SCRIMMAGE TWO RECAP //Coach Saban Encouraged

The Crimson Tide held its second and the final scrimmage of August camp on Saturday afternoon at Bryant Denny Stadium. The scrimmage was closed to the media. Here are Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage comments.


“I was really kind of encouraged by the progress that we made. I think there’s a lot of progress between scrimmage one and scrimmage two. A lot more guys were able to execute. I think there’s a lot that we have to work on.

The key to the drill is, can you ask yourself the question, ‘Can I do my job on a consistent basis?’ That means three things: can I play with the kind of effort, the kind of toughness and be responsible to know what to do, how to do it and why it’s important to do it that way and do it over and over and over regardless of the circumstances in the game, regardless to the situation in the game. I think we had more guys that could do that today. But I also think we need to have more guys that can do that with confidence, that are young players that have a chance to contribute to this team that have to develop that confidence between now and then. There’s a difference between having success and being successful. You can have success on one play. To be successful, you have to have success play after play after play over a long period of time, and that is what makes you a consistent performer and a successful player. That’s what we need to be focused on. That’s what we really need to do. Every player needs to look at, ‘Can I do that? Can I do my job?’ And then when they look at the film, they have to self-asses so they know what they have to work on so that when we go to practice next week everybody can go practice with a purpose in terms of what they need to improve so we put ourselves in the best position to be able to play our best that we can in the first game against a very good team. That’s the key to the drill.”


Continuing in his opening comments, Saban noted the Tide offense must finish drives.

“One of the things was a little discouraging today was we moved the ball early in the scrimmage offensively (and then) stalled in the red area. Turned the ball over in the red area. Those are not the kind of things…we’ve got to be able to finish drives and score points.”


“We had a rain delay today. It was 22 minutes. We stayed out there in the rain and then we got some lightening and then we had to go in. I was saying, ‘That’s just like halftime. Let’s see how we go out and play in the second half. I actually thought the energy was a little better than when we left. A lot of good things that were encouraging today.”


“Bo (Scarbrough) has been ill. Pretty sick. I’m talking about ill enough to be in bed. We don’t think it’s serious illness or anything like. But it was something that we didn’t think he should be in position where he’s not resting. Josh Jacobs is still day to day and did not scrimmage because of his injury (pulled hamstring).”


Saban was asked how the communication from the sideline to the field was during the scrimmage.

“It was good. I had a headset on. Very decisive about what we were doing. I think we play better tempo-wise offensively when we play fast, which may be a good thing for us. The organization, the communication was good. We didn’t have problems. We didn’t have delay of the game, substitution penalties. We didn’t have any of those issues.”


Coach Saban confirmed that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll worked from the sideline during

the scrimmage. “Coach Daboll was on the sidelines. We had press box organization today. Coaches that are going to be in the press box were in the press box. The ones that could be on the phones and talk, the ones that couldn’t talk, the ones that do administrative work. The same ones are going to be on the sidelines. Worked the special teams substitution just like it as a game. It was much more game-like for the first 60 plays of the scrimmage, back and forth, which is close to 30 plays for each team. Then we did some situational stuff, good against good.”


After a poor performance in last Saturday’s scrimmage, the placekicking this week was much better in practices. The progress continued on Saturday

“We were much better. J.K. (Scott) made a 51-yard field goal. Joseph (Bulovas), I think, kicked two field goals. (He) made one, missed one. I think we made the rest. Andy (Pappanastos) was three for three. We kicked a couple of them when it was pouring down rain.

“I thought it was really a good situation (the rain) for us to have a plan. We’ve had some wet ball practices, because we’ve had quite a few rainy days. It certainly paid off.”


Coach Saban was asked about the progress made by backup freshmen quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones. “I think that Tua has really progressed nicely. He had a good day today. Probably had a few more opportunities. Made a couple of explosive plays. He’s making very, very good progress. I think Mac is doing the same. But we have to sort of say, ‘Ok, who are we going to get ready to play here?’ We’ve got the first quarterback, Jalen. Then we’ve got a guy that we’ve got to have ready to play as a backup. Then we’ve got to bring Mac along the best we can. And he’s made good progress and he got some opportunities today and didn’t do a bad job.”


Coach Saban was asked if it was his experience that the second (final) scrimmage has added importance. “I think every day as a coach you want to see the players execute well. That’s the number one thing. The ability to execute on a consistent basis. That’s really what makes you a good team. That gives the unit the best chance to be successful. But I think as a coach you look at, ‘Where are we in all that?’ Wherever we are, that’s where we have to progress from. I think we made progress in this scrimmage. I’m pleased with the progress that we made. Are we where I’d love for us to be? The identity of this team, no matter where anybody ranks you or rates you, and we certainly appreciate the fact that people acknowledge the program here, but this team’s identity is based on what they do moving forward in the games that they have in the future. That’s what every player should be looking at relative to what they need to do to improve. And that’s what every unit on our team should be looking at. And I hope that’s what we’re focused on.”


Saban was asked about Jalen Hurts’ progress in the pocket — when to stay and when to bail.

“I think Jalen has developed more confidence as a passer. I think his ability to scramble is still a tremendous asset for him. I think he’s learned how to use that a little bit better and be an effective passer. I think systemically we’re better in that regard.”


Saban was asked when the attention would turn to preparing for the opener against Florida State.

“We kind of have a plan about when we want to have a plan of when to get going on Florida State. Philosophically, I’ve always been one that if you practice too long for somebody, that everybody gets stale by the time you play the game. I think we have work to do on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ll sort of make an assessment of where we are and then decide where we go from there, whether we’re ready to start preparation for the game and have a couple of extra practices for it or exactly when we’ll do that.”

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