Alabama Football: All the latest chatter from the Saturday Scrimmage

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts /

Alabama football fans are buzzing about Saturday’s scrimmage, the last one of fall camp. Check out what we’re hearing from all the chatter.

Alabama football scrimmaged on Saturday for the second and last time of fall camp. It was a game-like setup at Bryant-Denny, with coaches working from the press box and the sideline.

The scrimmage was 120-plus plays in challenging conditions. Most of the time it was hot and humid. Part of the scrimmage was during a hard rain. There was a 20-plus minute lightning delay as well.

We cannot confirm how much of the offensive playbook was used. Multiple observers reported the playbook was purposefully limited to work on certain things. It is also important to remember that Alabama football does not do full contact on quarterbacks in spring or fall camp. That no contact restriction limits Jalen Hurts’ productivity as a scrambling quarterback.

Alabama football fans need to keep those circumstances in mind when assessing Saturday’s scrimmage.

Saturday Scrimmage Offense

As in the first fall camp scrimmage, the defense had the upper hand over the offense. The main offensive problems were turnovers and inconsistent passing. Jalen Hurts had his weakest performance of fall camp. Tua threw the ball a little better as did Mac Jones. Tua got some work against the first-team defense.

Overall the quarterbacks were average. In addition, several passes were dropped by receivers. Jalen threw two interceptions. Tua lost two fumbles. Najee Harris also fumbled.

The offensive line had trouble in pass protection. Right tackle time was split between Matt Womack, Jedrick Wills and Scott Lashley. The true freshman, Jedrick Wills worked with the first group as much as Matt Womack. We are guessing Womack and Wills are in a tight battle to start against FSU.

The bright spots for the offense were the running ability of Najee Harris and Brian Robinson, and the freshmen wideouts, particularly Devonta Smith. Smith and Jerry Jeudy worked some with Ridley in the first group. Henry Ruggs III was also reported to have caught several passes.

Saturday Scrimmage Defense

Most Alabama football fans are beginning to grasp the potential of the 2017 defense. Observers were confident Saturday’s offensive struggles were against the best defense the Tide will face all season.

In summary, the defensive line will be a position of strength. Raekwon Davis, Quinnen Williams and Isaiah Buggs were very good on Saturday. The secondary will be very good. Diggs has made big improvements.

The Alabama football linebackers are sensational. Rashaan Evans, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Christian Miller, Terrell Lewis, Mack Wilson, plus true freshmen Dylan Moses and Chris Allen make up the best linebacker group in the nation.

Rashaan Evans and Minkah are the Alpha Dogs and we predict huge seasons for both. Dylan Moses and Chris Allen played some with the first group on Saturday. The linebacker depth is amazing

Saturday Scrimmage Special Teams

Alabama football fans, we can calm down about field goal kicking. On Saturday the offense bogged down too often but the kickers made seven field goals. Pappanastos hit all three of his attempts. Bulovas and Scott were both 2-for-3. Scott hit a 51-yarder and had one blocked.

We now expect Pappanastos will handle the under 40-yard kicks and Scott will take the longer ones.

How Good can the 2017 Tide become?

For Alabama football fans excited about the 2017 defense BUT worried about the offense, pay attention to Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News. Cecil knows Alabama football from decades of careful observation. Plus he knows how to turn a phrase.

"Strong (Alabama) preseason offense as rare as total eclipse."

Well done Cecil.

Next: The 50-year history of Tide-FSU games

In the post-scrimmage presser, Saban said the Tide will work do general fall camp work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Starting Thursday Saban may move into FSU game preparation. We will keep Alabama football fans updated daily.