Alabama football players, coaches, and fans could all look back on last year's national championship…
Pagan Has Goal To Improve Craft
Alabama Coach Nick Saban doesn't see it as a problem. "A lot of these guys have 8 o'clock classes," he pointed out. Players are told to be ready mentally for the early start. "It's different than a late game when you have lots of time. I kind of like it. Your feet hit the ground in the morning, you know it's going to go fast; you get ready to go."
Jeoffrey Pagan, Alabama's 6-4, 290-pound junior tackle from Asheville, N.C., said that he won't have a hard time waking up and being ready to go Saturday.
It's all about how you go to bed," he said. "You've got to go to bed at a decent hour and prepare mentally the night before. That's what I try to do."
Pagan gave himself a more important wake-up call prior to the start of this season.
"I really wanted to improve on my ball get-off and getting to the ball," he said. "I felt like my sophomore year I kind of got caught being lazy and watching too much. This year I really want to strive on getting to the ball and making plays."
Pagan played in all 14 Tide games last year and was in on 23 tackles, including four for lost yardage and two sacks. He also played in six games as a freshman in 2011. In Bama's 4-0 season this year he has been a starting defensive end in all four games and has been in on 12 tackles, including one for loss.
Pagan said, "I think I've played pretty well and I've disciplined myself well enough to get to the ball."
He also said that the process of improvement doesn't end with the beginning of games. "You can [improve] at any point as long as you dedicate yourself to doing it, taking the time to perfect your craft." he said.
He did say that it was frustrating that Alabama has not had a lot of sacks this year. "We are still trying to get better at that," he said. "Each week we're trying to take more steps to get more sacks and affect the quarterback as much as possible."
The next opportunity comes Saturday. Early Saturday. Not long after the unusual pre-game meal of eggs, bacon, sausage.
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