Saturday, Alabama held the second of three scrimmages scheduled this spring, with the third scrimmage being A-Day on April 22.
In Alabama’s first scrimmage of the spring last week, the offense excelled at ball security preventing the defense from recording any turnovers. However, the story was quite the opposite on Saturday, with the defense being able to force multiple turnovers.
“I think we made progress,” Saban said. “I think we made improvement. I think one of the things that’s always hard to judge when you’re playing against yourselves – what’s good for one team is not so good for the other. You’re playing against each other, so when one team makes a play, it’s good for that team but the other team maybe didn’t execute as well as they should. We had some good plays, and we had some bad plays. There’s a lot of opportunities to learn.”
“We just were a little up and down today," he continued. "Like the good plays were really good, but some of the bad plays were really not what we wanted. But it will create an opportunity for us to make some corrections, continue to try to develop the kind of competitive character that we need. I think every player’s gotta challenge himself to give great effort, sustain and try to finish every play and be accountable and responsible to do your job and then we can eliminate some of the mental errors and some of the negative plays. I’ve said this before – sometimes you’ve gotta eliminate the bad before you can really evaluate the good because sometimes the bad plays get you beat. And that’s one thing that you wanna eliminate before you have a chance to win.”
In the first scrimmage of the spring, both quarterbacks performed well and protected the football, leading to high praise from Saban. After Saturday’s scrimmage, Saban’s evaluation of the two quarterbacks after both quarterbacks had ball security issues was much more humbling.
“They both made some good plays, but they also both made some plays that they probably wish they would have had back," Saban said. "But they’re making progress. They’re improving. I think that they’re developing some confidence in the offense in what they’re supposed to read and what they’re supposed to do. I thought we were a little up and down today. I think we made some really good plays, but I also thought we made some maybe mistakes that we need to eliminate.”
While most of the attention this spring is focused on the quarterback battle, true freshman running back Justice Haynes has grabbed the attention of Saban after having a great spring so far. Haynes could be the most talented running back on the roster, possessing all the qualities wanted in a running back. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back brings a powerful running style as well as being able to catch the football out of the backfield.
“Justice has had a great spring,” Saban said following Saturday’s scrimmage. “He’s a really good player. He’s a really mature guy. He’s really smart. Nothing’s really too big for him. He goes out there and competes, and if you are just a guy sitting on a log watching, you would never know he’s a freshman. So he's a very talented guy. He can make cuts. He can make you miss. He's got some power, good speed. He's a good receiver. So he’s done a really, really good job all spring.”
Alabama will have two more spring practices before finishing up the spring on Saturday, April 22 with the A-Day game.
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