Chris Stephens

Blake Sims Must Start For Alabama To Win

Created on Aug. 15, 2014 5:00 AM EST

The race for the Alabama starting quarterback position is apparently going to go down until the last day.

According to Cecil Hurt of the Gadsden Timesthe true winner of the race might not be revealed until Alabama runs out of the tunnel against West Virginia to open the season.

The race between Blake Sims and Jacob Coker is close, but if the Crimson Tide are going to get back to the SEC Championship Game, Sims is going to have to be the starter and not Coker.

Sims has been groomed for the starting quarterback position at Alabama ever since he arrived on campus. After sitting behind A.J. McCarron, it's now his turn to lead the Tide. Sims brings something to the table that Coker doesn't — the ability to make plays with his legs. While head coach Nick Saban would prefer that his quarterbacks stay in the pocket, there's no denying that a quarterback with the legs that Sims has can wreak havoc on defenses. Just look at what Johnny Manziel did to the best defenses in the SEC over the last two years. I'm not comparing Sims to Manziel, but you can never underestimate the mobility of a quarterback.

Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution added to the story as well:

Coker has reportedly struggled with making quick decisions, which is something that can't happen in the SEC. The window is small to get the throw off in the FBS, and if Coker is too slow, he is going to have a lot of incomplete passes.

While it shouldn't matter what his teammates think, it says a lot about a player when most of his teammates are supporting him over the other quarterback. Coker is coming into Alabama trying to take the starting job from Sims, and for some players, that's not okay. He hasn't earned his stripes yet as a member of Alabama's football team.

Although his playing time has been limited in his time at Tuscaloosa, Sims knows what it's like to play in the SEC. In his two years of limited play at Florida State, Coker threw for 250 yards with one interception.

He may have a cannon for an arm, but he has no idea what he's getting himself into in the SEC.

While Coker may have a more NFL-ready arm, that doesn't necessarily translate on the college football field. If it did, then Matthew Stafford would have led Georgia to an SEC title.

Alabama hasn't needed a big-time arm since Saban arrived. They need more of a game manager, and someone who won't make mistakes. That quarterback is Blake Sims.

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