One week of practice after Alabama’s first scrimmage led to some progress, coach Nick Saban said on Saturday. But the second and final scrimmage of fall camp also showed that some areas of the team have to make more progress in the two weeks between the scrimmage and the season opener on Sept. 1.
“We made a lot more explosive plays today, were a lot more consistent on offense,” Saban said. “Took care of the ball pretty well, both quarterbacks played well. I thought the tackling was not as crisp as it needs to be on defense, and we continue to make probably more mental errors than we’re going to be able to tolerate.”
Both sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and junior Jalen Hurts showed improvement from last season, Saban said. Statistics from the scrimmage, which was closed to the public, were not available.
On the other side of the ball, Saban said the Alabama secondary gave up a number of big plays and made other costly errors.
“We need to play better as a group,” he said. “We have some individuals that are playing well and some guys that need to play with a lot more discipline, eye control and understand what they do. They’re young players, I believe in them. I have a lot of confidence that we can get them where they need to be, but they need to realize they have a lot of things to work on and that’s something that we definitely want to get back at. These guys that work really, really hard. I think sometimes when things go fast out there, it’s hard for them to figure it out and then they don’t play with a log of confidence and focus. That just goes with being a young player. We’ll keep working with those guys and go from there.”
Some of the issues for Alabama’s young players were part of regular growing pains. Those can be ironed out in time, but still showed up in Saturday’s scrimmage. Alabama returns to the practice field on Monday looking for progress in several areas.
“Every team has problems,” Saban said. “Look, how you manage problems, the discipline that you have to go about trying to help players improve and get better so they can have a role on the team, that’s the most important thing we can do as coaches. Alright? So we don’t have an opportunity to get any more players right now. I trust and believe in the players that we have and we just have to get them better. They don’t have a lot of experience. They’re young players. We just have to get them to understand what it takes to get them to go out there and play with consistency.”
Reach Ben Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0196.