Harrowing words were shared about the Alabama quarterback situation by ESPN host Paul Finebaum following a disappointing A-Day showing on April 22. Finebaum fears the position could “do harm” to the offense in Tommy Rees’ initial season as Crimson Tide offensive coordinator.
“The quarterback (position) can do you harm, and that is what you don’t want,” Finebaum said on WJOX in Birmingham on April 24. “That was the most negative takeaway from (Alabama’s A-Day game). It looked at least an initial sampling that they could do harm. I think ultimately, it will get settled. What it will mainly mean is that expectations for Alabama will be dialed down a hair. They were already below Georgia in probably the SEC and national championship race, and I don’t think much will change there.”
Nick Saban hinted that Alabama could explore the transfer portal to address the team’s issues during the April 22 A-Day post-scrimmage press scrum.
“I think the people who have been in the program obviously have an advantage to some degree, but I also think, you know, everyone needs to ask themselves whatever position you play, are you playing winning football at that position and can you play winning football at that position,” Saban said. “We’ve tried to build this program here with guys that we recruit and the people in the program, but we have had a few guys who have come in and made real impacts on the team and if we see an opportunity to do that, we’re always looking for a way to make our team better.”
Paul Finebaum Bearish About the Alabama Offensive Line
Not only did Alabama get disappointing performances from Jalen Milroe (19/37 completions) and Ty Simpson (12/26 passing), but Finebaum feels the offensive line is something that needs to be figured out ahead of the 2023 season.
“Well, I don’t think it can get figured out easily, because you know, even last year I remember the spring game favored the (defensive line) from that standpoint,” Finebaum said. “But there was a reason for that (Will Anderson) and he’s about to go second or third in the NFL Draft. But I don’t — it’s not an easily solvable situation, but you have to figure out a way to detail with it. That is a concern I am sure Nick Saban has right now. He does not have problems that he can easily mask. That is just something you have to solve, which you have to solve by taking away from somewhere else, which is not good.”
Despite the supposed offensive line deficiencies, Justice Haynes was able to stand out on A-Day with 64 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Nick Saban on Alabama Quarterbacks
Saban wasn’t totally down on his two starting quarterback options, Milroe and Simpson, following an inefficient showing through the air. The 71-year-old credited the duo for their play on the ground amidst criticism of the pair’s lack of playmaking through the air.
“I think we have pretty good skill guys, I think we have guys that can make plays and as a quarterback, it’s not only just the plays that you can make – and I like both guys’ athleticism to be able to extend plays and get out of trouble and make plays with their feet, which they did a couple times today,” Saban prefaced on April 22 before saying, “But at the same time, I think we’ve gotta work on going through progressions and develop confidence in the passing game so that we can distribute the ball to other people who can make plays more effectively and more efficiently.”
On the bright side, Eli Holstein and, particularly Dylan Lonergan, looked ahead of schedule in their own development at A-Day.