Nick Saban: Alabama still 'pro-style' offense

Saban would like to have mobile QB in future

Anniston StarMarch 17, 2014 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For those wondering what Alabama's offense will look like in 2014, don't expect too much change in the immediate future.

In an interview with ESPN analyst David Pollack on Sports Center, coach Nick Saban said the Crimson Tide is still a "pro-style offense type of team." Pollack asked Saban about his thoughts on mobile quarterbacks and if he envisioned Alabama moving toward using a run-first signal caller.

"I think if you have a guy like that, it does create a lot of problems for the defense," Saban said. "I think that as we go forward in the future, that we'd like to have that kind of quarterback as well. But we're still a pro-style type of offense. "

Rising senior Blake Sims is the only quarterback on the Tide's roster who was a mobile quarterback in high school. Sims plays the scout team role whenever the Tide is preparing for opponents with run first quarterbacks. The other four quarterbacks on the roster, along with transfer Jacob Coker, are more pro-style passers.

"We really don't want to go into the spread and have a running quarterback because the downside of that is when you lose that guy, because of the exposure he has, do you have enough guys that can go in there and play at the same level he can play?"

DePriest ready to lead

While senior linebacker Trey DePriest has started much of the past two seasons, he hasn't been the main guy at his position. That all changes this year as DePriest is expected to step into the leadership role with the departure of All-American C.J. Mosley. He was one of two players brought up to speak with reporters following the Tide's opening day of spring practice. He'll serve as the Tide's defensive spokesman.

"I'm just blessed to have a lot of experience," DePriest said. "I've played for awhile. So I'm just trying to help out where I can."

DePriest was third on the team last season with 65 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. Saban is confident in DePriest's abilities.

"Trey has a lot of experience. He's a very good player," Saban said. "We need his leadership on defense. He's obviously going to become the signal-caller, which I think everyone looks up to. He certainly has the knowledge and experience and maturity to affect other players in a positive way. I think that's something that's going to be important for our defensive team that he not only contribute with his physical performance and doing his job well, but how he affects everyone else."

DePriest is ready for the extra responsibility although it won't be completely brand new.

"I've been around long enough to where I can handle it," he said. "Playing with C.J. last year, we took the role and kind of split it. He did the majority of it. But sometimes I've gotta help him out. When teams went fastball and stuff, so he can't get it off and communicate it so I had to help there too."

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