published Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Alabama coach Nick Saban pleased so far with quarterbacks

Nick Saban
Nick Saban
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban is not offering many specifics about the quarterback competition between Jacob Coker and Blake Sims, but he continues to appreciate the progress the position is making as a whole under new coordinator Lane Kiffin.

The Crimson Tide put on full pads for the first time Tuesday afternoon, working for two hours on the Thomas-Drew practice fields. It was the fifth of Alabama's 28 preseason practices.

"All of the quarterbacks in this camp so far have really done well," Saban said in his post-practice news conference. "I think our offense has done pretty well because of that. We make a lot of explosive plays, and we're doing a good job of getting the ball in the hands of the guys who can make those plays. Our quarterbacks have done a good job of distributing the ball to those guys, so I've been pretty pleased with how we've developed on offense.

"Most of the time the defense is ahead, but it really does seem like our offense has shown more maturity and early signs of when the quarterback plays well, we can be pretty good."

Whoever emerges at quarterback should have a long list of receiving options.

Saban praised sophomore tight end O.J. Howard for having a good start to camp and for continuing to be a mismatch as a pass-catcher. He also credited youthful receivers such as Chris Black, Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart for performing well so far, adding that they are learning from seniors Christion Jones and DeAndrew White and from junior Amari Cooper.

"The culture of that group has been really good in terms of their work ethic and the chemistry they have," Saban said.

Though he has several players nicked up, Saban said there was nothing to report as far as serious injuries.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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