TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Heading into to Alabama’s scrimmage, Nick Saban wanted to see improvement out of the Crimson Tide’s special teams units.
Asked for his assessment following the workout Saturday, Saban wasn’t completely satisfied with certain aspects of that unit.
One thing Alabama doesn’t have to worry about is punting. Rising senior JK Scott has provided stability at that position for three years.
“JK was fantastic with his punting, he did a really good job,” Saban said. “I think the punting and punt return both were good.”
Saban mentioned freshman Henry Ruggs as a player impressing on punt returns during his Thursday news conference. Alabama has plenty of talented receivers and defensive backs who could step up on returns.
From there, things are a little more unclear. Field goal kicking remains an issue. Saban said Thursday that there is competition at kicker and long snapper.
The Crimson Tide signed kicker Joseph Bulovas and long snapper Thomas Fletcher in its 2017 class, but neither has locked up the job to this point.
Fletcher is the lone long-snapper listed on Alabama’s roster so he is likely competing against walk-ons.
Bulovas is competing with senior Andy Pappanastos.
“I think we have things to work on relative to some of the other areas in the kicking game,” Saban said. “Missed a couple field goals. We had a couple blocked because we didn’t really have good protection. So we really need to work hard on that part of it.
“Kickoff and kickoff returns seem to be doing really, really well. I think we have to develop confidence in that area. It’s not just the kicker; it’s the protection, the holder, the whole operation being on time. We need to do a lot of work in that area.”
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