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August 14, 2014

Saban weary of QB questions

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It was quite the juxtaposition that played out Thursday evening both in real time and on a tape delayed television interview.

At the same time Alabama coach Nick Saban playfully jabbed local reporters about a question concerning the quarterback competition between Blake Sims and Jake Coker, Saban was on television during a taped interview eloquently answering a question about the quarterback competition.

The head coach had to play ball for the SEC's new cash cow, the SEC Network, but on a smaller scale to local reporters the message was clear: Saban was clearly weary of discussing anything concerning his quarterbacks.

Nothing showed just how seemingly ubiquitous the quarterback competition is than that moment.

During his Thursday evening press conference a question was posed to Saban asking if anything would be different for the quarterbacks during Saturday's scrimmage. His reaction told the story.

"Nothing (different). Nothing," Saban deadpanned, tapping the podium a couple of times with his right hand. "I mean, I don't know. What do you want me to say? They're both going to take an equal number of snaps, just like they did last week. And if you keep asking questions about it, we probably won't give you their stats again."

Saban was referencing the decision to not release passing statistics when interrupted and disrupted by rain during the first scrimmage last Saturday.

In an taped interview that aired during the debut of the SEC Network Thursday night, Saban was asked essentially the same question, to which he gave a much more insightful answer.

"We are really encouraged by both players," Saban said in an interview with SEC Network analysts Marcus Spears. "Blake has really played well and probably developed into a more consistent player at that position than maybe I thought he could.

"Jake has also come in and he's a very talented guy. He's a big guy, he's got a good arm and as he sort of gets more familiar with the system and gains more confidence in what he's doing, he's starting to show that he's a talented guy that can make a great contribution to our team as well."

While Saban may have grown tired of publicly talking about the quarterbacks, the topic gains steam daily not only with Crimson Tide fans but on a national scale, too.

Even Phil Savage, the executive director of the Senior Bowl and the radio color commentator for Alabama football broadcasts, recently weighed-in about the competition between Sims and Coker.

"I absolutely think both will play in the first game," Savage said during a recent radio interview with Jox 94.5. "I think that Blake Sims will have a sequence of plays or a series, plays that really fit his skill set regardless of it he's the starter or the backup."

More will be known after Saturday's scrimmage. Saban said both quarterbacks did good things in the first scrimmage.

"I think than both guys showed that they're capable of doing what we need to them on offense so that we can be effective with the other players that we have," Saban said. "We're not pleased or satisfied completely with where they are, but we're not disappointed in the progress that we're making at the position."

Reach Aaron Suttles at [email protected] or at 205-722-0229.

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