Mark me down as a member of the Alabama football fan, ‘always trust Nick Saban’ club. He is human and that means he can make mistakes, but he has earned a reputation that even when he is wrong, he is right.
Another reason to trust Saban is as fans we can never know enough about the behind-the-scenes stuff only coaches, players and members of the Alabama football staff know.
When I wrote that Jalen Milroe is The Guy at QB1, it was not based on knowledge of what decision Tommy Ress and Nick Saban will make. It was based on no other Crimson Tide quarterback having moved past Milroe, and other imprecise indications that none of them will. All that could change during Saturday’s scrimmage. It could also change against MTSU and even against Texas or later in September.
Early in fall camp, Nick Saban said,
"You got an opportunity to separate yourself, show you can play with consistency and play winning football at the position, but that competition goes on and on and on and we need all our quarterbacks to continue to improve and continue to compete, compete far beyond even the time that we name a starter."
This week Saban went back to an old standard that the decision is “not up to the coaches.”
"You’re looking over your shoulder to see if the coach is gonna do this or that. How about you forcing me to play you? Forcing me to play you. Force us to play you. When you get your reps and you get a chance to play you play so good we don’t have any choice but to play you"
Nick Saban speaks Alabama Football truth
Again, nothing in Nick Saban’s statements is untrue. But, they also cannot be categorized as full disclosure. Saban and Tommy Rees likely know that without a strong move by another QB in Saturday’s scrimmage, Jalen Milroe will trot on the field first against MTSU.
The contest against the Blue Raiders could be a test of the new Alabama football defense, but any of the Crimson Tide’s five QBs can produce points against the MTSU defense. The challenge for Tide quarterbacks will be tougher this Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny.
Some of what Saban says about the quarterback situation is a ploy to mislead Steve Sarkisian and Texas. For the same reason of keeping the Longhorns in the dark, at least three Tide QBs are expected to see action against MTSU.
There are strong indications Jalen Milroe has already won the team. What is left for Milroe is to win the trust of Tommy Rees and Nick Saban, by showing that he can consistently play winning football.