Nick Saban held a press conference after the team's first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday. As far as the starters were concerned, it seems that Saban was pretty satisfied, saying, "overall, the first teams on both sides of the ball, you know, looked pretty good, executed pretty well, made some good plays, showed the sort of mental toughness and disposition that you to have to, you know, be a good football player."
On the flip side, it sounds like the scrimmage provided plenty of fodder for teaching the younger players about the value of consistency and the cost of inconsistency.
When mentioning individual performances, Saban mentioned that A.J. had a good day, and also mentioned that A.J. had his foot stepped on (probably by Kenyan Drake) and now has a bruised foot, which should not keep him out of future practices. Other individuals warranting specific mention by the coach:
- Amari Cooper (as mentioned in the stat rundown) had 4 catches (including 3 touchdowns) and "several big plays" (like, ALL OF THEM)
- Jalston Fowler got recognition in the passing game. Get on the BOOM TRAIN.
- First team defense played well, everything after that was "really, really sloppy"
- Deion Belue didn't scrimmage due to a strained hamstring
- Reuben Foster got a "stinger"
Some questions fielded:
- On how the secondary looked today - the first group did a pretty good job. Young guys have to work on consistency of technique.
- On Amari Cooper and his progress - Amari works hard every day in practice. A bit of an eyebrow raiser in this answer. Saban discusses that the team does a summer conditioning test when they come back, and they do a cumulative score on the three tests. Not so surprisingly, Amari had the highest cumulative score. Who had the second highest? Vinnie Sunseri.
- On the running game - it doesn't sound like the offensive line was getting a lot of push for the running backs during the scrimmage.
- On the defensive line - once again, the tale of the scrimmage is repeated. The first team played pretty well, the guys behind them need to play better to provide quality depth.
- On the offensive line - "didn't play with the kind of power that we need to play with. Didn't get a lot of movement up front"
- On Jalston Fowler - "I do think he can make a contribution, not only as a runner, but also as a guy that can play some H-back"
- On special teams today - sounds like the kicking specialists had a good day, though no stats were released.
Here's the video of the press conference.