Saban talks quarterbacks following spring scrimmage

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David Cornwell at spring practice on April 1, 2016

Tyler Waldrep

The annual A-Day scrimmage is still two weeks away, but the battle to become Alabama’s next starting quarterback is already well underway. On Saturday, the competition took place inside the confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium as the team scrimmaged.

Coach Nick Saban said he liked the effort he saw from the quarterbacks. The passing game struggled to move the ball consistently, but Saban said the quarterback had to struggle with the wind, blow assignments from teammates and being rotated in and out of the lineup by the coaching staff.

“I’m encouraged by all those guys,” Saban said. “I think the big thing they need to is, each and every one of them can’t be thinking about where i am on the depth chart, what my position is and worry about that. They need to worry about what they need to do to be better so they can play winning football.”

So far all of the quarterbacks seem to be approaching the situation the way Saban wants. None of them won the team over today, but that was never a part of the plan.

The coaching staff will now use today’s film to distribute reps for the upcoming week of practice. No passing numbers were released, but Saban did mention that quarterback David Cornwell had a good day.

When asked about Blake Barnett’s throwing motion Saban said the best thing he can do right now is ignore it unless it becomes a problem.

“If it’s accurate and it’s on time and he’s got enough arm strength then you kind of don’t worry too much about it,” Saban said. “He doesn’t really wind up, he just takes the ball back, but he is accurate, he does have adequate arm strength. So we don’t feel like we need to tinker with the way he throws the ball to be honest with you because I think his knowledge and experience, his confidence of sitting in the pocket and making plays on time.”

Barnett has a reputation for being able to make moves with his legs, but on Saturday fellow freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts, was reported as one of the top rushers for the day after he carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards.

Saban didn’t criticize either quarterbacks’ play, but he said he would like to see them have confidence in their ability to execute the plays as they are drawn up.

“[Barnett and Hurts need to] try to make the play that’s there, and don’t think you have to make every play and go rat trap on things when you could just execute and do what everybody expects you to do,” Saban said. “I think that’s just a matter of developing confidence and timing in what you’re doing and I think it just takes time and repetition to do that. So I think both those young guys, that’s what I would be more concerned about both of them doing.”