As Alabamas spring ends all eyes on Jale

  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Damien Harris couldn't help himself.The senior running back hadjust finishedcommenting how most observations of Alabama's offense this spring have centered around the quarterback battle between Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa. Then, hefaced this question from a reporter:"Let's talk about Jalen and Tua."MORE: <a href="">Dontae Johnson Jersey</a> Breaking down Hurts vs. Tagovailoa"What? We just talked about that," Harris said, laughing.His exasperation is understandable: There were several talking points from Alabama's A-Day game Saturday, which saw the Crimson Team (first-team defense, second-team offense) claim a 24-12 win over the White Team (first-team offense, second-team defense).There was redshirt freshman quarterbackMac Jones, who lit up the stat chart for the Crimson Team with a 23-of-35 pa sing day that included two touchdowns. There was the i sue along the starting offensive line, which surrendered seven sacks and struggled to develop any consistency in the running game. But on a day where Hurts completed only 19 of 37 pa ses for 195 yards and an interception for the White Team, the question needed to be asked."Obviously Jalen has a great body of work, has accomplished a lot of great things here," Harris said. "Tua obviously had a great second half in the national championship game. Everybody knows he's a great player as well."But to be honest, all that stuff is in the past, and all that matters is how we progre s moving forward. <a href="">Len Dawson Jersey</a> ... Regardle s of what either of them has done in the past, I don't think that should be a deciding factor for either of them."That means, for now, Alabama coach Nick Saban has to look at both <a href="">Demarcus Robinson Jersey</a> players' body of work over the spring, culminating in Saturday's game. Gone is Hurts' 26-2 record as a starter. Gone is Tagovailoa's come-from-behind performance against Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game. Muddying the waters, however, is the fact Tagovailoa was and a good portion of the spring with a hand injury. Coupled with Hurts' struggles on Saturday, it's not entirely clear who has the advantage in this competition heading into the summer and beyond.LISTEN: The importance of that decision was elevated this week when Hurts' father, Averion,said his son would be the " in college football history" if he didn't win the starting job. In that one comment, he made the biggest quarterback battle in college football even bigger.Saban, for his part, saw some positive signs from the way Hurts competed Saturday."I was not disappointed with <a href="">Christian Okoye Jersey</a> the way Jalen played," Saban said. "I think we've got some guys that can rush a little bit, and I think ... there was way too much pre sure in the pocket for the quarterback to be able to operate like we'd like. I think Jalen made some good plays in the game, made some good throws."Some good plays, yes. Some good throws, yes. But a lot of the i sues that have plagued Hurts as a pa ser made themselves evident again during A-Day: mi sed receivers, holding onto the ball for too long and plain bad throws. That said, Saban said he hopes Hurts works on his game over the summer, particularly in his decision-making and trust in the pocket but also on fundamentals such as footwork and throwing accuracy.MORE: Of course, all those mistakes no matter what size will be magnified, not only because of the stage Hurts plays on, but also because of the competition he has in Tagovailoa. Even in the world of college football, the attention Hurts garners borders on exce sive."There's more players on the team than just Jalen," Harris said. "I think all the attention on him and what he does, it's kind of unfair to him, because he's under a microscope, and there's 10 other guys on offense that have to make the play work. I kind of think that's unfair to him. It's unfair to our team."Unfair or not, it's the reality Hurts will have to face throughout the summer and fall. He won't be out from under that spotlight until Alabama <a href="">Derrick Thomas Jersey</a> has made its quarterback decision once and for all.

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