Most Important Lessons Learned from Alabama's A-Day Game
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The University of Alabama wrapped up its spring training with the 2013 Golden Flake A-Day game on Saturday, April 20. The White team, which is comprised of the first-team offense and second-team defense, defeated the Crimson team 17-14.
The 2013-14 Alabama team showed it has progressed this spring but still has areas where it needs to improve.
Here, we break down the most important lessons we learned about the Crimson Tide from their A-Day game.
Quaterback Depth Needs Some Work
Blake Sims and the other backup quarterbacks are a long way from the starting job.
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AJ McCarron is the clear-cut starter at quarterback for Alabama. He has won two national championships as the Tide's signal-caller in as many seasons, and he looks to close out his career in Tuscaloosa by winning a third title.
But the guys playing for the No. 2 spot did nothing to help their cases on Saturday.
Seven quarterbacks made appearances in the A-Day game, throwing six total interceptions.
Aside from McCarron, redshirt freshman Alec Morris was the only one who seemed to know how to throw a football.
Blake Sims looked erratic. Freshmen Cooper Bateman, Luke Del Rio and Parker McLeod all looked extremely nervous in their first live action.
The depth for Alabama at quarterback needs some touching up before the season begins this fall.
Secondary Shows Its Potential
Clinton-Dix, and Alabama's secondary, had a big day on Saturday.
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Where the quarterbacks struggled by throwing interception after interception, the secondary reaped the benefits from the passers' blunders.
Alabama's secondary accounted for five of the Tide's six interceptions on Saturday.
Rising senior Nick Perry picked off two passes, both coming from Blake Sims. Rising junior Vinnie Sunseri picked off McCarron and returned the interception 86 yards for a touchdown.
The secondary shined in the A-Day game and erased some of the doubts that have risen because of the departure of Dee Milliner and Robert Lester. It showed it can make plays when it needs to.
Offensive Line in Unison
Anthony Steen (61) leads an offensive line that seems to be in-sync this spring.
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Though no statistics are kept for the offensive line, Alabama's first-team—and second-team—line held its own in the A-Day game.
Between the two units, only two sacks were given up on the day. And in a day that was dominated by quarterbacks, the offensive line paved the way for 136 combined rushing yards.
The first team looks to be set with Cyrus Kouandjio, Arie Kouandjio, Ryan Kelly, Anthony Steen and Austin Shepherd. The unit seems to have meshed together quite nicely, and its backup group looks to be doing just as well.
T.J. Yeldon Is Ready for the No. 1 Spot
Yeldon had another strong performance in the annual spring game.
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Yeldon won the Dixie Howell MVP award for the second year in a row after shocking the world in his freshman debut in 2012.
He rushed for 70 yards and the game-winning touchdown and caught another 60 yards out of the backfield.
He proved he is ready to take over as the starting running back and pick up where he left off last year. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in his true-freshman season.
With Eddie Lacy leaving for the NFL and a bevy of inexperienced backs behind him, Yeldon will have to carry the load for Alabama in 2013. But judging by his performance in the A-Day game, he is more than ready to accept that challenge.