Tide holds first spring scrimmage

Tide holds first spring scrimmage

Laura Owens

On Friday, the Crimson Tide held its first spring scrimmage during practice, allowing players to show the coaches their progress and helping the coaches to evaluate players at individual positions.

Head coach Nick Saban said the coaches still needed to go back and watch film but that he thought this was a good starting point for the team.

“I saw all the young players do good things, and I saw them do bad things,” he said. “This is something they can work toward, making improvements and making progress”

On the defensive side, Marcell Dareus led in tackles with eight and had four sacks, while B.J. Scott came in second with six tackles.

With the linebackers, there were a few stand-out players such as Jerrell Harris and Chris Jordan. Saban said with the group of linebackers the Tide has, the younger players are still developing.

“I think they [the young players] all played a little tentatively because they worry a lot about what to do and worry about making mistakes rather than playing fast and being good football players,” he said.

Dont’a Hightower was back in action, participating in every snap that he was expected to join. He was spreading the field playing nickel, playing as a pass-rusher and playing in the linebacker position as well.

In the scrimmage, there were no turnovers on the offensive side. Greg McElroy and A.J. McCarron were the two starting quarterbacks. McElroy threw 14 for 22 with 235 yards and one touchdown. McCarron was 21 of 28 with 229 yards and three touchdowns.

Saban said the team did a better job having explosive plays with the offense.

“I don’t know how many [explosive plays] we had, but we did have some, and we kept it pretty simple,” he said. “I think that’s something we’ve been doing a good deal of everyday in practice.”

On special teams, Cade Foster made two of his four attempted field goals. He made a 42-yarder and a 38-yarder, while missing at 39 and 56 yards. Jeremy Shelley made the only one he attempted at 30 yards.

we As of now, the team has a walk-on punter, but Saban has been practicing Taylor Pharr in that position as well. For the 2009 roster, Pharr was listed as an offensive lineman. Saban said Pharr has a stronger leg than anybody they’ve had punting before, but he needs to work on his consistency with dropping the ball in the right place.

“I think he may be an option, at least as a backup,” Saban said. “He gets rid of the ball quickly. He’s a two-step punter. It’s a pleasant surprise that he’s able to do it. I just think we need to work on consistency. I think if he focused on it, he’d be able to get a lot more consistent.”

Saban said from this point forward, every practice is critical because they’re getting to the halfway point in the spring.

“Every player is going to see something they can improve on,” he said, “and I also think every player is going to see something they can gain confidence in because there were a lot of good things in the scrimmage.”