Notebook: First fall scrimmage

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said the goal of Saturday's scrimmage was to give the younger players opportunities. This is crucial in terms of developing depth, which the Tide are in need of, especially in the secondary.

Alabama had its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The goal was to give younger players opportunities. How would they compete and execute? Do they know what they're doing? What is their physical and mental toughness like in a game situation?

In the day's final stat line, several youngsters stood out: freshman running back T.J. Yeldon had 13 carries for 24 yards and two touchdowns, freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper had three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown, and sophomore safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made four tackles.

As far as the veterans go, head coach Nick Saban described them as "decent."

"The ones on both sides of the ball probably did a decent job," he said. "There's certainly lots of room for improvement."

Junior running back Eddie Lacy, who is still recovering from turf toe, had limited reps. Saban said they only want Lacy to have between six or eight carries in practice and no more more than 10. He had eight for 57 yards.

Saban said A.J. McCarron played "pretty well" and the offense moved the ball but "didn't finish a couple of drives." The defense played "pretty decently."

"There's certainly lots of room for improvement," Saban said. "But I think the most critical thing is the next players on our team to establish some depth. We have such a young team that when you look at the depth there's a lot of players in those backup positions, backup roles and how quickly we can get those guys to develop is going to be real critical to establishing the kind of depth on our team that we really need."

Quarterback situation

Behind McCarron lie Phillip Ely, Alec Morris and Blake Sims. Saban said that of all the backups, Ely was the most impressive in the scrimmage.

"He probably showed that he has a little more knowledge and experience," he said. "He managed the game a little bit better, executed a little bit better."

What about Morris?

"The freshman played like a freshman," Saban said. "He got a little bit rattled out there, had a hard time managing the huddle, got a little bit antsy in the pocket sometimes, but we're going to continue to work hard and try to develop those guys."

Depth growing at linebacker

Saban and players alike have been talking an awful lot about sophomore linebacker Adrian Hubbard. One of the most athletic players on defense, Hubbard is expected to take on a similar role that Courtney Upshaw had while he was at Alabama.

Hubbard sprained his wrist during Saturday's scrimmage, but Saban said that it "won't be a big problem for him."

Other guys Saban mentioned at the position were Xzavier Dickson, Tana Patrick, Dillon Lee and Reggie Ragland.

Lee, Ragland, Anthony Orr and Jonathan Atchison have been rotating between inside and outside backer, but Saban said he's still not sure where to place them yet.

"There's a lot of guys there and they all have some potential," Saban said. "It's who can go in there and get the job done on a consistent basis by doing their job. That's the big thing."

Extra info:

-Saban announced that junior safety Jarrick Williams tore his ACL Friday and will miss the entire season. This news comes one day after JUCO transfer cornerback Travell Dixon decided to leave the program for "personal reasons" and almost a week after freshman wide receiver Chris Black injured his shoulder, which will keep him sidelined for 3-4 months.

-The Tide has their first off day tomorrow (Sunday), and will participate in "Squad Day," where the entire team goes to church together. Afterwards, Saban said he'll look at the scrimmage film.

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