Alabama held its first scrimmage of the spring season, and one thing impressed head coach Nick Saban: the quarterback play.
The Crimson Tide returns starter Jalen Hurts, but also added two talented recruits in Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones. Saban was pleased with all three quarterback’s performances after today’s scrimmage.
“I thought we were much more effective passing the football today,” Saban said.” A lot of big plays, a lot of explosive plays throwing the ball, especially play action passes. I think all the quarterbacks did a fairly good job and they all got a good opportunity.”
Hurts is leading the pack heading into next season, and earlier this week, he said the game was starting to slow down for him as he got more experience. In today’s scrimmage, Hurts threw four touchdown passes, according to Saban.
“I thought he did a really good job,” Saban said, “I don’t think he threw any interceptions today, so that was good. He has a good understanding of what we’re doing and did a much better job in the pocket and did a really good job with play action passes.”
Hurts’ targets at wide receiver had a good day too. According to Saban, junior Calvin Ridley hauled in eight catches for the Crimson Tide. Along with Ridley, Robert Foster is a player who many expect to have a bigger role this season.
Foster had a good start to the 2015 season before being injury. Last year, he failed to make much of an impact. Saban was impressed with his production of Foster and the other receivers.
“I was pleased with the receivers,” Saban said. “I think that’s one of the areas of concern where we need to make considerable improvement when I talk about consistency in performance. But most certainly, Calvin Ridley had a big day and Robert Foster was good.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Alabama made one crucial change. Minkah Fitzpatrick, who has played cornerback for most of the spring season, moved to safety for the scrimmage.
Taking his place at cornerback was Trevon Diggs, who played wide receiver for Alabama last season. Diggs has been one of Alabama’s more versatile players, and he even played some safety last year as well.
“He’s much more natural playing at corner than when we tried to play him at safety,” Saban said. “That’s where he played in high school. Long, he has good toughness. He’s a good tackler. Plays the ball well in the deep part of the field and did a good job of playing man-to-man.”
Outside of the secondary, Alabama’s defense will once again have to reload after losing multiple stars. The front seven only returns two starters.
“I think the big thing we have to work on is pass rush, pass rush lanes, quarterback scrambling, quarterback running,” Saban said. “Everybody is worried about getting the sack. They need to worry about forcing the quarterback, pushing the pocket in the middle so he can’t step up and throw the ball, can’t extend plays which means that coverage breaks down in the back and we make big plays.”
Alabama will be back in practice this week as the team prepares for it’s A-Day game on April 22.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports