New Faces off to Strong Start at Alabama Spring Practice
The Alabama Crimson Tide kicked off their first day of spring practice this afternoon. After a national championship campaign in 2020, there are loads of new faces both on offense and defense, and on the coaching staff as well.
Sophomore Bryce Young heads into spring camp as the presumed starting quarterback over redshirt sophomore Paul Tyson. Coach Saban is happy with the job Young did in his limited time in 2020 and how he has began the spring. But nothing is guaranteed at Alabama, and Young will have to continue to improve in order to hold off Tyson.
"I thought he did a good job but at times he was still in his way out there and not playing with the kind of confidence we would like for him to play with. But it's part of his development and he learned from it and has been much better in practice, like today. He looked a lot more comfortable managing and executing the offense and playing fast so that was really encouraging," Saban said while addressing the media post-practice.
While having to replace the main cog of the offense in Mac Jones, Alabama has also had to replace an extremely key piece of the 2020 offense in offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
Newly hired to replace Sarkisian is former Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. Learning a new system while actively trying to figure out ways to improve it is no easy task, especially with an offense as complicated as Alabama's, but O'Brien is off to a good start according to coach Saban.
"I think it's really difficult to have someone come in to learn our system, which he has done a really good job of to try to implement that system then tweak it to fix it and make it better," Saban said.
For all new coaches, however, it is easy to come in and want to make an immediate difference, but for coach Saban the key is building on the success they already have.
"It's kind of human nature to want to come in and make an impact and do something that is great. We just need you to do a good job of coaching our players, getting them to play the best they can play, getting the players to understand our system and what we do in a positive way. The focus needs to be on how we get the players we have to be the best offensive team we can be, and we need to all work together to do that and so far that has worked out really well," Saban said.
While countless new faces both on the field and on the sidelines is not something Alabama isn't used to, it will be no small task to get all the new faces to click. For Bryce Young and Bill O'Brien, getting on the same page will be absolutely critical in order for the 2021 season to be anywhere near as successful as 2020. With a long spring ahead, it seems like they are off to a pretty good start.
The 10 Greatest Athletes from Alabama
LOOK: See inside a modern day castle complete with drawbridge