Alabama Football: Saban reviews scrimmage and other buzz


There is good news for Alabama Football fans. The Crimson Tide made it through its second and last preseason scrimmage with no new injuries on Saturday. Some players did not participate in the scrimmage, including Kendall Randolph, Emil Ekiyor Jr., DeMarcco Hellams and Shane Lee.

While the scrimmage was similar to a game format, stats can still be misleading. No information was provided on the distribution of 1v1s or 1v2s.

A video of Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage comments is provided below.

Alabama Football Scrimmage Positives

  • No new injuries
  • Saban said there was significant improvement from last week and specifically, the players around Bryce Young performed better.
  • Talking about the wide receivers, Saban complimented John Metchie, Jameson Williams, Slade Bolden and JoJo Earle.
  • Answering a question about Will Anderson Jr., Saban appeared to try and understate his clearly high opinion of the sophomore’s abilities.
  • Jordan Battle also drew strong praise from the Alabama Crimson Tide head coach, calling him a “leader'” who is “smart” and “makes all the calls.”
  • Saban said all three of the Tide quarterbacks played well.
  • Insider rumor buzz is that while Bryce Young is QB1, Paul Tyson did very well in the scrimmage.

Alabama Football Scrimmage Negatives

  • Saturday afternoon, Nick Saban was still describing DeMarcco Hellams’ sprained ankle as day-to-day. When elaborating on how well Hellams has performed in camp, Saban also said, “we’ll see how he is in a week or so.” That sounds consistent with recent insider rumors of Hellams not recovering sufficiently to play in the season opener.
  • The biggest downer for Alabama Football fans was Saban’s answer to a Cecil Hurt question. Hurt asked how Jahleel Billingsley was progressing in moving up the depth chart after missing some practices. Saban quickly answered that was up to the player and not to him or the staff. When the talented Crimson Tide tight end was out, message board buzz claimed his absence was COVID-related. Based on Saban’s Saturday afternoon comments, Billingsley is considerably out of favor at the moment and it must be because of something not related to COVID. Check out the end of the video below. Saban sent Billingsley a clear wake-up call.

Saban also mentioned there is continuing competition on the offensive line and not just at right tackle. He mentioned center, as well. It is hard to know if that is a positive or a negative.

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Nick Saban’s comments about Jahleel Billingsley have additional value. It sends a strong message to every player on the Crimson Tide roster. Of course, Alabama Football is not a democracy, but players sometimes need to be reminded.