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Alabama quarterbacks growing in confidence, but needs consistency

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) hands the ball to Alabama running back Roydell Williams (5) during practice at Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in Tuscaloosa, AL on Monday, Apr 10, 2023.
Photo comes via Alabama Athletics

The offense celebrated the upper hand after the first scrimmage, but Nick Saban had a different tune this time.

He is pleased with the progress of quarterbacks Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson, but no one has separated as the starter for the Crimson Tide yet. Saban the offense was ‘up and down’ throughout the scrimmage. Alabama’s defense had the victory Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium as it forced five turnovers. Saban broke down the performance of the quarterbacks to reporters.

RELATED: WATCH: Nick Saban discusses ‘up and down’ second scrimmage ahead of A-Day

“Both made some good plays, but both also had some plays they would like to have back,” he said about Milroe and Simpson.

“They are improving. I think they are developing some confidence in the offense. I thought we made some really good plays, but I also thought we made some mistakes that we need to eliminate.”

People have had their thoughts about the athleticism of Milroe and Simpson. Some see Milroe as strictly an athlete and Simpson as the pocket passer; however, Saban said Simpson has a lot of mobility. 

“He can move, he’s a good athlete,” he said about Simpson. “He can make plays with his feet. I think Jalen is really special when it comes to that because of his speed, but Ty does it fairly well. He is a good athlete, he can run, and he ran the ball in high school.”

Alabama has two athletic quarterbacks, but Saban wants them to understand the situation of when to run or not.

RELATED: What qualities does Nick Saban look for at Star, middle linebacker?

He wants Milroe and Simpson to protect the football at all times. Critics took shots at Milroe’s pocket awarness last season and that has continued this spring, but Saban does not see it as an issue. He wants Milroe focused on one specific thing.

“He has made progress,” Saban said about Milroe’s pocket awarness. “I think the more experience he has, the better he’s going to get at that. I did not think his pocket awareness was bad last year, but I thought his ball security was not where it needed to be. When he starts to move around, you have to have two hands on the ball. So that is something we have worked really hard on.”

Milroe did have two lost fumbles in Alabama’s 2022 matchup against Texas A&M. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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