Quarterback pick still up in the air going into A-DayBy Elliott Propes | 04/12/2015 10:02pm
Alabama quarterback Jake Coker looks downfield during this weekend's scrimmage. UA Athletics
One of the largest battles on the team is for the quarterback position. Saban said it is still a five-man race between Jake Coker, David Cornwell, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett.
“We are looking for the guys who can [lead] more consistently, and who’s going to help play winning football at that position on the most consistent basis,” Saban said. “This is not something you can just sort of wave a wand and say, ‘OK, I think we got it here.’ I think this decision is going to be made over time.”
During the few minutes of media availability before the scrimmage, Cornwell received some first team reps in a two wide receiver set with all of the lineman in play. Then during a drill with just the receivers and quarterbacks, Coker was first in line.
“[Cornwell] has done as good as anybody this spring,” Saban said. “He is very bright, he has a great understanding of the offense. He does a great job from a leadership standpoint of helping other players play better when he is in there, and he has played smart for the most part all spring.”
Replacing a quarterback is not the only task Saban must contend with. Alabama lost last season’s top three receivers, Amari Cooper, Christion Jones and DeAndrew White. For most of the spring, Robert Foster, Chris Black and ArDarius Stewart have been getting the majority of the reps. During the scrimmage Foster had the most yardage with six receptions for 102 yards.
“Robert has really come on,” Saban said. “I think being a young player, Robert is uncertain sometimes of exactly what he is supposed to do and how he is supposed to do it. When he knows, he plays fast and certainly has big-play ability. I’m not satisfied with where he is, but I’m certainly encouraged by the progress he has made.”
With only one week remaining before A-Day, there are still several questions about who will play where, but Saban said he is not too concerned right now, especially with the qua terback competition. It was not until the third game last season when Saban fully decided on Blake Sims.
“When the scrimmages come, because you only have two, you want to give everyone an opportunity so you can evaluate,” Saban said. “So that’s what we have done, and ... we will continue to do that even in A-Day. In fall camp we need to establish here is the guy, but someone’s got to take the bull by the horns and do that too. It’s not for us to give away, it’s for someone to earn it.”