April 18, 2015
Final Stats |
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
“The best news about any spring game is you get through the game, a lot of players get the opportunity to play and you don’t get anybody injured. That’s the case today. The two guys, DeSherrius Flowers got a little bit of a shoulder, but it’s not a big issue, and Shank (Alphonse Taylor) has had a sprained knee all spring and sprained it again a little bit, but it’s nothing serious and not surgical. He just needs some time to heal up and rest.
“I look at spring practice, especially the spring game, as an opportunity to see where your team is. It’s almost like the midterm in school. It’s not the final exam. It shows you the progress that you’ve made to this point, how many guys you actually have out there that have made the kind of progress that they need to make; that they can go and play in a competitive situation and elevate their game and play with some kind of consistency. It also points out the areas where you need to improve, individually as well as collectively, as a team, and also where we have to invest our time in the future to be able to fix some of those things.
“I was very pleased with the way our two young receivers played today. They both made plays, they both played with confidence. I thought the first offense did a pretty good job of run-pass balance. I thought the two quarterbacks that played with that team had a much better opportunity. You’re going to ask me all that stuff and look [at the numbers], and say `we’ll these two guys played better.’ Well, if I had to play on those two teams, I would’ve played better on the White Team. That’s me playing quarterback. I can still play quarterback. I can sling it a little bit. I can’t see very well, and I might not be able to avoid the rush like I used to. I’m just saying that they had a much better opportunity. We lost a lot of players on offense, so we don’t have a lot of depth on offense right now. It really affects the second unit a lot more than it does the first, especially when you add a few guys that are injured. Those guys had a better opportunity to have success today, and they took advantage of it and did a good job. I thought Jake did a good job. He threw the one pick that was a pick-six.
“That would be one of the things that I would say, the turnovers. A big emphasis this spring has been the ball. How are we going to take care of the ball on offense, and how are we going to ball-hawk on defense? Well we obviously did a better job of ball-hawking on defense because that’s way too many turnovers, even though there are two games going on out there, not just one. But you have to take care of the ball. Turnover margin, turnover ratio, is probably the No. 1. When Jason Garrett was here, he had NFL stats from five, 10, 20 years. When you are plus-one in turnovers you have an 80 percent chance to win, when you’re plus-two in turnovers, you have a 95 percent chance to win, and it goes up from there. That’s really important, to get them and to take care of the ball. We need to do a better job of that.
“This game was set up to try to look at the quarterbacks, to try to give them an opportunity. I think the guys that played with the second team, because of the offensive line, was not up to snuff and where it needs to be, relative to the second defensive line. They probably didn’t have the same opportunity to have success. There can be not great conclusions drawn from anything that happened today, other than we were pleased in what we saw in some of the guys. We will certainly take that into fall camp and summer and try to build on it. I was encouraged by the way the first offense played.
“I think the focus for everybody here now is the commitment to doing things the way we need to do them, so that we can improve and take advantage of the things that we learned today. We’ll go to work on that Monday with the meeting, and finish this semester academically like we need to and go from there.”
On Kenyan Drake’s performance with the non-contact jersey:
“I thought he played great. That’s how he’s played all spring. I think that we are trying to make a business decision about what’s best for Kenyan Drake and his future, as well as, what’s best our team. I don’t think he had anything to prove out there today by going out there and getting tackled and us putting him in a situation where he’d be at greater risk of injury. He’s pretty much full speed, but yet to be cautious with him I think is probably smart right now. If he’s a competitor you would expect him to get frustrated because he wants to compete like everybody else. I think with a cool head and under normal circumstances if any of us sat down and had a conversation with him, he’s probably pleased with the spring that he had and feels great about the fact that he got a lot of work in and he didn’t get exposed a lot. He’s going to now have a great opportunity for the next three or four months to continue to build on that and he didn’t put himself in any great risk of injury.”
On evaluating the quarterbacks:
“You kind of take the plays that the quarterback couldn’t make because he didn’t have a chance to make, and you really can’t fault him for that. You take the opportunities that maybe they had where they had protection, they had time and they had open people. Did they throw the ball the right place? Were they able to throw it accurately? Did they make good decisions? I think you have to separate the things that they can control and the things that they can’t control and sort of evaluate it that way.”
On the running back position:
“We have two guys that have proven around here over time that they are very, very good players. Bo Scarbrough was having an outstanding spring and played really, really well in the first scrimmage. Ronnie Clark is coming off of an injury and is not 100 percent yet, speed wise. DeSherrius Flowers has basically been hurt all spring long and we have a freshman runner coming in. After the first two guys, there hasn’t been a real solid opportunity to have any continuity and development of any of these players. I think whether it’s a freshman that comes in next year or the players that we have now and developing those players, that’s where the depth for this position has to come from. It’s unfortunate because we had some guys here and they didn’t live up to what they were supposed to do and they aren’t here anymore. We feel comfortable and confident that we can develop the players that we have -we have some explosive players there and we will keep working with them.”
Reggie Ragland on making improvements from today’s game
“We have to go back and watch the film, go back to some of the practices and scrimmages that we played in, and we have to get better. I’m going to go back and watch the things I did from the scrimmage and also in practice and work on the things I need to get better at – my footwork and seeing the boots better, seeing the lineup better and being a leader.”
Ryan Kelly on how Alabama played today
“I’m not going to put a grade on it (how the offense did this spring). We are just continuing to work. That’s all we can do, just continue to give our best and leave it up to the coaches to grade how we do it. But you know for us, I’m not going to put grades on it. I think it’s just more of the continuous improvement that we show, so for us the spring game was huge for us to get momentum into the summer time. Coming off today, we felt pretty good about that, speaking on behalf of the one offense. The more progress that we can make, the better off we’ll be and the more ahead we’ll be in the summer time and we can just keep growing from there.