All who believed that we would be debating whether Alec Morris had wrapped up the starting QB job after the second scrimmage of fall camp raise your hands. Liars. That is where we stand at this point, with Saban making this key pronouncement in his presser this afternoon:
Saban on Alec Morris: He understands the offense & helps others play better. He's showing command at the position.— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) August 22, 2015
Sounds a little like "Taking the bull by the horns," doesn't it? If you've paid attention at all to Saban and what he says that the team values in its quarterback, this statement has to speak volumes. I'm still of the belief that the depth chart will show Coker and Morris as co-starters, but it certainly sounds as though Morris was a stronger contender for the job than we all believed and that he and Coker weren't paired up for the entire spring and fall by accident. The reported pecking order in pre-scrimmage workouts bore this out as well:
--Alec Morris was the quarterback with the first offensive group. He worked with the first offensive line group. From left tackle to right tackle: Cam Robinson, Ross Pierschbacher, Ryan Kelly, Alphonse Taylor and Dominick Jackson. Today could be Morris' day to run the first offense with Jake Coker (toe) still a little limited.
--Speaking of Coker, he was with the second offensive group.
--David Cornwell and Blake Barnett appeared to be splitting time with the third offensive group.
Not sure why Bateman wasn't mentioned there, but it's notable that Coker was working with the second unit and Morris with the first. By the way, go ahead and sign up for a free account with The Anniston News so you can read Marq's stuff as I link it. The man stays on top of things. A few more tidbits:
No stats, per UA.— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) August 22, 2015
Well, that stinks. For what it's worth, the rumblings seem to suggest that our defense is really coming together as expected and that they looked good - scary good, as in "best since 2011" good. Fingers crossed there.
3:34: Saban said the first 55 plays or so were treated like a game.
3:35: Saban said wide receiver ArDarius Stewart had a "really good day today." Said Stewart had some nice catches and finished with eight receptions.
3:35: Saban said there were two turnovers returned for touchdowns.
As always, good news/bad news on the turnovers. My main takeaway from the press conference is that Saban was in a pretty good mood, which I take as a positive sign. Full video is down at the bottom, so you can judge for yourself on that. Couple other points: Cyrus Jones looks to be the primary punt returner, Ragland and Foster were mentioned for strong play, and Adam Griffith hit a 52 yard field goal. Interestingly, he mentions every QB except glaringly leaving out David Cornwell for the second consecutive presser. Could there be a transfer in the works? One has to wonder. On the way quarterback reps are being divided, Saban simply said, "It's complicated." Cecil Hurt seized on that line to make a funny:
Saban on quarterbacks: "It's complicated." So now we know the Facebook status, at least.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) August 22, 2015
Cecil cracked another one later, related to the baby panda born today in the nation's capital:
I retweeted the arrival of the new baby Panda. Six people have already asked if it can play quarterback.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) August 22, 2015
Great stuff. Injury news:
First-team right tackle Dominick Jackson strained a shoulder and could be out "a couple days," Saban said. Brandon Greene, who was a tight end last season, had been working at second team behind Jackson. Will Davis and Matt Womack also provided depth at the position this August. The other injured player was reserve offensive lineman Korren Kirven. Saban said strained his knee.
Not too bad. Cam Robinson is still nursing the shoulder as well, though he appears to be fine.
It only makes good, strategic sense at this point for Saban to wait until his offense takes the field for the first time against Wisconsin in AT&T Stadium to let the world know which quarterback gets the first shot to pick up where Sims left off.
Hey, Scarbo makes a reasonable point and keeps the trolling to a minimum. What world is this?
And some video for you:
Two more weeks, folks. Roll Tide.