NEWS Alabama football: Saban downplays difficulty of QB decision

  • Thread starter Decatur Daily - sports/alabama
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Decatur Daily - sports/alabama

BIRMINGHAM — Surrounded by reporters outside the Old Overton Country Club an hour before his 12th annual Nick’s Kids charity golf tournament, Nick Saban appeared relatively carefree.

Alabama’s football coach even joked about his a recent boating excursion gone awry, and openly admitted to taking daily baths in Lake Tuscaloosa — an activity his wife, Terry, isn’t very fond of.

With preseason practice two months away, a relaxed Saban outright dismissed the suggestion Alabama’s starting quarterback competition between two-year incumbent Jalen Hurts and challenger Tua Tagovailoa could be difficult to decide.

“It won’t be difficult at all,” Saban said last week, “because what we’re trying to do is give the guys an opportunity and that’s the fair thing for both of them, and that’s really what our goal is.”

As has been the case in previous starting quarterback battles, Saban emphasized the importance of winning over Alabama’s locker room, with the inference being that the quarterback that has the most support among the players will ultimately start the season opener against Louisville.

“I think both players need to know that they need to win the team — that’s what they need to do — and the best way for them to do that is to stay focused on what they need to do,” Saban added. “And anything that they do that brings attention to themselves probably erodes the opportunity for that to happen.”

Saban’s last comment comes mere weeks after the Tagovailoa family entertained a small contingent of Birmingham-based media members in their native Hawaii, where Tagovailoa was honored with a “Hometown Hero Parade” on May 19 in his hometown of Ewa Beach.

It was during that media-blitz, when camera crews from and CBS 42 followed his every move for several days, that Tagovailoa raised eyebrows when he openly admitted he considered transferring as late as the week of the national championship game while speaking to a group of students at his former middle school.

“I wanted to leave the school,” Tagovailoa said in mid-May, according to Hawaii News Now. “So, I told myself if I didn’t play in the last game, which was the national championship game, I would transfer out. If I gave in, I don’t think I would have seen the end blessing of where I am now.”

Tagovailoa replaced Hurts to start the second half with Alabama trailing 13-0 to Georgia and propelled the Tide to a comeback victory with 166 yards and three touchdowns.

Tagovailoa later clarified his comments were meant to express a message about perseverance and working through personal adversity, but that didn’t come until after his aforementioned quote spread like wildfire.

Meanwhile, Hurts has been relatively quiet this offseason, only recently being quoted while speaking to a group of high school quarterback prospects at the recent Elite 11 camp in California.

Even then, Hurts made it clear he’s a team-first player through and through.

“Nothing is ever about me,” Hurts said, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. “It’s always about my team. I always try to put them first. I can’t do it on my own. Treat your teammates the right way.”

Both Hurts and Tagovailoa were college counselors at last week’s Elite 11 quarterback camp, where the Crimson Tide duo reportedly opened eyes and turned heads with both and their words and impressive showings during workouts.

It’s because of the type of people they are, their connection with their teammates and their friendship — not to mention the potential for either to transfer should the other win the job — that will undoubtedly make Saban’s ultimate decision more difficult than simply picking the best quarterback during preseason practice.

Saban said patience is needed while it plays out.

“I’d appreciate your help in just allowing it to happen,” Saban continued. “Because it’s not going to happen any faster, you’re not going to make it happen faster. It’s going to be a process that we go through, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Alabama football: Saban downplays difficulty of QB decision
Between the Tua injury this Spring and the way Saban has handled this situation, it couldn't any better for Bama fans. Going to have 2 winners at QB, with 2 different skills as strengths, that happen to really like each other and put the team first. It literally cannot get better than that in college football.

Now at some point Coach will rip the band aid off and Jalen will have to accept his role... Which I still believe will involve getting snaps at QB... But until then CNS gets to enjoy having 2 QB's seeming content to compete and push each other.


Riding The Wave
The one common thread in all of coach Saban's commentary is the notion that the starter will have to win over the locker room. Is that everyone or just the offense?


Riding The Wave
@TUSKtimes ....i bet its in performance and not buddy buddy.....dont you think...
Thats kinda NS if the team is doing well...he wins over the team...
Kinda of a weird way of putting the QB competition. I think they both have outstanding leadership qualities and are probably well liked. I'm not sure what you see there. I can't imagine Saban not making the call.

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