Alabama football held its first scrimmage of the spring on Friday, which gave Nick Saban his first look at the quarterback competition in a game-like setting.
Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson are at the front of the line of signal-callers working to replace Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner who declared for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Saban discussed quarterback play in his opening in his post-scrimmage news conference, and he was complimentary of both Milroe and Simpson.
“Offensively, I thought we were pretty consistent in terms of what we did to move the ball effectively,” Saban said. “And with balance. Run and pass. Both quarterbacks played equally well. Both of them got opportunities, and both of them I thought did a nice job out there managing the game.”
Milroe is heading into his third season with the program, primarily serving as Young’s backup so far. Milroe does have the lone start in this quarterback competition, though, having filled in for Young in the Texas A&M game in 2022.
During his first season, Simpson primarily received playing time late in games after Young and Milroe were done for the day. Simpson is a former five-star quarterback who is in his second season with Alabama.
Overall, it sounds like the two quarterbacks led effective offenses in a scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium that was closed to the general public and reporters. The defense, without several key veterans because of injuries, wasn’t up to Saban’s standard.
“Defensively, we gave up probably too many explosive plays,” Saban said. “Need to improve on tackling. We didn’t really do a very good job of getting turnovers, which has been a big emphasis for us this year.”
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The scrimmage also provided new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees his first opportunity to work with the group in a more game-like setting. Saban spoke well of his efforts conducting the offense.
“Tommy does a great job with the players,” Saban said. “Players like him. He’s taking our system and pretty much using our system that we use. Added some things to it. I think the offensive line is doing a good job. Got a few more multiples in terms of how we can run the ball. Does a really good job with formations and how to use formations to create advantages for us on offense. I’m really pleased with what we’ve been able to do on that side of the ball and how we’ve developed.”
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: What Nick Saban saw from Alabama football quarterbacks in first scrimmage