Michael Casagrande records Nick Saban’s quarterback thoughts following the second scrimmage of fall practice:
“I do think Blake probably is playing a little faster right now,” Saban said. “He’s been in the system longer and has a better understanding, has a little more rhythm.”
“I think sometimes Jake was still trying to feel his way,” Saban said. “He made some real significant strides this week in practice and had some really good practices. So that’s still going to be a competitive situation.”
BOL includes another sentence at the end of that quote:
“Until somebody clearly wins the job, we’re not going to make a decision.”
If you’re an Alabama fan, that’s not a lot to go on related to this position battle. But it is enough for me to make a few observations:
1) Sims is leading this battle and is the odds-on favorite to start the season versus West Virginia. “A better understanding” and “a little more rhythm” means he is doing a better job than Coker. He was the leader out of spring, has improved over the summer and has not let Coker overtake him in camp.
2) The battle will be a battle as long as Nick Saban wants it to be. He could name a starter right now (Sims). He’s seen enough from Sims to know what he think the kid can do. The guy has been in the system for several years, is heading into his senior year and is having to beat out a transfer. That should tell us something.
3) What it tells us is that Saban isn’t totally comfortable with Sims and that he thinks Coker has a better top side. Coker is new to the team and new to the system and clearly (at least from what we’ve heard) hasn’t had the camp Sims had. Yet the competition is still open. Like I said, the competition is open as long as Saban wants it to be and right now, he still wants it to be.