Last Saturday the Tide scrimmaged for the 2nd and final time before the August 30th opener with West Virginia, and the million dollar question was how the quarterbacks fared.
Everyone wants to know stats. Everyone wants to hear numbers that will make them breathe easier heading into the post-AJ McCarron era.
Unfortunately, Nick Saban knows something we don’t. Unlike almost everyone reading this post, Bama’s 4-time National Champion head coach, the longest tenured head man in T-Town since Paul W. Bryant, isn’t ready to divulge that information.
“Both guys played an equal number reps with the ones today,” Saban said. “Both guys had their moments doing good things. I also saw inconsistencies with those guys.”
And that’s what we got.
We live in a time where we go to war as a country and we’d like a nightly presser indicating what happened that day, and what’s going to happen next…like our enemies don’t have access to airwaves.
Ours is a generation where heating something in the microwave for more than 1:00 is just too dang long. We want it ready, and we want it now.
But apparently, the man closing in on 200 college football wins isn’t ready to take that info out of the oven.
He did share this, however.
“I do think that Blake probably is playing faster right now. He’s been in the system a little longer. Has a better understanding. Has a little bit more rhythm. I think sometimes Jake is still trying to feel his way.”
Blake Sims is a fifth year senior that has done everything asked of him in his time at Alabama. Until this coming season, my favorite Sims moment will be him taunting the LSU fans following T.J. Yeldon’s last-second touchdown in Baton Rouge two seasons ago. That favorited memory will likely be replaced this year.
Sims is an athlete. He is fast as a cat, but built like a running back. And he can throw it a mile. If he can hit anything at the end of that mile remains to be seen, but one of the brightest offensive minds in the game seems to believe he can use what he’s witnessed, at least situationally.
But that’s not to say Jake Coker is out of the picture yet. The transfer was wearing garnet and gold this time last year, and though he took part in summer reps, has worn Crimson just three weeks. Asking him to step in and be the magic savior at QB may be a little too much.
But then again, this is Alabama we’re talking about, where 11-2 or 10-3 is considered by some to be a down year.
Still, thankfully ours isn’t a high school coach transplanted to the college level entering just his third season. He is a master. The master in the game today, a fact this isn’t up for debate. And maybe, just maybe Alabama head coach Nick Saban knows what he’s doing.
“He (Coker) made some real significant strides in practice this week. Had some really good practices,” Saban went on to say after the scrimmage. “That’s still going to be a competitive situation. Until somebody clearly wins the job, we’re not making a decision.”
The fact is, a decision really isn’t needed until September 20th. Bama has warm up games against West Virginia, Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss to get someone ready for the gauntlet that will later come. Or to get someone(s) ready.
From my sources, I’m of the opinion both signal callers will be used this season. And with a stable of running backs, not much will be needed, frankly. T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry is the 1-2-3 punch Alabama hasn’t had at that position since the 2009 season. Ingram, Richardson and Lacy were great, but the trio suiting up this year may be just as good.
And that season? There was a newcomer under center named Greg McElroy. All he did was lead the Tide to a 14-0 season and a National Championship win over Texas.
But at Alabama, that doesn’t seem to be good enough. We strive for excellence. We see through Lucky Charms wins and want substance. We’re a higher breed of football fan, listening past the cotton candy “sayings and slogans” other fanbases intoxicate themselves with in favor of the truth.
Thankfully we have Nick Saban. And thankfully he’s chosen to put up with and make his home with us. Thankfully, he’s got this. Something he’s seen from the two main options at QB makes him confident heading into 2014.
And even more thankfully, Nick Saban understands the rules of war. The enemy doesn’t need to know what’s going on at the quarterback position right now. And frankly…gasp microwave generation…neither do we.