Nick Saban praised the spirit of his 2022 team after its first spring Saturday, saying the band’s character was “really good” during the first two full weeks of practice.
“There are no complainants in this team,” he said. “Guys just do what they are taught. They work a lot. We don’t have a lot of negative guys on this team. We have a real positive leadership, which I believe is always important, and I hope we can build on that, and that will be an advantage for this team. “
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Leadership was the theme of the spring, and last month junior outside midfielder and team captain Will Anderson said last year’s group lacked “really good and strong leadership”. When Anderson and junior Bryce Young returned as key voices, Tide seems to have started this season better.
“It’s so easy to get started. It’s harder to stand, ”Saban said. “And hopefully this team will be able to withstand and it will help us in terms of our development when autumn comes.”
Anderson was detained from Saturday’s skirmish “on purpose,” Saban said. The session was closed to journalists and the public, but after that Saban said Young spent a “good day” under the center.
Bigger issues around Young, and Saban reiterated on Saturday that the offensive line remains ongoing with three starting points – including central Darian Dalcourt – due to injuries. Right-back Damion George and center-back Seth McLaughlin were among the linemen involved.
“The first violation for the most part moved the ball very well,” Saban said. “The third fall failed, but I think it was more pressure, the offensive line – we have to keep improving.”
Saban said the falls were also a problem for the crime, but noted that junior at wide receiver Jermaine Burton, transferred from Georgia, “had a good day” and praised “little Aaron Anderson,” a fast-paced freshman 5 feet tall.
“He had a few great plays, he worked well,” Saban said of Anderson. “Really good running-for-catching ability. Took the game for five yards and ran for 35, 40 yards against the defense of the first team.
Junior wide receiver Treshon Holden has been “pretty stable all spring,” Saban added, and sophomore Ja’Koree Brooks came out in the spring due to injury. He called Joe Joe Earl, Christian Leary and Tai Jones-Bell less experienced broad receivers who were getting “better and better”.
Another move to former Georgia back-back Jamir Gibbs continued the smooth transition to Tide, getting first team representatives along with junior in red shirt Trey Sanders. Saban said Sanders finished with about 73 yards and Gibbs with about 55, although the school does not release any official statistics on the fight.
“Both of these guys did very well,” Saban said. “I think we’re working a little more consistently than at this time a year ago, so hopefully we’ll continue to develop that.”
Several starting defenders did not take part in the clash due to injuries not considered serious, Saban said, although he did not name the players. Line-back Justin Eboigbe, line-backs Henry To’o To’o, Jalen Moody and Dallas Turner, corner-backs Cool Aid McKinstra and Milky Moore, and security Jordan Battle were among the planned starting starts in field defense. Junior Chris Braswell replaced Anderson and “did very well,” Saban said.
“I thought the effort was pretty good, there were really good clashes,” Saban said. “The guys played hard.”
Alabama will hold another closed clash next Saturday before the spring game next Saturday, April 16th. In addition to Young, among those who will draw attention to A-Day are quarterback sophomore Jalen Milro and freshman Ty Simpson.
“I thought Jalen Milro had made really consistent successes, and today he did a few good things,” Saban said. “He actually moved the team. We always give the second (quarterback) the opportunity with the first team, and he quite effectively moves the team down the field. I think he better understands what we’re doing. He becomes a little more consistent in his ability to perform.
“That young guy, a freshman, has a lot of promises and a lot of benefits. A smart guy who works at this. Now everything is going a little fast for him, but we are not disappointed with the progress he is making. “
The theme spread to the entire team after its first live action in the 2022 season.
“We are not disappointed with where we are. We are certainly not where we want to be, whether we want to be or should be. Due to the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we get a lot of opportunities for young players, which I think is very important.
“I just think we just have to take everyone wherever they are and try to keep working with them so we can keep improving.”
Mike Rodak is an Alabama Media Group reporter. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.