Alabama Football Motto For 2022 Is To Play With ‘Relentless Discontent’

It’s a phrase that perhaps only Alabama coach Nick Saban could formulate.

Remember, this is a man who once complained about being in the national championship game because it hurt his recruiting schedule. This was prior to the beginning of the early signing periods in December.

“Coach uses the term ‘relentless discontent,'” Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding said Sunday at Alabama’s Media Day in Tuscaloosa.

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In other words, you have to fight to be unhappy so that you can win again and be happy – you know, for a minute or two.

Golding was using the term to describe junior edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. – the returning Bronko Nagurski trophy winner as the nation’s best defensive player.

Will Anderson Jr. speaks during SEC Media Days
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) reacts following the conclusion of the SEC Championship college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs on December 4th, 2021 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

But it may fit the entire team this season as the Crimson Tide remains stung from losing the national championship game last January to fellow Southeastern Conference member Georgia, 33-18. The Tide had easily defeated the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game, 41-24, and led them, 18-13, with under nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter in the national title game.

Then Georgia outscored the Tide, 20-0.

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“It’s a new year,” said Golding, who will enter his fifth season at Alabama. “I think the guys that are in that room, the D.J. Dales (defensive tackle), the Will Andersons, the Henry To’o To’os (middle linebacker), they remember the last 15 minutes of football they played all right. And that’s not how we wanted it to be. The bottom line – we didn’t get it done when we needed to.”

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JANUARY 10: Georgia Bulldogs QB Stetson Bennett (13) celebrates and holds the national championship trophy after the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett completed 4 of 4 passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns over the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, and the Bulldogs rushed six times for 32 yards to put the game away.

“We couldn’t stop the run when we needed to,” Golding said in a rare interview “I think that’s still in their guts. When they come to work every day, we want them to remember that feeling just as we remember that feeling. And that’s up to us how we practice so we prepare the right way, so we don’t feel that again.”

Even though Golding has been a part of a national championship at Alabama in 2020, he has always maintained his personal “relentless discontent.”

It will take work for Golding to be too discontented about his defense. In additon to Anderson, To’oTo’o and Dale, he returns the other starting edge rusher in Dallas Turner and returning starters Byron Young and Justin Eboigbe on the defensive line. It could be one of the best front sevens Saban has had at Alabama. Also back are starting safeties Jordan Battle and DeMarcco Hellams.

But Golding doesn’t count starters or rest on laurels – literally.

“When I normally leave this building at night, I feel like we’re about to get our ass whooped,” he said. “I come in every day, ‘How can we improve today?'”

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts against the LSU Tigers during the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

So does Saban – the champion of daily discontentment, no matter how many titles he piles up. It is seven so far (six at Alabama with the last on in 2020 and one at LSU). Alabama is among the biggest favorites to win it all this season, and that doesn’t make Saban content.

“It’s kind of interesting to me that I see articles every day that you all have decided already what kind of team we’re going to have,” he said. “I think in some ways this creates a much more difficult challenge to have players be hungry. But it is a challenge that we’re willing to deal with.”

 

 

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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