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Alabama notebook: After scrimmage, Saban praises Tide offense

Jaylen Waddle

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle latches onto a pass. Photo by Kent Gidley

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama may have the personnel required to follow up 2019’s historic offense with an equally impressive unit in 2020.

After the team’s final weekend intrasquad scrimmage Saturday, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban praised an offense that is finding its way without four first-round draft picks from last season.

“We have a lot of good things happening on the offensive side,” Saban said. “The offense was pretty efficient today; the offensive line is playing really well. Both quarterbacks played well today.”

Saban has been consistently complimentary of wide receivers Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle as they step up for the lost production of Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. On Saturday, Saban praised the quarterbacks -- Mac Jones and Bryce Young -- trying to replace Tua Tagovailoa.

“They were very good today, very efficient,” Saban said. “Good completion percentages, threw for some explosive plays, made some good plays in special situations. I think the offense was pretty good on third down, which always goes back to quarterback decision-making and people getting open.”

Sophomore defensive linemen growing: The sophomore defensive linemen have shown some of the benefits of the experience they gained a yeara go. Saban said Justin Eboigbe has been the most consistent of the group and Christian Barmore, while out for a few days with a minor knee injury, has been one of the team’s best pass rushers.

But Eboigbe, Barmore and Byron Young have more growing to do.

“We got to get these guys to be good all-around players,” Saban said. “Some play the run, got to improve rushing the passer; we got some guys that rush the passer well and they’ve got to improve on playing the run. It’s a group effort to get that group continuing to improve. For the most part, we have been a little more physical up front, and we get challenged every day because we got a pretty good offensive line.”

Specialists update: A few days after Saban said the punters have performed “halfway decent,” he said “a couple of punters have been pretty consistent.”

Saban added that sophomore place-kicker Will Reichard made four of his five attempts in the scrimmage, with the one miss coming from 55 yards. Saban said the Tide is still trying to figure out who its best kicker is, with Joseph Bulovas and others in the mix.

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson