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Everything Nick Saban said after Alabama's A-Day Game

ByCharlie Potter 84 minutes ago

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters Saturday following the Crimson Tide's annual A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Below is everything Saban said after the White team's 31-17 win over the Crimson team in his final press conference of the spring.

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Five-star sees opportunity at Alabama

Five-star Tide target Reggie Grimes talks about his visit to Alabama for A-Day.

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First-team defense gets the better of offense in A-Day Game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban wants answers.

Following Alabama’s A-Day Game on Saturday, the Crimson Tide head coach wanted to know if the media coaches for the losing Crimson team (first-team offense, second-team defense) had found their way to his postgame press conference inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“I’ve got some questions for you, aight,” Saban said once he spotted them. “You’ve got the player of the year in college football on your team. You’ve got the guy that won the Biletnikoff playing receiver, aight. You’ve got more guys coming back on offense than probably any team in the country. What went wrong? I mean this is the kind of shit you ask me all the time.”

The White team (first-team defense, second-team offense) prevailed Saturday afternoon with a 31-17 win over the Crimson squad. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw a late touchdown and interception on 19-of-37 passing while the trio of starting receivers had some uncharacteristic drops in the scrimmage. But the play of the first-team defense shouldn’t go without praise.

Alabama’s starting defense kept one of the most potent offenses in the entire country last year in check for nearly 60 minutes -- though freshman quarterback Paul Tyson also played with the Crimson offense -- by only allowing 17 points and 317 total yards in the annual spring game.

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Five A-Day predictions revisited

Revisiting five predictions following Saturday's A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Nation's top TE in 2021 enjoys first trip to Alabama

Alabama tight end target Cane Berrong made his first-ever trip to Tuscaloosa on Saturday. He breaks down the visit with BamaOnLine.

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Looking At Alabama QB Situation Behind Tua

Alabama’s football team went into spring practice – and into the A-Day Game – with no doubt as to who the number one quarterback is and will be in the 2019 season. Tua Tagovailoa was one of the nation’s best quarterbacks for the Crimson Tide last season and is  projected as a likely Heisman Trophy candidate this year.

But Alabama doesn’t have the proven quality backup quarterback it had last season in Jalen Hurts, now a graduate transfer earning rave reviews at his new spot as the likely starting quarterback (and possible Heisman Trophy competition for Tagovailoa) at Oklahoma.

One of the many goals (stated or not) for Alabama this spring was to begin the process of determining the primary backup to Tagovailoa. The candidates include Mac Jones, a third-year sophomore who was No. 3 last fall, and two 2019 signees who joined the Tide for spring practice and were on public display in Saturday’s A-Day Game.

Statistically that was Jones. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns with one interception and was sacked four times for the winning White team (second offense and first defense). The White took a 31-17 win.

Tua Tagovailoa played more than expected, perhaps, and completed 19 of 37 yasses for 265 yards and one touchdown and one interception playing against the first defense.

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Freshman WR John Metchie named MVP of Alabama's A-Day Game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama true freshman wide receiver John Metchie was named the Dixie Howell Memorial Most Valuable Player of the A-Day Game Award on Saturday afternoon.

Metchie capped a strong spring by leading all players in receiving yards with 133 on five catches and targets at Bryant-Denny Stadium. His performance helped lead the White team (first-team defense, second-team offense) to a 31-17 win over the Crimson team in the spring scrimmage.

But the promising freshman faced the second-team defense, which was made up of several of his fellow early enrollees. Therefore, Nick Saban tried to pump the brakes on the Metchie hype.

“He did a good job,” Saban said in a press conference. “But again, what’s the level of comp, you know? I mean, would he catch all of those passes if 2 or 7 or somebody’s covering him? I don’t know, aight. But when he does that, then that’s good. But relative to what he had to do today, he did an outstanding job. He made some good catches, didn’t drop the ball. He plays fast. He’s got some strength. I think this guy’s going to help us next year, and I think he’ll be a good player for us.”

But Saban wasn’t done there.

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Alabama Football Honors For A-Day Game, Spring Practice

There is not an extraordinary amount of drama regarding a spring football game. If there are no serious injuries, all is considered to be good. Such was the case in Alabama’s A-Day Game Saturday, won by the White team (second offense and first defense), 31-17 over the Crimson (first offense, second defense).

For the players it marked the 15th and final practice of the spring. There will be a few weeks to heal up some things, and then begins the next phase of football preparation, the summer workouts.

