Some Play More Than One Position

Alabama Coach Nick Saban discussed a few players who have been working at more than one position. It's sometimes a matter of one player being able to work at a spot and thereby enabling another player to move to a position where he could be needed more.

Blake Sims has been the champion mover in his brief time at Alabama. The former prep quarterback has been at quarterback both last fall on the scout team during his redshirt season and again in the spring in order to provide quarterback "insurance," as Coach Nick Saban put it. Sims had also worked at running back and had been considered capable of playing wide receiver or even going to the defense as a cornerback.

On Tuesday Saban said, "We're still working Blake Sims a little bit at quarterback, but probably a little bit more at running back."

Blake Sims had been the third quarterback in the spring, behind A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims, who are battling for number one.

Saban said Tuesday that true freshman quarterback Phillip Ely "has made some progress. He's done a little bit better. He's starting to play a little faster, looks a little bit better out there. He's gotten more reps in the last three practices at quarterback because Blake's taken more reps at running back – for two reasons. We're seeing how Blake can develop as a runner and how Phillip can do as a third quarterback. He's done a nice job."

That has also meant that Christion Jones, who had been considered a possible running back candidate, is "probably a little bit more of a receiver now, probably settled into that a bit," Saban said.

A true freshman tailback also helps in the situation. Saban said that "Brent Calloway is coming along at running back, too."

Saban said, "For us to get our best players on the field, sometimes you need a guy that can play multiple positions." He also named the prime candidate.

"Barrett Jones is probably going to be the guy that has to play multiple positions for us," Saban said. "He's a bright guy; he can do it all. He actually did a good job of playing center in just three days work when William Vlachos was sick. We feel like he can play center, guard or tackle. We feel good about the progress that he's made and he's really made significant improvement at (left) tackle."

Saban was asked about the health of Mark Barron, who had surgery following a pectoral muscle injury at the end of last season.

"He didn't have an issue with that," Saban said. "He hasn't winced once, had one issue or one problem. Put it this way: I haven't seen any issues, he hasn't complained about anything and I've asked him several times if he's had any issues or problems and it's like, ‘Why are we talking about this?'"

The coach said, "We don't have any new injuries to report.  Damion Square got poked in the eye, so he had a patch on his eye. He was still able to work, no issues or problems."

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