During his Tuesday press conference, Nick Saban was again asked about the Tide's quarterback competition. Saban had a simple and straightforward message for the three players battling for the starting job, "Force us to play you."
"What I tell the quarterbacks is, 'It's not up to the coaches,'" Saban said. "You're looking over your shoulder to see if the coach is going to do this or that. How about you forcing me to play you? Force us to play you. When you get your reps and you get a chance to play, you play so good we don't have any choice but to play you."
As the kickoff of the 2023 season draws near, a trio of players have been engaged in a heated battle for the coveted starting quarterback role at Alabama. The top contenders include Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner. In the team's recent closed scrimmage, the first of two, all three had opportunities to showcase their skills under center. However, Coach Saban chose not to disclose any specific statistics or additional insights regarding their performances.
"I'm not a stats guy, so we're not interested in what their statistics were," he said. "We are going to be interested when we watch the film. How did they execute? Did they throw the ball at the right place at the right time? Were they accurate in what they did? Did they take care of the ball so that we have a chance to play winning football at that position? That's what we'll be evaluating."
Based on insiders who were present at the exclusive scrimmage, Milroe and Simpson both threw for multiple touchdowns without an interception. It appears those two may have slightly elevated themselves above Tyler Buchner, but perhaps not enough to force Saban to name his starting quarterback just yet.
Alabama will hold its second and final scrimmage of the fall this Saturday, presenting another opportunity for one of the quarterbacks to take control of the starting job. On August 28, the Monday before the opening game of the 2023 season against Middle Tennessee State on September 2, Saban is expected to release the first depth chart.
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