Wednesday afternoon was the first Alabama football fall camp practice when players ‘fully’ battled. Not that the players were not focused and fully engaged before, but the thumping notched up during the Tide’s first session in full pads.
Afterward, Nick Saban talked about liking the 2023 team and their togetherness. He talked more about a constant need for attention to detail. As everyone knows, Alabama is a young team. It is possible that in September the Crimson Tide will be playing 10 or more, first or second-year players in its offensive two-deep. On the defensive two-deep, the Alabama Crimson Tide could have another 9-11 guys with limited experience.
For a program that stockpiles players year after year, all the youth is striking. This may well be why Nick Saban keeps repeating the need for attention to detail. Does this mean Alabama football will be severely hampered by errors in its September games, and maybe even later in the season? Jumping to that conclusion is not required, but one of Nick Saban’s favorite descriptions of his teams is ‘a work in progress.’ The phrase might apply even more this season.
On the bright side, the most talented roster in college football can be expected to cure any lack of experience ills before November.
More on Alabama Football from Nick Saban
- Talking about the offensive line, Saban said,” I think we have 6 or 7 guys that could be starters.” Two of those six or seven who gained strong praise from the Alabama football head coach were Seth McLaughlin and Terrence Ferguson II.
- Saban talking about Terrence Ferguson II, “Playing really, really well. He’s gotten bigger and stronger. … I look at him as a starter on our team.”
- Saban talking about Seth McLaughlin, Saban said the senior was bigger and stronger and added, “I don’t think anybody’s ever going to go wrong hiring him, no matter what he’s doing.”
Several Alabama football players are close enough to being ‘locked in’ as 2023 starters, that only an injury might allow a teammate to catch up and pass them. Kool-Aid McKinstry is one. Dallas Turner is another and also Deontae Lawson. On the offensive line, JC Latham and Tyler Booker are locks. McLaughlin and Ferguson are not far behind.
A ‘No Surprise’ Quarterback Response
Saban was clumsily asked about the possibility of playing two quarterbacks. It did not go well. He denied any attention being paid to the idea. Saban’s response was no surprise. If Alabama intends to use some version of a two-quarterback system this season, the first anyone outside the team will know about it will be when (if) it happens.
To use a golf tournament phrase, Saturday’s Crimson Tide scrimmage needs to be ‘moving day’ for guys fighting for key roles.