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Alabama players returning to bonding more off field to restore winning culture

Nick Saban leads Alabama out of the tunnel
Mickey Welsh - The Montgomery Advertiser/ USA TODAY Sports

Alabama players had one common denominator in its six national championships under Nick Saban.

The players formed unity off the field, and it allowed them to trust one another on gameday.

No matter if it was bowling, cookouts, fishing, videogames, etc… players found different ways to connect off the field.

RELATED: Alabama 5-Star early enrollees signing autographs at Bryant- Denny

Alabama’s national title teams in 2009, 2011, and 2012 were not filled with all five-star athletes, but the unity was there. The 2015, 2017, and 2020 teams had more five-star players, but the togetherness was strong. People point fingers at the coaching staff, lack of discipline, lack of enthusiasm, and NIL for the Crimson Tide not winning a College Football Playoff National Championship in the last two seasons. However, could the true reason be a lack of unity? On Wednesday, “The Developmental Focus Points” via The Bama Standard featured Ha’Sean “HaHa” Clinton-Dix and Reggie Ragland with Bo Scarbrough, Trent Richardson, and Blake Sims.

Clinton-Dix, a former All-American safety, is now on Alabama’s coaching staff as the Director of Player Development.

He said the bond of Alabama players is not what it used to be, but he’s working on helping it return.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix & Reggie Ragland Say This NEEDS TO RETURN To Alabama Football!

“It is getting better,” Clinton-Dix said about improving team unity.

“The unity is what makes the team go. When I was in school, we could not do shit without checking in with Chap (Jeremiah Castille). It is about creating that bond.  A lot of these guys came from COVID, and they became introverts so they could not do anything. It is about getting these guys to spend more time with each other, which they are doing. We had a golfing event last Wednesday and they had a great time. Once they build that bond with each other and learn about each other’s struggles, it makes them go harder for each other. That is the bond they are building in the Fourth Quarter Program.”

RELATED: Reggie Ragland fires off on Dick Vitale for false tweet regarding Brandon Miller

Clinton-Dix made a valid point. COVID separated players and people in general. We have recently started returning to normal as a country, so it is the same with Alabama football. Once players continue spending more time with each other, the closeness and unity will return, which should bring back the dominant performances Tide fans want to see from the program.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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