For a handful of players there is the satisfaction of being recognized for achievement. Two players are selected by sports reporters for their performances in the A-Day Game, which was played at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. One was a true freshman and one a fifth-year senior. They were:

Dixie Howell Memorial Most Valuable Player of the A-Day Game Award -- John Metchie, 6-0, 195, freshman wide receiver from Brampton, Canada. Metchie had five receptions for 133 yards for the winning White team.

Dwight Stephenson Lineman of the A-Day Game Award – Anfernee Jennings, 6-3, 259, senior outside linebacker from Dadeville. He was in on 4 tackles, 2 primary, and had a sack for the winning White team.

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Nick Saban to have 'struggling' hip evaluated after spring

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban is the newest addition to Alabama’s injury report.

The 67-year-old head coach said he will potentially be out for 6-8 weeks after a hip procedure.

“I have one announcement to make,” Saban said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit with one of my hips, and even though they don’t make them like they used to and most players would not to be able to perform in spring practice like I did if they had a similar situation, but nobody could even tell, but I might not be able to play golf for a few weeks. We’re going to do an evaluation of this at the end of spring, but they say even if it’s the worst case scenario, it may be six or eight weeks. But I can still cut a rug and cut them off, I can do whatever I need to do. I can still play golf. But this has a little bothersome, and I don’t want to go into the fall with this being a problem.

“I want to get it fixed because I don’t want to coach for one more year, I want to coach for a lot of more years. So, whenever things like this come up, I want to be aggressive and proactive to try and get it taken care of. We’ll certainly do that, and we’ve got really good people to do it. I don’t think it should be a big deal, but I’ve been keeping this a little bit of a secret because I have so much respect for this group (of reporters). I wanted you to be the first to know. Thank you.”

Saban is entering his 13th season as head coach of the Crimson Tide, and as he said in his closing remarks, he has no intentions of retiring -- though his initial comments might have scared some Alabama fans. Saban’s current contract runs through the 2025 season (Feb. 28, 2026).

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Recap: White team tops Crimson in Alabama's 2019 A-Day Game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama’s first-team defense and second-team offense will soon be enjoying a steak dinner, as the White team defeated the Crimson team, 31-17, in the 2019 A-Day Game.

Led by quarterbacks Mac Jones and Taulia Tagovailoa, the White team amassed 396 total yards of offense in front of an announced crowd of 62,219 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Jones, a redshirt sophomore, started the day poorly, throwing an interception to true freshman linebacker Shane Lee. That set up the first touchdown of the day -- a four-yard rushing score by junior running back Najee Harris that gave the Crimson team an early 7-0 advantage.

But Jones responded and threw a nice ball to true freshman wide receiver John Metchie for a 49-yard pickup. The White team got on the board thanks to a 43-yard field goal by Will Reichard.

The Crimson squad reached into its bag of tricks after that field goal as first-team quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw it back to receiver Slade Bolden, who threw it downfield to linebacker turned tight end Cameron Latu for a 31-yard gain. Joseph Bulovas booted a 34-yard field goal through the uprights after that to give the Crimson team a 10-3 advantage in the second quarter.

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In-state LB enjoys return trip to T-Town

Alabama 2021 target Dylan Brooks returned to campus on Saturday for the second time since picking up an offer. He breaks down the trip with BamaOnLine.

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Notebook: Young ILBs, QBs still need work after second scrimmage

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- After Alabama’s first spring scrimmage a week ago, Nick Saban said “we have a lot of work to do” regarding the inside linebackers and their mental errors on the field.

Outside of rising junior Dylan Moses, the position group needed some work. So, along with the Crimson Tide’s defensive line, Saban and company moved some players around this week resulting in more consistency in the practices following Scrimmage 1, the head coach believed.

With the focus on the inside linebackers the last week -- and really throughout spring practice -- Saban was asked what he saw from the younger defenders during Saturday’s second scrimmage.

“I saw some guys flying around,” Saban said. “I saw some guys miss some tackles. I didn’t feel like we tackled really well, especially the second team. First team did a pretty good job. But people weren’t running their feet on contact, trying to cut tackle, trying to butt people to the ground. And I think they’re finding out that if they don’t tackle them correctly they’re not going to get them on the ground, not when you play against good players.

“So, I think there was improvement there, but certainly the whole idea of playing defense is to tackle the guy with the ball. So, you can do everything right, but if you don’t tackle the guy with the ball, that’s why you’re out there.”

