-- Nick Saban likes the way Lane Kiffin's offense puts the ball in the hands of his top playmakers.
Amari Cooper, one of the most explosive playmakers in the entire SEC, got his first taste of it Saturday at Alabama's first spring scrimmage.
He didn't go hungry.
While the distribution of wealth was seemingly equal for the rest of Alabama's wide receivers and running backs, Cooper enjoyed a banner day at a mostly empty Bryant-Denny Stadium. , Cooper hauled in 10 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
Asked Monday if this performance was a byproduct of his own improvement or the Crimson Tide's new offense, Cooper credited Kiffin.
"Coach Kiffin calls plays based on matchups and what he sees," Cooper said. "Like I said before, it's a simple offense. If he sees they are in man-to-man coverage and I have a hitch route, it converts if he's close to me, we are going to throw a little fade route and make something out of it."
Cooper's biggest play came on what he described as a "simple go route." Senior quarterback Blake Sims, whom Cooper said largely worked with the first-team offense, found him for the 75-yard touchdown.
"Blake is getting a lot of confidence," Cooper said. "He's looking good out there."
Cooper said each practice has included a session where Kiffin installs a portion of his offense. The response, Cooper said, has been "pretty good."
More than once this spring, Cooper has lauded Kiffin's schemes and concepts for their "simplicity."
"Some coaches and quarterbacks over-analyze things at times," Cooper said. "Sometimes it can be pitch and catch, let the play-makers make plays."
There's been more to Cooper's junior season to date than just making plays.
He's already been on ESPN and he's the only Alabama player to make two trips to the interview room since the start of spring football. On an offense that likely won't have a starter named at quarterback for months, the typically soft-spoken Cooper has emerged as a veteran leader and one of the faces of the Crimson Tide offense.
Cooper said he's made a point to remain positive and talkative because his teammates now gravitate toward him. There seems to have been a trickle-down effect, and it was something .
"It's more positive people on the team, no matter the situation," he said. "People are staying positive because any time you get negative, it's like one spoiled apple ruins the bunch. If you see one negative person a lot of people start to get negative, and that's not good for any time."
Just don't assume that Cooper's confidence has changed. Asked if he now feels he can get open against any kind of coverage, Cooper didn't flinch.
"I've felt that way for a pretty long time," he said.Thank you for subscribing. You should receive your first newsletter within 24 hours. To view and subscribe to any of our other newsletters, please .
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