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Saban: Alabama QB race is not settled just yet

(Photo by Jonathan Biles)
(Photo by Jonathan Biles)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Though Blake Sims had a solid outing at quarterback against West Virginia, Alabama head coach Nick Saban says the team’s quarterback race isn’t over yet.

“I still don’t hesitate to say that there’s a quarterback competition, and that, in some way, we’ll probably try to play both quarterbacks in this game,” Saban said in his Monday press conference. “I don’t know how, when I figure it out I’m probably not going to tell you. So don’t ask. And I don’t know if it’s that important to be honest with you.”

This information is apparently on a strict need-to-know basis and those outside of the locker room don’t need to know. This week will consist of a more enigmatic Saban. His hair is full of secrets. He has a secret, tells you that he has one, then refuses to tell because that’s just who he is. After all, it’s not that important, aight?

But one thing he will openly admit — something he’s said twice now — is that Sims wasn’t perfect on Saturday.

“Blake did a good job in the game, he had a couple open guys that he missed and we had a couple good throws that he made that were dropped,” Saban said. “I think the only negative was, especially in the second quarter, which I mentioned after the game, poise and calling the plays in the huddle, taking too long in the huddle. We had to call timeout a couple times.

“Those types of things are the game management issues that we have to improve upon.”

Leaving Sims in the game against the Mountaineers on Saturday may have been more an act of necessity than preference for Alabama. It didn’t make sense to risk losing the momentum the Crimson Tide had in a close game just to get Jake Coker some reps. Sims has been in the system far longer and has the trust of Saban, but against inferior opponents with a presumably more forgiving scoreline, the plan is to let Coker have a chance to prove himself as well.

Upcoming games against Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss. will allow Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin to actually test out both potential starters, without the fear of the opposing team taking advantage of their experimentation.

No timetable has been set for when Alabama settles on a single starter, but common sense would say that a single name will erase the slash on the depth chart and emerge as the outright starter by Sept. 20, when the Florida Gators sidle into Tuscaloosa.

But even then, if you knew, Saban would have to kill you.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @Jonathan_Biles

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