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Nick Saban on Alabama’s first scrimmage: “we can be a very, very good team”

First scrimmage leaves Saban uncharacteristically pleased.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Washington v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Yesterday Alabama Football had its first scrimmage of the Fall. As usual, the Tide did not release any stats, but we do have a general idea of how the units performed and Saban’s impression of his 2017 squad:

  • First, the bad news. Field kicking is a definite work in be generous. Bulovas, who many had relied upon to be the answer to Alabama’s placekicking question, did not look ready to play at this level yet. He was a sub-.500 kicker coming out of high school, and needs more growth and development. That’s not to say he won’t eventually win the job, just that yesterday was not one of his better outings. The placekickers missed several kicks and there was at least one block — though whom missed what or who was blocked isn’t known. He did say the kicking woes weren’t solely on the PKs; it seems to be a group SNAFU.
  • Trevon Diggs is still working at first-team corner, and got himself pick.

“I don’t think we had the rhythm that we’d like to see on offense * * * I’m sure he [Daboll] would say the same thing to you. I don’t think that’s a reflection on him. It’s just the way it went today. We’ve had good days and we’ve had bad days. Today we made some plays and we made some really good plays. But the consistency wasn’t what it needed to be in terms of finishing drives and playing with the consistency of * * * There were a lot of good things to build on.”

  • JK Scott had a standout day, as did a lot of the older players. The latter is a sign as encouraging as it is necessary. Alabama needs to see veterans step up and fill the leadership void for this team.
  • Encouragingly, the return game was strong. We circled that one as an area of possible concern going into 2017.
  • has the full post-season presser for you:
  • The Freshmen tackles have shown a great deal of promise. Specifically, Saban noted that: “Freshmen offensive tackles Jedrick Wills and Alex Leatherwood, Saban said, are ‘most certainly two guys that at this point you would sa that's probably going to [be developed for this year.]’”
  • On the injury front:Josh Jacobs pulled a hamstring before Saturday. He may be out a few days. Najee Harris "has a slight pull" and will be back Monday. A few bumps and bruises took place in the scrimmage.” Vandarius Cowan was also on the sidelines and did not suit up.
  • Bama Insider has a great photo gallery, if you’d like to get your preseasomn wallpaper Gumping done.

Finally, take heart in this statement:

“I think that we can have a really good team. I’m not disappointed where our team is right now,” Saban said. “Are we where we need to be? Absolutely not. I think we just have to focus on what we need to do to improve. If every team in the country were ready to play the first game right now, they wouldn’t need to practice anymore. We’ve got a lot of young players at a lot of positions that can certainly benefit being the first time under the fire in action. I think we had some older guys that played really well in this scrimmage. We’ve just got to try and build on that.”