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Everything Nick Saban said after second spring scrimmage

ByCharlie Potter 20 hours ago

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters during a press conference following the Crimson Tide's second spring scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Below is everything Saban said in his sixth press conference of the spring.

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Alabama freshman DL works with first-team defense in Scrimmage 2

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- An Alabama true freshman worked with the ones on defense Saturday.

The Crimson Tide returned to Bryant-Denny Stadium for its second of three spring scrimmages, and according to head coach Nick Saban, defensive lineman DJ Dale received first-team reps.

“DJ is playing some with the ones at nose,” said Saban following the two-hour, 135-play spring scrimmage. “He’s got good initial quickness, good power, strikes, seems to be pretty conscientious, shows a little maturity about being able to go out there and do his job.”

Dale joined the Alabama football program prior to the team’s appearance in the College Football Playoff. A 4-star recruit out of Pinson, Ala., was the nation’s 18th-ranked defensive tackle and No. 9 player in the state of Alabama for the 2019 cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite.

The Clay-Chalkville High School product has received rave reviews for his efforts on the field this spring, including the first two scrimmages. But the hype didn’t begin when the Tide started its spring practice schedule last month. Soon-to-be NFL draft pick Quinnen Williams showered the early enrollee with praise when he announced his decision to declare for the 2019 draft.

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Saban On Players Going Out Early For NFL Draft

“Well, yeah.” That could have been the answer Alabama Coach Nick Saban gave following the Crimson Tide’s second scrimmage of spring football practice Saturday. He had talked about the number of young players working with the team – including 15 true freshmen who were early enrollees from the 2019 signing class -- and the need for those players to develop in order to build depth.

“It’s a work in progress,” the coach said in pointing out that many of them have not yet reached that level. “We’re going to keep working with them to try to get them where they need to be.” 

A few minutes later Saban was asked if the loss of seven 2018 juniors – men who could have returned for a senior season but who elected to go into the NFL draft pool – makes a difference in spring practice. 

Quinnen Williams made good decision to go out early for NFL draft (Photo: Stuart McNair, 247Sports)

In the past Saban has said that he makes every effort to get good information on “draft grades” for his players to determine if it is a good decision for them to go into the draft. Some are not hard to judge. For instance, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and offensive tackle Jonah Williams are considered to be high first round selections. Some of the others will be, too, if the mock drafts are accurate.

Others who have departed early are running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith, safety Deionte Thompson, linebacker Mack Wilson, and cornerback Savion Smith.

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Starting OL injured in Alabama's second spring scrimmage

ByCharlie Potter 22 hours ago

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- One of Alabama’s offensive starters sustained an injury Saturday.

Right tackle Jedrick Wills suffered an ankle injury early on in the Crimson Tide’s second scrimmage of the spring at Bryant-Denny Stadium and did not return to the field. Nick Saban explained why.

“Jedrick Wills sprained his ankle today,” Saban said in a press conference. “We don’t know the extent of the injury. We’re doing an MRI. He didn’t come back -- we didn’t expect him to come back. We wouldn’t let him come back. So, we’ll see what the deal is when we do our MRI and all that probably on Monday. But no other significant injuries to report.”

Wills has 16 career starts to his name, including all 15 games as a sophomore. He led the team with 50 knockdown blocks, allowed just one sack this season and surrendered only one hit on the quarterback in 2018. Last year, Wills earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for efforts in the classroom and was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his play against Missouri.

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Photos: Day 12 of spring practice

ByDenon McMillan 22 hours ago

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Day 12 of spring brings us back to Bryant-Denny Stadium for Alabama's second scrimmage.

Check out photos from today's practice session.

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Instant Analysis: Saturday

ByTravis Reier 23 hours ago

Since 2008, BamaOnLine.com's Instant Analysis has been a staple of Crimson Tide football coverage. That won't change in 2019, as we'll continue to provide Alabama fans with insight and interaction fresh from Tuscaloosa via Facebook Live.

As for items we touched on during the latest edition of IA, they included:

* Pre-scrimmage notes.

* Interior offensive line competition. 

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WATCH: Bama readies for second scrimmage

Go inside Bryant-Denny Stadium to watch the Crimson Tide get ready for its second scrimmage of 2019 spring drills!

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Practice report: Pre-scrimmage observations

Here are several observations from the media viewing portion of Saturday’s scrimmage.

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