Quarterbacks Please Saban In Scrimmage

Every Alabama football team is different . One thing that will be different about the 2011 Crimson Tide is that Bama will have a new quarterback. Greg McElroy completed his eligibility with a 24-3 record. Two young men are competing for the job.

On Saturday, the Alabama team went to Bryant-Denny Stadium for its first scrimmage of the spring and afterwards Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban said, "I'm really pleased with the quarterback play. Those guys played with a lot of poise. they did a good job of throwing the ball, made a couple errors, had some drops, threw a couple interceptions I'm sure they'd like to have back that were not great judgements and decisions. Overall, I thought they managed the game well. Their leadership was good, and we moved the ball effectively offensively."

As he had promised, Saban had the quarterbacks split time. "They both took reps with the ones, they both took reps with the twos," Saban said. "They totally split time."

The quarterbacks are upcoming sophomore A.J. McCarron, who has a little college experience, and redshirt freshman Phillip Sims, who is going through his second spring practice.

Statistically, they were very, very good. But, Saban cautioned, that doesn't necessarily tell the story at the quarterback position. (Practices are closed, so there is no record of what the quarterbacks may have done well or poorly except the statistics and Saban's report.)

"The stats really don't mean anything because one guy may have had balls dropped, one guy may have missed wide open guys, and stats only tell you so much, and that's not how we make our evaluations," Saban said.

Sims completed 20 of 30 for 225 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

McCarron completed 18 of 33 passes for 189 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Sims had touchdown passes to two yards to tailback Jalston Fowler, 18 yards to wide receiver Marquis Maze, and 18 yards to tailback Trent Richardson. McCarron had TD passes of 14 and seven yards to Kenny Bell and 59 yards to Maze.

Saban said, "Players, obviously, at some positions obviously make plays at receiver and running back, that's one thing. But stats for a quarterback are based on a lot of things, what the protection was, how the route-runner played, who the cover people they were playing against when they played. There are a lot of things that affect the outcome and it's not all controlled by what they do. To really get a true picture of it you need to evaluate it in the film, based on the decisions they made, the choices they made. What is their ability to play winning football? But I was pleased with the way both guys handled and managed the situation."

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