SABAN BREAKS DOWN SECOND SCRIMMAGE

Alabama held its second and final scrimmage of August camp on Saturday. The scrimmage was closed to media. Coach Saban provided his insight following the scrimmage.

OPENING STATEMENT

I think the number one thing, which was the focus after last scrimmage, was to be able to make some significant improvement from week one to week two. I certainly saw a lot of areas where we were able to do that. We made a lot more explosive plays today. We were a lot more consistent on offense. Took care of the ball pretty well. Both quarterbacks played well. I thought the tackling was not as crisp as it needs to be. We continue to make more mental errors than we are going to able to tolerate. We had a couple of two-minute situations at the end that we were successful at. I thought specialists did fairly well today. Each of them had probably one play they wish they had back, but I was really pleased with that as well.

I think the big message is that the things we focused on and the things we worked on are the things that we made improvement on. The things that we don’t pay attention to detail to… we need to continue to create more turnovers on defense. I thought we did a pretty good job of taking care of the ball on offense.

Overall, I’m pleased with the improvement that we’ve made. I’m far from satisfied with where our team is. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

ON LINEBACKER CHRIS ALLEN’S INJURY

Two guys I should have mentioned. (Offensive tackle) Matt Womack obviously had a foot fracture last year. He actually stepped on somebody’s foot in practice. He’s going to be out four to six weeks. (Outside linebacker) Chris Allen, (had a) surgical knee injury. He’s probably out of the season. So it’s unfortunate that we’ve got two of those at the same position (Terrell Lewis is also out with an ACL). Both guys would have made a contribution to our team. We don’t have enough depth, especially on defense to afford to be able to lose those guys.

ON WHICH LINEBACKERS NEED TO STEP UP

Basically, we have Anfernee (Jennings) and Christian Miller, who have been starters around here. Past that, we have Ben Davis and two freshmen (Eyabi Anoma and Cameron Latu). Inside linebacker Josh McMillon could probably play the position. I’m not sure we can afford to move him. We are really very, very thin at those two positions.

ON TUA TAGOVAILOA’S IMPROVEMENT

Everybody has improved. Jalen has made a lot of improvement. Tua has made a lot improvement. He has a better understanding of the offense. He’s got a lot more reps. He’s always been a very a instinctive player, but I think he would say that his knowledge and experience has benefitted him.

ON HIS CONCERN ABOUT INJURIES

I’ve been concerned about this all along. I don’t know why you even ask the question. You all just think that whatever happens that we just s**t another player and everything is going to be perfect. That’s the message that you all send out there. Yeah, I worry about it. So I am very worried about it. How you manage problems that you have and go about trying to help players and have a role on the team? That’s the most important thing we do as coaches. I trust and believe in the players that we have. We’ve just got to get them better. They don’t have a lot of experience. They’re young players. We’ve just to get them to understand what it takes to play with consistency.

ON WHAT HE SAW FROM THE YOUNG SECONDARY

We didn’t play very well today. We gave up a lot of big plays. I’m not pointing out anybody, but we need to do better. We made a lot of mental errors. We didn’t play well as a group. We have some individuals that are playing well. We’ve got some other guys that need to play with more discipline and eye control and understand what they do. They’re young players. I believe in them. I’ve got a lot confidence that we can get them where they need to be. But they need to realize that they’ve got a lot of things they need to work on. That’s something that we want to get back at. The guys have worked really, really hard. But sometimes when things go fast out there, it’s hard for them to figure and they don’t play with a lot of focus and confidence. We’ll keep working with those guys.

ALABAMA LANDS FIVE ON ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-AMERICA TEAM

Jonah Williams and Ross Pierschbacher named to the first team; Raekwon Davis, Damien Harris and Mack Wilson earn second-team recognition

The Alabama Crimson Tide placed five players on the 2018 Associated Press Preseason All-America Team, the wire service announced on Tuesday. Alabama’s five selections ties for the most for any school on this year’s team.

Offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and Jonah Williams received first team recognition for the Crimson Tide while defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, running back Damien Harris and linebacker Mack Wilson were named to the second team.

The Tide’s five picks tied with Wisconsin for the most by one school on this year’s team. Clemson and Stanford were next with four apiece while Washington and Notre Dame each had three players chosen. Boston College, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, Utah and West Virginia were all represented by two players. The Southeastern Conference led all leagues with 13 players honored. The Pac-12 was second with 12.

A veteran presence on the Crimson Tide offensive line, Pierschbacher has made 42 career starts and blocked for 28 100-yard rushing performances during his three standout seasons at the Capstone. The senior from Cedar Falls, Iowa, native is a two-time All-SEC performer and anchored an offensive front that helped UA rank No. 2 in the conference in rushing and scoring a season ago.

Williams has started all 29 games of his career on the Tide offensive line. The Folsom, Calif., native started 15 games at right tackle as a freshman in 2016 and all 14 contests at left tackle in 2017. The junior earned All-America honors from the AFCA and AP a season ago and was a Freshman All-American in 2016.

Davis has established himself as one of the top defensive line prospects in the Southeastern Conference as he begins his junior campaign. The Meridian, Miss., native finished the 2017 season with a team-leading 8.5 sacks, along with 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, a fumble return and his first career interception.

The Tide’s top running back in each of the last two seasons, Harris enters his senior season coming off of back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns and ranks No. 16 all-time at UA with 2,194 career yards. The Richmond, Ky., native has averaged 7.2 yards per carry in his last 281 rushing attempts, dating to the start of the 2016 season.

Wilson was dominant in the postseason for the Crimson Tide in 2017, posting 18 tackles, three tackles for loss and an interception return for a touchdown in the final two games of the season. The junior had a career-high and team-leading 12 stops in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Top-ranked Alabama opens its 2018 season on Sept. 1 in Orlando, Fla., against Louisville in the Camping World Kickoff Game at Camping World Stadium. The matchup is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CT start on ABC.

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