No depth chart for Alabama football ahead of season opener vs MTSU

By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown

It’s the first game week of the 2023 football season.

Alabama faces Middle Tennessee on Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

The biggest question remains: Who will start week one at quarterback?

Alabama football will not release a depth chart ahead of Saturday’s game. Head coach Nick Saban said in Monday’s press conference that depth charts doesn’t serve any good purpose for the team.

“It creates a lot of distraction on our team, creates a lot of guys thinking, ‘Well, this guy won the job and I’m not going to play,’ ” Saban said. “Quite frankly, we don’t need that, and I want all of our players to continue to compete for playing time, to play at the highest level, and I don’t want anyone on our team to think they’re a backup player… I think most of the players on our team know who should start the game and who shouldn’t start.”

Alabama senior center Seth McLaughlin for one does not think the depth chart is a “distraction” because the Tide players know where they stand with the coaching staff.

“I don’t think it distracts us at all because what we put out there may not exactly be what we’re gonna have on the first day,” McLaughlin said. “I think game-by-game, coach Saban is going to put the guys out there that are going to put us in the best situation to win. Whatever that says, that’s what it’s going to be.”

For the second straight press conference, Saban’s message to the players — at any position, but certainly those competing at quarterback: don’t be concerned with not knowing who the starter is. Instead, focus on performing so well at practice that the coaches don’t have any choice of who to start.

“I told the quarterbacks, ‘hey, quit looking around for me to make a decision on who is going going to play. How about you playing good enough that I don’t have a choice. That’s what you can control, that’s what you can do and somebody needs to do that.’ And its sort of taking shape to some degree, but somebody’s got to do it,” Saban said.

While it remains to be seen who will take the first snap on Saturday, Saban did update Jalen Milroe’s offseason improvement and consistency.

“I think he’s more comfortable in the pocket,” Saban said. “He has more confidence and the way he executes and the way he plays, he’s been more consistent in the way he’s played. I think that’s going to be the key to the drill for him to be able to maintain the consistency in every practice so that he is developing the kind of habits that are going to carry over in the game and help him be successful.”

Alabama opens the season at Middle Tennessee State on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The game will air on the SEC Network.

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