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Alabama photo by Kent Gidley / Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young prepares to throw during Friday's spring scrimmage in Tuscaloosa.

With receiver John Metchie and guard Emil Ekiyor sitting out this spring on top of the departed NFL-bound likes of Mac Jones, Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith, Landon Dickerson and Alex Leatherwood, there has been plenty of room for Alabama's offense to grow in recent weeks.

The Crimson Tide conducted their first scrimmage and eighth overall workout Friday afternoon inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, and they gave 15th-year coach Nick Saban plenty of positives and negatives to review. One player earning Saban's praise was sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, who has the reins for a youthful unit that has plenty of promise.

"For a first scrimmage, I think we're pretty pleased with it, and I thought Bryce did a pretty good job of managing the game," Saban said Friday night on a Zoom call. "He was accurate with the ball and made a few explosive plays, but I thought he did a really good job of just managing the whole situation on offense when he was in there.

"We've got a lot of improvement to do with the twos on offense. We've got a lot of young guys playing on the offensive line with Emil out and with Evan Neal as the only starter coming back, but I see a lot of good potential that we need to work on. We put a lot of stuff in those first four or five days, and that's a lot for a young player to digest."

Alabama's scrimmage was closed to the media, and Saban did not want to single anyone out when asked about the young receivers. Jacorey Brooks, Agiye Hall and Christian Leary are receivers who enrolled early as top-100 national signees in the 2021 class.

"Without John Metchie playing out there, you really don't have a whole lot of experience other than Slade (Bolden)," Saban said. "I saw good things from everybody, and I saw some things we definitely need to improve on."

The Crimson Tide will hold their ninth spring workout Monday.

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

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