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September 14, 2011

Notebook: More action in cards for Sims

TUSCALOOSA | Phillip Sims got his first shot at meaningful game action against Kent State Sept. 3. Anyone who thought it was his last was apparently mistaken.

University of Alabama coach Nick Saban said he expects to handle his quarterbacks this Saturday in a home game against North Texas in a similar way as he did against the Golden Flashes, and that means another opportunity for the redshirt freshman Sims.

"We'll continue to work the quarterbacks as we did last week, which was two for one, because we want to continue to develop Phillip," Saban said. "We'd like to play Phillip if we get opportunities to play him. I do still feel both guys are good quarterbacks and there is some good competition there."

Sims completed 7 of 14 passes against Kent State in the season opener in splitting time with sophomore AJ McCarron. At Penn State, McCarron threw every pass for the Crimson Tide and performed well, completing 19 of 31 passes. He also threw a short touchdown pass to tight end Michael Williams with high velocity between two defenders, putting UA ahead 7-3.

"It was pretty fast. It was a bullet, but he had trust in me to catch it and had trust in his arm to throw it," said Williams. "That shows how good of a quarterback he really is."

Saban has said since spring drills that he is not averse to the idea of playing two quarterbacks, and has not named a long-term starter at the position. Both quarterbacks, Saban said Monday, would be developed in practice this week.

After throwing a pair of interceptions against Kent State, McCarron played turnover-free in his first career road start against the Nittany Lions.

"The thing AJ did in this game is, he managed the game well. He didn't make the bad mistakes," Saban said. "He made some good throws, and made a couple that he could have made a little better maybe. Buthe didn't make the bad mistake. There was only one occasion where he probably threw a ball he shouldn't have thrown."

UA uniforms safe under Saban
Oregon and now Maryland have taken the corporate-sponsored uniform to a new level of gaudiness. The question of whether UA would ever engage in such changes, and whether they create a recruiting advantage, arose with Saban Wednesday.

His answer, in short, was no on both questions.

"I'm a traditionalist. I think there's a brand, an expectation of what people expect to see when Alabama plays football," Saban said. "Just for some marketing whim? I'm not really into that. ... That doesn't mean it's wrong when somebody (else) does it."

Woodson on scout team
Freshman Danny Woodson, who joined the team a couple of weeks ago after fall camp had ended, has been working on the scout team. Saban said Woodson has done well working himself into shape, but is likely being developed for 2012.

"We don't pre-determine redshirting anybody, but when a guy gets started late and misses a little bit, sometimes it's in their best interest just to try to develop him for the next year," Saban said.

Tidebits
For the second consecutive practice, linebacker Chris Jordan was withheld from contact while healing from minor injuries. Jordan is not expected to play Saturday. With Jordan out, Trey DePriest could see additional playing time at middle linebacker. The true freshman already has 12 tackles on the season, with several of them on special teams. ... Saban said the status of receiver Duron Carter, who is practicing but not playing while his academic record is being approved, remains unchanged. ... A limited number of tickets remain available for Alabama's home game against North Texas Saturday. For more information, call the Alabama ticket office at (205) 348-2262.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase.goodbread@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0196.


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