As Alabama readies for its second scrimmage of the spring, it comes on a Friday instead of Saturday.
That change accommodates Easter weekend, but UA head coach Nick Saban isn’t going to change what he wants to see.
More consistent play along the line of scrimmage from both the offense and defense is two of the areas the team wants to show. Last week’s scrimmage revealed big plays in the passing game, and Saban wants more discipline from his defense line.
“I think we stopped the run OK,” he said. “think the big thing we have to work on is pass rush, pass rush lanes, quarterback scrambling, quarterback running. Everybody is worried about getting the sack. They need to worry about forcing the quarterback, pushing the pocket in the middle so he can’t step up and throw the ball, can’t extend plays which means that coverage breaks down in the back and we make big plays.
“I would say that against the run we were OK, but past that I don’t have a great feel for it without watching the film.”
The offensive line is seeking continuity on the right side. There are multiple combinations of players to try at right guard and right tackle. Last week it was Lester Cotton at right guard and Matt Womack at right tackle.
”(Cotton) probably could play right tackle if we needed him to,” Saban said. “Womack is playing right tackle and he’s making progress and doing a good job.
“Do we need to make improvements at the offensive line? I think probably at all positions, there’s no position on our team where we don’t need improvement. But those guys have been a pretty solid group so far, but again, if I was going to be specific, I think pass protection is something that we really need to improve on, being more physical in the running game and getting more movement up front are the things that I would say not just today but all spring long that we really want to emphasize with those players.”
As the team starts to take shape, the aspiration remains the same.
“The number one goal for any team, any new team as you rebuild a team is for that team to take advantage of trying to create an identity for themselves and have a clear vision of who we want to be and how we want to play,” Saban said.
“We always talk about being a team that nobody wants to play. I think that comes from guys playing with relentless competitive spirit, trusting in the process of how we do things and what we do so you can play together as a team and be fast and physical in what you do and take care of the ball and finish plays.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.
A-Day Spring Game
When: Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m.
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium
Notes: Event is free and will be televised live on ESPN; clear-bag policy in effect.