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Former Alabama LB Tim Williams talks about current Tide culture

Alabama LB Tim Williams (#56) on the field during 2016 CFP Semifinal matchup against Washington
Jason Getz - USA TODAY Sports

He is arguably the most fearsome edge rusher in the Nick Saban era for Alabama football, but Tim Williams has raw feelings about where the current culture is for the Crimson Tide.

RELATED: Grass or turf? Nick Saban shares his preference

The Baton Rouge (La.) native came to the University of Alabama as a five-star in its 2013 class. It took him a while to get on the field, but he took advantage of the moment in 2015 and 2016. Williams assisted the Tide to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2015. He was on a defense under Kirby Smart that allowed 15.1 points per game and pitched two shutouts.

Williams disrupted opposing offenses as 12.5 of his 19 tackles came for loss of yardage. He had 10.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries, while posting bigger numbers in 2016. Williams recorded 16 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and 12 quarterback hurries that season, propelling Alabama’s defense to a Southeastern Conference Championship. He played during a time when athletes did not receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness. Williams came to the Tide during a time when the focus was on getting to the National Football League and making generational wealth. The idea under Saban then was winning national championships and being dominant in brotherhood. Williams does not see those characteristics in this current culture. 

Williams said the Alabama he remembers played for rings, championships, and discipline, while this new culture of athletes plays for endorsement deals. One of the best pass rushers in school history does not watch the team right now because it’s not the same.

RELATED: Nick Saban remembers 2015 championship team as Alabama searches for an identity

Williams played on the 2015 Alabama team that lost to Ole Miss early in the season. The group found a way to shake off the defeat, build an identity, and win a championship.  The Tide has dealt with criticism since losing to Texas.

We will see if it bounces back against South Florida.

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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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