It was just a beautiful afternoon which made the scrimmage much more enjoyable to watch. With all of the rain and storms we have had of late, I just knew the weather would be rotten today.
I guess the big question that everyone has in mind is who will the next quarterback be but after watching them for 2 hours I didn't see that much difference between all of them. If CNS had to pick one tomorrow I think it would be a coin toss. In all fairness though, the defense is well ahead of the offense which could make the quarterback play look less than what it really is. I think the ADay game will give a better opinion of the players and positions than the scrimmage that we saw today.
The quarterbacks timing with the receivers seemed to be a problem today as so many passes were thrown behind the receivers but remember, I said the defense seemed better than the offense. The quarterbacks were scrambling all afternoon and many passes were thrown on the run as well as they scrambled a lot just to get some positive yardage . The defensive line looks quick and mean and this seemed to help the secondary a lot and that is something that we didn't see much of last year. There must have been 5-7 tipped passes today with at least 4 for interceptions. Again, this is something that we didn't see last year.
The receivers and running backs had their moments but there wasn't anything there that we haven't seen or was surprising in any way. The defense did a good job of defensing the run. Henry had a couple of nice breakaways but I don't think the practice was about running backs making long runs but them just making consistent good runs keeping a drive alive. There was no Amari Cooper on the field today either but there were a few good catches off the long ball and some short catches with a good run after the catch. There were also some dropped passes but in practice, I guess that's the norm.
The kicking game seemed to be ok as Scott was booming his punts up to 65 yards in the air with good hang time. Bama has another punter, Adrian Lamothe and he's a senior. He is from Monterrey, Mexico Prepa Tec. I don't remember him being on the team last year but I could be wrong on this. He had good distance with his punts but his hang time wasn't as good as Scott's. It's good to know there is a backup for Scott. Adam Griffith started a little slow on his field goal attempts but got everything going his way and made 4-5 from the 45-50 yard line in a row. His kickoffs were reaching the goal line each time or were in the end zone.
There were a few injuries but none seemed to be major. Reggie Ragland looked to have banged his knee up a little bit but I don't think it was anything serious. There were other nicks and bruises but nothing seemed season threatening.
If I had to pick the one thing that impressed me the most about the practice it would be the rush of the defensive line and their ability to control the running game. The two players that stuck out on that side of the ball the most to me was Da'Shawn Hand and D.J Pettway. They made or caused a lot of good defensive plays.
Coach Saban spoke to us afterwards and he talked a little longer than usual, which all of us do not mind a bit. He spoke in great length about the recent player dismissals from the team and was still very concerned that any of that had to happen. He mentioned how people or the media react towards disciplinary action toward players and how they are quick to say he's a really a good coach when he kicks a player off the team. He said he feels like a failure when that happens because his goal is not to run anyone off the team but to develop them into a person that they can be proud of who and what they are. He added that leadership on the team is so essential when you have 125 players. He stated that there are two kinds of leadership, positive and negative, and it's sometimes hard to find players that are willing to step up when needed to impose the positive leadership because there are times you have have to force yourself on someone to enforce the idea of making the right choices and decisions. There are ten players on the Leadership Committee now but he thought there might be a few more added this fall. I could sit and listen to this man speak for hours, he has so much to share about life and how to live it. As always, he had a few things to say that brought some good laughter from audience.
I wish all of you could have been there, it was a fun day.