Wilson Pleased With Spring Progress

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson doesn't know if the first offense will go against the first defense in Saturday's A-Day Game, but if that is the case he'll be prepared. That has been the scenario for much of spring practice this year.

"I guess we'll find out Saturday," upcoming senior quarterback John Parker Wilson said when asked if it would be first against first in the annual Alabama spring football game.

He said that Alabama practices this spring have frequently been the first offense going against the first defense. "That way we get it as close as possible to game conditions."

Wilson, who is expected to be the starter for the third consecutive season for Bama, said he thinks the practice plan has been a good one. ""Everyone is responding well," he said. "It's the best spring practice I've been a part of here. We're not where we need to be, but we're moving in the right direction."

The Alabama offense got a little lift from its improved performance in the second scrimmage last Saturday. "It was a lot better," Wilson said. "We moved the ball and we didn't turn it over. I think I improved, but I still have things to work on. There are always little things here and there."

Wilson said that working under new offensive coordinator Jim McElwain (his third quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in as many years) has not resulted in technical changes in Wilson's footwork or throwing motion. "I haven't changed anything, but I think I'm better at what I do," he said.

He said McElwain emphasizes "better pass efficiency and taking care of the ball more. And we've put in some things to accomplish that. We want to stay productive."

Last year Alabama did not have a good percentage of touchdowns when reaching the Red Zone. "We've put in some new stuff," Wilson said. "But the main thing in the Red Zone is to have positive plays. It all fits together."

He said he thinks "everyone has gotten comfortable with the system and how the coaches work." He also said he thinks a good spring will carry over into summer workouts and fall camp. "A good attitude about it affects everyone in a positive way," Wilson said.

Wilson lost three senior receivers in D.J. Hall, Matt Caddell and Keith Brown. He said he has "good rapport" with the current receiving corps. "It's going great," Wilson said. "We can talk to each other. No one gets his feelings hurt. We're on the same page.

"Those guys can all catch. It's a new offense and everyone has to think a lot. the more we do it, the easier it gets."

He said Earl Alexander and Mike McCoy seem to be taking leadership roles among the receivers. He noted that Alexander "is a big guy who can stretch the field and gets open. It's nice to have a big receiver like that against those cornerbacks."

One of the most talked about players of the spring has been redshirt wide receiver Darius Hanks. Wilson said, "He's a great athlete. He's quick and he can get open and he's got great hands. And everyone respects the way he works."

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