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SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2007
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Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson runs through drills Friday.
AP photo by Dan Lopez
Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson runs through drills Friday.

Saban pleased with 1st scrimmage
Coach lauds Wilson, Hall,
Caddell on offense

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama had its first football scrimmage of the spring Friday, and overall, head coach Nick Saban came away pleased with what he saw from his team.

Yes, he mentioned some dropped balls and botched plays on third down by the offense, but otherwise, he sounded positive after the first of three that Saban has scheduled for the spring, including A-Day on April 21.

"This can be a good starting point for us to teach on," Saban said. "This can be a good evaluation point."

Reporters were allowed to watch the first 10 minutes of warm-up time, but Saban only allowed the release of statistics afterward.

Individually, he mentioned wide receiver DJ Hall, quarterback John Parker Wilson and receiver Matt Caddell as standouts on offense.

Wilson completed 12 of 27 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown.

Caddell led the Tide with four catches for 80 yards, while Hall had two for 17 yards. Hartselle High grad Nikita Stover had two catches for 31 yards.

Glen Coffee had 15 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Saban said the first-team offense faced the second-team defense and vice versa. The only times the first teams clashed were when the offense was in the red zone, which is 20 yards and closer to the end zone.

Defensively, Saban touted receiver-turned-outside linebacker Ezekiel Knight.

Simeon Castille also recovered a fumble and scored on the play, returning it 32 yards.

Defensive lineman Brian Motley had 11 tackles and three tackles for a loss, and defensive end Bobby Greenwood had two sacks for 10 yards lost.

"Players have to be independent and go out and be able to execute," Saban said. "What happens in situations like that is guys with experience play better."

Saban mentioned the red zone as an area where the Tide played well.

Last season under head coach Mike Shula, Alabama had several red-zone falters, scoring touchdowns on 20 of 53 trips.

"We got pretty good results," Saban said. "We scored when we got down there. We scored a few touchdowns. The offense moved down there and got a field goal."

The Tide's next practice is Tuesday with its next scrimmage coming April 14.

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