Nick Saban impressed with balanced offense after second scrimmageBy Molly Catherine Walsh | 04/14/2017 10:09pm
The Alabama Crimson Tide held a scrimmage inside Bryant Denny Stadium on Friday.
Injured running back Bo Scarbrough did not play today although he has been doing everything in practice besides getting hit. Damien Harris sprained his foot in last week’s scrimmage also did not play. They will take his recovery day-by-day in order to keep him as healthy as possible as they near A-Day.
Defensive back Deionte Thompson was not at the scrimmage today as he was cooperating with law enforcement in regards to the warrant in his name for felony aggravated assault.
Recruits watched from the sidelines as the Crimson Tide showcased an effective offense with strong passes and forceful plays. Although the offense was satisfactory, the defense was lacking.
Head coach Nick Saban noticed that tackles were not as clean as they were last Saturday and the team was playing itself that may just mean that the offense was better at running after the catch or breaking tackles on runs.
“I thought that the balance on offense was good,” Saban said. “We had good balance between some of the passes, some explosive plays as well as I thought we ran the ball a little better and had a couple of explosive runs, which there was an absence of a week ago. And defensively, I thought there was a little more juice but like I said, I didn't think we tackled as well as we need to.”
Position wise, quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa have both been throwing in practice, but a distinguishing factor between the two are the hands that they throw with. To Saban, left-handed quarterbacks are about as unusual as any other left-handed person on the planet. There is no advantage or disadvantage because they are throwing the same ball. It’s not the hand you throw with that matters at all, it is an ability to read plays that Saban is looking for.
“I know they throw the ball with a different hand but no different than if somebody writes left-handed or writes right-handed,” Saban said. “You still write and you still write the same language, you still throw the same ball. Accuracy, decision-making and judgment are all still important.”
Exemplary decision-making is an important element to a successful football team, according to Saban, and so is versatility. It is important that if players are capable, they learn to master more than one position in their time at Alabama in order to maximize their athletic potential.
“The cross-training we want to do is we want to create goals for guys in different circumstances,” Saban said. “Minkah's (Fitzpatrick) a good example. He knew how to play nothing but Star when he was a freshman, then he learned how to play corner, then he learned how to play safety, and now he can play just about anywhere. But he never learned all those things at once. He sort of mastered one thing and did the next.”
It’s important to Saban to teach players versatility when they are young. The more time they have to master each position, the better. The goal is to avoid confusion and to achieve ambidexterity from a position stand-point.