Fall camp officially began for the Alabama football team on Thursday, and with the season opener against Middle Tennessee State just four weeks away, the Alabama quarterback battle is still ongoing.
The quarterback position is the biggest question mark going into the Crimson Tide's fall camp. No playmaker like Bryce Young is in the quarterback room this year. Alabama may be forced to go back to the "game manager" style quarterback this season, one that protects the football and relies on the rushing attack and defense to win the game.
In his first press appearance since the start of fall camp, Saban tried to deter quarterback questions by sending a warning to reporters before the first question could be asked.
"You're going to ask me about the quarterbacks every day," Saban said. "Every day I'm going to tell you the same thing. Everybody's getting reps at the position."
At SEC media days two weeks ago, Saban compared the quarterback competition to waiting on a cake to bake, and during his press conference after the first practice of fall camp, he used the comparison again.
"Somebody's got to take the bull by the horns," Saban said. "Somebody's got to separate themselves. When that happens, we'll tell you. Will be glad to tell you. When we're going to take the cake out of the oven, we're going to tell you when it's time. But until then, there's really nothing to talk about, nothing to say."
Alabama's quarterback battle is currently a three-man race between Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner.
Milroe may not end up with the starting job, but he has the most experience as an Alabama quarterback after filling in for an injured Bryce Young for a game and a half and leading the first-team offense in the A-Day scrimmage.
Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner got a late start to the quarterback battle, missing the A-Day scrimmage but seems to be getting comfortable with the new system and making a serious push to challenge for the starting job.
Despite Saban telling reporters that until they "take the cake out of the oven," there is really nothing to talk about with the quarterbacks, he did answer a question about Buchner and his background with new Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees.
"Tommy knew the guy better than anybody could know him. I mean, he coached him for a couple years. The guy was injured last year, so he didn't get as much experience. I think he started two games and played fairly well, so we got the opportunity to see that. But Tommy knows him better than anybody else could. I think you always know a player when you coach them. You know what his strengths are. You know what he needs to improve on. I still think that he's probably getting comfortable with the system. There's some new terminology in it. And I think he's probably still getting comfortable with the players around him because the other guys have been with those guys a little more. But I do think there's really good competition at the position."
Saban may not have to 'take the cake out of the oven' today, but he doesn't have long with the season opener set for September 2 against Middle Tennessee State and, more importantly, the big matchup the following week against Texas.
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