by Dave Miller
August 26, 02014
If Alabama's current quarterback situation is considered problematic, then Crimson Tide fans should be confident about Nick Saban's squad having a successful season.
When the Tide released their first official depth chart of the season on Monday, Blake Sims and Jake Coker were listed as co-first teamers. Saban said both players would continue to get reps and that both were doing "a very, very good job," with a decision probably coming at some point during the week.
ICONWho will Nick Saban choose to start at QB for the Crimson Tide?
While Saban said he had yet to decide on whether to use both quarterbacks in the season opener, Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com reported on Tuesday that the Crimson Tide were preparing to start Sims versus West Virginia, but that the Florida State transfer Coker would play as well. Fowler noted that the plan could change as the week progresses and the team goes through a few more practices, but that the current plan would be similar to the one 'Bama used in 2011 against Kent State, when AJ McCarron started and Phillip Sims (no relation to Blake Sims) played as well.
But will a few more practices really change the number of snaps for each signal-caller against the Mountaineers and moving forward through the season?
Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin know which player can run the offense more effectively, and that is going to eventually be Coker. But keep in mind that Sims has been in Tuscaloosa for his entire career and knows the pro-style offense inside and out. While he doesn't bring the toolbox that Coker brings, he is the most effective starter for the Tide at this time, as Saban reiterated to reporters on Monday that the dual-threat Sims' experience within the system gives him the edge in comfort level over Coker, who didn't arrive on campus until May.
However, the praise heaped on Coker by his former head coach, Jimbo Fisher, at FSU was warranted. Fisher knows the quarterback position as well or as better than most coaches, and Saban desired a big-time quarterback in 2014. He has that in Coker, which we will eventually see once he gets more familiar and able to play with better rhythm and comfort.
How often we see it depends on how quickly Coker masters the offense. Moreover, the current state has a lot to do with Sims having a strong camp as opposed to Coker's struggles.
In the meantime, if Sims is indeed the starter on Saturday, he will be surrounded by the best offense Saban has ever had in Tuscaloosa, led by receivers Amari Cooper, Christion Jones and Robert Foster, tight end O.J. Howard and running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry.
The offense won't be an issue for the Tide this fall. So if the defense gets sound play from younger players in the secondary, a solid pass rush up front and defends up-tempo offenses better, a spot in the College Football Playoff could be there for the taking.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.