Alabama Football: What to make of Tide’s first spring scrimmage

Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage report did not harp on the team being a work-in-progress. It is, as is every team in the spring and early fall. A big part of spring is identifying what players need to do to improve. A first scrimmage provides valuable information, but it does not define a player’s future.

Piecing together information from a closed scrimmage is a challenge. When Bama Hammer presents information, we work from what is first said by Nick Saban. The full video provided by the athletic department is included below our ‘Cliff Notes’ version of what Saban said.

Summary of Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage comments

  • “Bryce (Young) did a pretty good job of managing the game and was accurate with the ball and did a nice job. Made a few explosive plays.”
  • “For a first scrimmage, I was pleased with the intensity out there. There was a lot of good hitting”
  • (On the offensive line) “I think we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of young guys. I think they’ve got a lot of ability. I think their heads are swimming, probably, a little bit right now with all the different things that they have to learn on offense”
  • (On the secondary) “Of the guys that have experience and have played, I think they’re playing pretty well, but we need to find more guys in the secondary that can play winning football.”
  • Saban was cautiously complimentary of Ga’Quinct McKinstry, saying he was pleased with the freshman cornerback, but he must work on “consistency.”

Alabama Football Scrimmage Nuggets

  • Bryce Young threw one or two touchdown passes on the first defense and a couple more on the second defense.
  • Slade Bolden and Javon Baker did well among the receivers.
  • Cameron Latu showed well enough to suggest he may have a key role at tight end, in this, his redshirt junior season.

What was learned from Friday scrimmage

  • Given the disparity in returning starters on offense and defense, the defense should be ahead of the offense. That is generally true every spring but should be more true this year. For Bryce Young to do as well as he did, is very encouraging for his future as the Tide starting quarterback.
  • Inconsistency in the offensive line is to be expected. Three guys are gone from last year’s unit and another, Emil Ekiyor will do little work this spring.
  • To the extent there are problems in the secondary, one reason is the spring absence of Malachi Moore. Progress with the new secondary may be slow until fall camp.

The next planned scrimmage for the Crimson Tide is Saturday, Apr. 10. It will again be a closed setting in Bryant-Denny.