What Nick Saban thought of Alabama's offense in first scrimmage

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Nick Saban gives his view of Alabama's offense in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Nobody wins a scrimmage just as nobody loses. Stats aren't released but Nick Saban typically indicates whether the offense or defense gets the better of a given intrasquad.

As the lone voice on the topic, Saban's word stands typically until players get their take a few days later.

So, which was better in Saturday's first of two scrimmages? Saban answered when asked about new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll running things Saturday.

"I don't think we had the rhythm that we'd like to see on offense," Saban said. "I'm sure he would say the same thing to you. I don't think that's a reflection on him. It's just the way it went today."

Absent of the full context, a few clues could be found in photos released by the school from the scrimmage action. A series shows cornerback Trevon Diggs intercepting a pass, though it wasn't clear which quarterback threw it.

"We've had good days and we've had bad days," Saban said. "Today we made some plays and we made some really good plays. But the consistency wasn't what it needed to be in terms of finishing drives and playing with the consistency of... There were a lot of good things to build on."

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The arrival of Daboll will mean a third offensive playcaller will be in charge in the last three games after Lane Kiffin did it in the Peach Bowl before Steve Sarkisian took over in the national title game.

That whole operation takes work too.

"We do it every day in practice," Saban said. "We have team periods in practice where we put the coaches on the sidelines, we signal the defense and signal the offense and we call the plays every day. That's basically how we practice."

Of course, they do their share of instruction outside of that construct. Going seven-on-seven, coaches are out there to walk through the situations.

It all has a time and place.

"I used to be in the middle of it, coaching players all the time, coaching them every play in team periods and all that," Saban said. "Bill Belichick used to kick me out and say 'Let the players play.' There was a time when you have to let them play. You call it and they have to make the adjustments and they have to do it. So, we get that in scrimmages but we also get it in practice when we have team periods. It gives the coaches a chance to practice what they're going to call situationally as well."

Both sides of that dynamic will get a rest from that Sunday. Alabama won't practice Sunday after the first full week of practice before heading back to the field Monday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. 

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