Nick Saban Sends Mixed Message About Alabama Quarterbacks

Getty Nick Saban sent mixed messages about his Alabama quarterbacks after the Crimson Tide's second spring scrimmage

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban sent mixed messages about his Alabama quarterbacks (Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson) to a group of reporters following the second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, April 15 — one week out from the program’s annual “A-Day” spring game.

“They both made some good plays, but they also both made some plays that they probably wish they would have had back,” Saban said. “They’re making progress. They’re improving. I think that they’re developing some confidence in the offense and what they’re supposed to read, and what they’re supposed to do. I thought we were a little up and down today. I thought we made some really good plays but I also thought we made, maybe, some mistakes we need to eliminate.”

As’s Mike Rodak relayed, the offense did not have the same clear advantages they had in the first scrimmage.

“After the offense had the clear edge in the first scrimmage last week, Saban he thought ‘both quarterbacks played equally well’ and ‘did a nice job out there managing the game,'” Rodak prefaced before saying, “In the second scrimmage Saturday, that advantage was not as clear.”

Jalen Milroe is ‘Really Special’ When it Comes to Speed

While Saban was somewhat bearish overall in his assessment of Alabama’s quarterback room, he did have uplifting things to say about the scrambling ability of Simpson and Milroe — referring to the latter as “really special” when it comes to his speed.

“He can move,” Saban said. “He’s a good athlete. He can make plays with his feet. I think Jalen is, probably, really special when it comes to that because of his speed. But Ty does it fairly well. … He ran the ball a lot in high school. He’s tough and he makes pretty good decisions when he’s running the ball.”

Saban then stressed the importance of taking off from the pocket when it makes sense, claiming that his quarterbacks “wasted time” by scrambling when the offense would’ve been better off with throwing the ball away.

“Guys have to understand, is this a good time to run or not? Like, we did some two-minute today and guys were running where we’d be better off if they throw the ball away, because we’re just wasting time, really,” Saban said. “I think situationally, we can probably do a little bit better job of making decisions on when we use our feet to make plays and when it’s better to give up on a play and have a better chance to make a play the next play, especially in a lot of these two-minute situations.”

Nick Saban on Jalen Milroe’s Awareness and Ball Security

Saban went deeper into Milroe’s attributes, stressing his awareness isn’t a problem — though his ability to hold onto the football and avoid fumbles is.

“We really try to emphasize two hands on the ball,” Saban said. “I didn’t think his pocket awareness was bad last year. I think his ball security was not what it needs to be. Sometimes he starts moving around, you’ve got to have two hands on the ball so you can’t knock the ball out of your hands. That’s something we’ve worked really hard so far this spring.”

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