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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Crimson Countdown: Blake Sims

By Alex Scarborough

During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory

No. 6 Blake Sims
Junior quarterback

Expectations for 2013: At least on paper, Sims will be the primary backup to starting quarterback AJ McCarron. If McCarron goes down for a series or even a quarter of play, it will be Sims who comes off the bench to execute the read-option. He was very effective doing that same thing this past season when he and Phillip Ely were co-No. 2 quarterbacks on the depth chart. Sims carried the ball 30 times for 207 yards and two touchdowns in 2012, and he could see his talent as a runner utilized more this coming season by offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

Best-case scenario: Despite what was a dreadful A-Day performance, coach Nick Saban was quick to praise the work of his most athletic quarterback. Sims reportedly threw the ball well during the other spring scrimmages and continued to move the chains with his feet. If he can hold off a surging Alec Morris, he will solidify his position as the top backup in addition to whatever wrinkles Nussmeier draws up for him whether that's running the Wildcat or read-option with the first team.

Worst-case scenario: You can ignore inaccuracy only so much. Mix in bad decision-making and it becomes unavoidable. Sims showed during the A-Day scrimmage, throwing two terrible interceptions, that he's not a long-term option under center. Not in a Saban coached offense that values pro-style principles. Sims' running ability will let him see the field, but if McCarron were to go down for an extended period of time it's likely that someone other than him would get the call.

Future impact: Once you get past the idea of Sims being a starting quarterback, you can begin to see the options he presents whether that's as a lead backup or a wildcard in certain packages. With his ability to run, throw and catch the football, he could be utilized in number of ways, lining up at multiple positions and forcing the defense to account for his many talents. With the help and creativity of Nussmeier, Sims should see his role as a weapon expand over the next two seasons.