“If you continue to do the same thing that you have always done you will get the same result. GUARANTEED.”
This weekend another Alabama – former player that is – had a run in with the law. That makes three so far this off season.
Everyone is familiar with the problems last year’s team had, starting with the 2013 arrests of Brent Calloway, DJ Pettway, Eddie Williams, and Tyler Hayes. A number of off the field issues seemed to affect the team, and those distractions may have led to the eventual crumbling of the hoped threepeat in 2013.
Alabama coach Nick Saban as well as former players AJ McCarron, CJ Mosley and Adrian Hubbard have publicly spoken about the distractions and players that simply didn’t “buy in” to the process last season. Saban said those players never saw the field but it could have definitely played a part in the team losing focus and the downfall at the end.
Alvin Kamara was said to have been one of those guys that didn’t “buy in” he is now on his way to JUCO ball and was recently arrested. And now, Dee Hart was just arrested and according to Alabama hasn’t been with the team in any form since the Sugar Bowl. Defensive end LaMichael Fanning is another guy that couldn’t seem to get out of Saban’s dog house or get on the field; he too transferred out.
Off-the-field issues are something every team struggles with, but when there are a string of these issues it can led to a big distraction.
It can also be used as a teaching tool, something Alabama coaches have already began doing, much in the way that the scores of Auburn and Oklahoma games are being used as a a way to keep players focused.
Posters with the Oklahoma and Auburn scores were placed in the Tide locker room recently. Above the scores of Alabama’s losses is the phrase,“If you continue to do the same thing that you have always done you will get the same result. Guaranteed.”
That same quote can be applied to players’ behavior off the field leading to distractions. If Dee Hart really is gone, that is another veteran with a heartbreaking history of injuries and yet another running back from a loaded stable out the door.
Dee Hart was a five-star running back coming out of high school. Alvin Kamara was ranked a four-star, and both players recruited by virtually every school in the country. Hart had a total of 64 carries for 254 yards and one touchdown in his Alabama career, while Kamara never saw the field.
Those highly recruited running backs are gone, but still remaining are a group of backs with equal or even more buzz about them coming out of high school. The message for players should be very clear. This team is comprised of four and five star big-time high school recruits. If you mess up there is someone equal or maybe even greater in talent waiting to step up in your place.
Sometimes it’s through mistakes and the missteps that a team is able to learn and grow from the most. Hopefully that is the case with the 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide.