Impatience can affect Alabama football fans. That is especially true during fall camp. From Saturday’s first camp scrimmage, Bama fans hoped for certain answers. Most Tide fans continue to wait.
Two key offensive positions; QB1 and the first unit left tackles, came no closer to closure on Saturday. Search any Tide message boards and there are many claims. Some of them come from apparent Alabama football insiders. Often the ‘insiders’ while providing interesting information, fail when they presume what comes next.
Unless an Alabama football fan has a direct line to Tommy Rees, there is only one solid source about the Crimson Tide offense and that is Nick Saban. Saban will guard far more than he will disclose, but listening carefully to his words is valuable.
After the Saturday scrimmage, Saban had no choice but to comment on the quarterbacks.
"… everybody got reps today at quarterback… We are going to be interested when we watch the film in how did they execute? Did they throw the ball the right place at the right time? Were they accurate in what they did? Did they take care of the ball so that we have a chance to play winning football at that position? And that’s what we’ll be evaluating."
Beyond those words, we can consider that Saban will gladly trade spectacular plays from his QB1, for consistency in playing the position efficiently. After Saturday, is Alabama any closer to trusting that a certain guy can deliver? The camps for Milroe and Simpson would disagree with me, but my guess is the answer is no. My further hunch is when a Tide quarterback takes the first snap against MTSU, the quarterback competition will not be over.
As I wrote a few days ago, Alabama must have two QBs ready to go against Texas. The odds are Jalen Milroe will be one of the two against Texas. Simply, he has put in more development time in Tuscaloosa, than his teammates.
What also was unvarnished in Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage review was a frank assessment of certain problems.
"We still had drops at receiver. We still had mental errors on defense. We still jumped offside too many times when it was a hard count. We have a ton of things to work on, but in all honesty, if we didn’t have a ton of things to work on, why would we have 20 more practices or whatever it is before the first game?"
Alabama football fans can have confidence all those areas, but one will improve. The one exception is the drops. Drops were a problem last season. They were a problem in the A-Day. Alabama receivers had ample off-season time in drills and workouts to improve their pass-catching. It is fair to ask, for those who have not improved, how will it be different after 20 more practices?
One bit of good wide receiver news has been the fall camp performance of Jermaine Burton. Expectations are also high for Isaiah Bond and hybrid receiver Amari Niblack.
Molding an Alabama Football Champion
To be remembered is that Nick Saban and his staff are trying to teach a young team what is required to be a champion. Saban’s words in his opening remarks were,
"Are you willing to do what is required to win? What does that mean?"
Saban answered his own question, leaving no mystery for his players. Saban also said to his players “you should enhance the challenge of what is coming.”
Whatever personnel decisions are made during the season, Alabama has championship talent. Nick Saban is working hard to mold a core group that is prepared to face championship adversity.