Despite a 24-for-33 passing performance against West Virginia in the season opener, Blake Sims enters Alabama’s second game of the season knowing he’s playing for his job.
Conversely, Florida State transfer Jake Coker also stands at a crossroads. Sims looked good in the opener and quarterbacked the Tide very efficiently. He played well enough, in fact, that many deem the quarterbacking battle to be over. But not Bama head coach Nick Saban who has left the job open for now. If Coker is going to make a move, the time to do it would be against Florida Atlantic.
I’ve thought for a while that the the job will remain open until Saban is comfortable handing the job to Coker. That’s not to say Coker won’t earn it or that Saban doesn’t like Sims. It’s simply saying that Coker is Saban’s style of quarterback.
Think about it. Sims is a fifth year guy. He’s been around the offense for a long time. He was the starter through the spring and summer and through the first game of the year. And he played pretty dang well. Wouldn’t you think he’s done enough to win the job? I certainly do.
Do I think we’ll win a championship with Sims? No. He’s just not polished enough as a quarterback. I like him and I’m glad he performed well last week, but my gut feeling is that he doesn’t have near the upside of other quarterbacks on the roster. He’s worked like crazy – which is to be commended – to get to the spot where he’s barely able to hang on to the job.
Against WVU, I thought the QB snaps would be split about 70-30 in Sims’ favor. This week I would guess the split would be around 60-40 Sims or 50-50. The Tide will have no trouble with FAU and if Coker played well enough during camp to be that close to the starting role, I suspect he’ll get ample opportunity to play this Saturday.
If he struggles in the least, consider the job to be Sims’. If he plays well, we may have a full-blown quarterbacking controversy on our hands.