Ridley tussle was with Trevon Diggs and Ronnie Harrison. Another unconfirmed claim was Ridley’s altercation resulted from Calvin taking a ‘cheap shot’ at Raekwon Davis.

We cannot confirm what happened and if there was a fight with whom it occurred. A Ridley ‘cheap shot’ on Davis seems unlikely on multiple levels, not the least of which is Ridley is too smart for such foolishness.

Player altercations during the scrimmage?

What might have happened is that Ridley lost his composure and might have been ejected from the scrimmage. In the post-scrimmage review, compliments of rolltide.com, Nick Saban said,

"“when you get emotional, you make bad choices and decisions, (and) it usually has consequences … We want players to compete, be emotional and intense, but we never want them to lose their discipline or poise.”"

Around the above quote, Saban talked at length about teaching players about cause and effect, on and off the field. We cannot confirm anything Nick said was in reference to Calvin Ridley.

Injury Status

Saban said Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris were held out of the scrimmage. Jacobs has a pulled hamstring that may limit him for awhile. Harris, also with a leg problem, is expected to be full-speed by the Monday practice.

Based upon the Saban post-scrimmage review, there were no serious scrimmage injuries.

What did we learn from the first scrimmage?

  • Field goal kicking needs much improvement. Two FG’s were missed and two more were blocked. Saban said the problems were not all on the kicker.
  • The defense is ahead of the offense. Saban said the offense never found a “good rhythm” during the scrimmage. Defense ahead of the offense at this point is not uncommon. It would be more worrisome if it was the opposite.
  • Saban ‘seems’ confident about the secondary. Who plays where when appears to be about being prepared for all situations rather than trying to address deficiencies.
  • Jedrick Wills and Alex Leatherwood are drawing positive attention from Saban and have a chance to be part of offensive line two-deep.
  • No scrimmage stats were released.

Here is video of the entire media session, compliments of AL.com.

Alabama football will have a day of rest on Sunday. Practice starts back on Monday. The second fall camp scrimmage is Saturday, August 19.

Next: 30 Great Tide Players who were 3-Star Recruits

More scrimmage news will seep out over the next couple of days. We will report any new information we believe to be valid.