Nick Saban confirms Bryce Young as QB1 'for right now,' interrupts question about his development
If there’s anything Nick Saban bristles at the most, it’s a reporter assuming one of his players, especially a quarterback, is progressing throughout the offseason.
The Alabama coach appeared to be in midseason form on Thursday at a press conference ahead of the A-Day spring game, where he declined to discuss injuries and confirmed that Bryce Young would play with the first-team offense.
“Bryce is the quarterback for right now, so he’s going to operate with the first team,” Saban said. “There’s competition at the position. But in order for guys to get reps, the next guy has to play with the next guy. We may have one guy out, one guy may not be able to practice. So what you see in this game really doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of trying to figure out the depth chart and all that. Because there’s going to be a lot of guys missing. So how we play guys in this game doesn’t necessarily mean anything relative to next year.”
Saban then questioned how the reporter knew Young progressed this spring.
“I just said Bryce is going to play with the ones,” Saban said. “Alright? So that’s the way it’s gonna be. How do you know that he’s progressed the way he has been? What have you seen to be able to make that statement, first of all? I mean, I’m happy with his progress — I don’t want you to think that — but I just don’t know where you sort of just can come out and make that statement. But I’m happy with his progress.”
However, earlier this spring, Saban said Young needed to work on having a presence on the field, taking charge and command of the offense.
“I think he’s played well this spring,” Saban said. “I think he showed good leadership. He’s made progress. I think he understands the offense. He’s worked hard. So I can make the statement because I watch him practice every day, but I don’t know how much practice you saw.”