Alabama Crimson Tide Still Dealing with Quarterback Battle

By Tim Letcher
John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS
John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS

There is still a quarterback competition for the Alabama Crimson Tide. At least according to head coach Nick Saban there is.

It certainly did not appear as such in the Tide’s 33-23 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers. Senior Blake Sims played nearly the entire game for Alabama on Saturday, connecting on 24-of-33 through the air for 250 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. His backup, Jacob Coker, did not attempt a pass in his mop-up duty in the fourth quarter.

However, Saban made it clear on Monday that both Sims and Coker would see time behind center in Saturday’s game against Florida Atlantic. Saban said there is still a quarterback competition in Tuscaloosa, which may surprise some ‘Bama fans.

Saban, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and the rest of the staff need to find the best player to lead the offense, and they need to go with that player behind center. The longer this plays out, the more questions that are going to arise. Coker has the most upside, but apparently has not picked up the offense well enough to gain the trust of Saban and Kiffin.

Sims is limited in what he can do throwing the ball. He showed that in the first half of Saturday’s game, missing open receivers at least twice. However, he looked much better in the second half of the game. Still, his skillset is limited.

If Coker can have a good week of practice, then translate that to the field on Saturday, the staff might go ahead and name him the starter. But at this point, as Saban pointed out, there is still a quarterback competition in Tuscaloosa.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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