TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It was as busy day for the University of Alabama football program due to numerous breaking news stories, including the NCAA Division I Council passing Proposal No. 2016-116, a comprehensive package of rule changes.
Yet Friday also featured the Crimson Tide’s second scrimmage of spring practices, which usually is held on a Saturday but was bumped up a day due to Nick Saban preferring not to hold any workouts during Easter weekend.
Here’s a rundown of what Saban told reporters following the closed scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium:
• The first thing you want to do as a player and coach is self-assess, how much progress did we make over the last week. Good in some areas, not so much in others. The second-team units showed a lot of growth, which was encouraging. More missed tackles this week (after doing well in that respect last week).
• Offensive balance was good. Some explosive plays, and ran the ball better. Defensively “a little more juice.”
• Specialists performed really, really well (JK Scott). Blocked a field-goal attempt.
• Saban says he won’t have anything more to say about safety Deionte Thompson beyond the release from earlier Friday: “We are still in the process of gathering all of the facts in Deionte’s situation. He has been excused today to cooperate with law enforcement in this matter. Once we have a better understanding of what happened, we will make a determination as to what needs to be done in terms of the appropriate course of action moving forward.”
• No significant injuries. Bo Scarbrough (leg) did not participate in the scrimmage. Damien Harris (foot) was held out as well.
• Saban said he wasn’t pleased with the back end, the secondary. Too many 50-50 balls were completed.
• Saban asked about no more two-a-days. Player safety was the reason it was discussed. Doesn’t have an issue with banning them, but doesn’t like starting practices earlier to compensate. “I personally think our season is way too long and making it longer” isn’t in the best interest of the players.
• Saban mentions that he’s been for adding a 10th coach, takes a left turn in press conference about people complaining about staff sizes. Doesn’t like that interns can’t make much, or GAs, there are too many rules that make it tougher to develop coaches.
• On linebackers learning more than one spot, the idea is to develop more opportunities for players to get on the field. Mentions that they overdid it with Mark Barron as a freshman. Learn incrementally appears to be the best way to go about.
• Final question is about the right side of the offensive line, they wanted to see how some people did in different roles. “We’re trying some things there.” Saban said he needs to watch the film, but didn’t notice anything real negative.
• No statistics will be released. Players are off for Easter.