ATLANTA — Chick-fil-A is testing a chicken-and-waffle combo at select locations, just as Alabama seems on the verge of testing a Sims-and-Coker combo at the Georgia Dome.
Nick Saban said it’s “certainly a possibility” the Tide will use Blake Sims and Florida State transfer Jacob Coker against West Virginia on Saturday, though many indicators point to Sims being the starter.
That’s an upset considering the astronomical praise Coker received from Jimbo Fisher upon leaving Tallahassee, but Saban wasn’t going to bequeath the job to the newcomer, no matter how tall and strong-armed he was. To do so would have risked alienating a locker room of teammates who have played beside Sims for four years.
Sims hardly fits the profile of Alabama’s last four quarterbacks—all of whom landed on NFL rosters. Though Saban promised the four-star “athlete” a shot at playing QB coming out of Gainesville, Ga., Sims spent a season at running back before returning under center.
“Here’s the thing everybody needs to understand that people don’t understand,” Saban said Thursday night on his radio show. “We have a guy playing quarterback who has been in the system for a long time and really has a really good understanding—very confident in what he’s doing. I know he didn’t play very well in the spring game and that’s how a lot of people evaluate him. But he has done very well this fall and he did very well last spring and he has a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge.”
The Sims File: The fifth-year senior has attempted 39 college passes, with 28 of those compiled in three games against Georgia State, Western Carolina and UT-Chattanooga. … He has 67 career rushing attempts for 355 yards and two scores. … His other scholarship offers out of Gainesville (Ga.) High included FSU, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas and West Virginia, where Lonnie Galloway served as lead recruiter.
“We have faith, trust and confidence in Blake Sims,” Saban said. “We’re not going to evaluate Blake and he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder while he’s playing. I think there may be some occasion where the other guy deserves an opportunity at some point in time this season to show what he can do.”
The top question is how much “the other guy” will play against West Virginia, and when he does, will it be at Saban’s discretion or because WVU forced Alabama’s hand.