Sports Sunday: Aug. 13, 2023
WVUA-23 recaps the top sports stories around Tuscaloosa and West Alabama. Enjoy highlights from:
The Buzz following Alabama’s scrimmage
By WVUA-23 Sports Reporter Drew Pavan
Just one day after Alabama football’s first scrimmage of fall camp, we caught up with Rodney Orr of TiderInsider.com.
The position battle carrying the most buzz continues to loom large: who will lead the offense at the quarterback position?
“It sounded like Jalen Milroe had the best first scrimmage and, without any interceptions, no turnovers for him are certainly key,” said Orr. “The wide receivers need to be able to catch the football on a consistent basis and be more consistent.”
Alabama’s defense must replace a number of players that have gone on to the NFL, as well as last year’s defensive coordinator. There’s already a sense that the defense has taken on some of new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s mentality.
“What (Steele) brings from energy, passion, and from a demand standpoint may be the difference maker for the defense this year,” said Orr. “The defense has a heavy emphasis this year on doing your job, being accountable for what you do, he certainly will hold the players, the coaches, and the defense as a whole accountable.”
Steele isn’t the only new coach on the staff. The Crimson Tide added Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees in the same role and he looks to develop consistency.
“They need to develop rhythm within the offense, with reps throughout camp, it’s all about repetition and development,” said Orr. “There’s still plenty of room for improvement they have got time, but for how the offense will end up looking, it’s going to be interesting.”
With the final full week of fall camp approaching, Alabama football will have one more final closed scrimmage on Saturday, Aug 19.
Nick Saban emphasizes versatility at defensive back
Don’t expect to see many ‘one-trick-ponies’ playing defensive back for the Crimson Tide.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage, Alabama coach Nick Saban talked about the position versatility he expects out of that position group and the benefit of having defensive backs be able to play multiple positions in the secondary.
“I mean we’re playing guys all over the place,” Saban said following Saturday’s scrimmage. “Terrion can play different spots, Kool-Aid can play different spots. Malachi can play just about everywhere. Jaylen Key can play multiple positions, trying to develop Tony Mitchell to be able to play multiple positions. We need to have a lot of guys that can do that. Smitty can play a couple different things. Kristian Story can play a couple of different things.
“I think it’s important that guys have a background and a basic knowledge of information so if we get guys injured during the season we can move guys around and have a chance to get the best people in the field.”
Saban coaches defensive backs, primarily cornerbacks, at Alabama practice so it should not surprise that the group is held to a very high standard.
Former Tide stars headline Week 1 of the NFL preseason
Week 1 of the NFL’s preseason is in the books. Here are some of the notable performances by Crimson Tide products:
-Bryce Young (CAR): 4-for-6 passing for 21 yards in two drives at Quarterback, in a loss to the New York Jets, 27-0.
-Jerry Jeudy (DEN): 2 catches, 40 yards, TD in a loss to Arizona, 18-17
– Jameson Williams (DET): 2 catches including one on a 2-point conversion try, 18 yards in a win over the New York Giants, 21-16
– Jahmyr Gibbs (DET): 6 rushes, 19 yards; 1 catch, 18 yards in a win over the New York Giants, 21-16
– Demarco Hellams (ATL): five tackles, one Int in a win over the Miami Dolphins, 19-3.
– Eli Ricks (PHL): one tackle, one interception, three passes defended, and a touchdown in a close loss to the Baltimore Ravens, 20-19.