Alabama's defensive line must stay disciplined

Anniston StarSeptember 10, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- This week's matchup against Texas A&M presents an interesting task for Alabama's defensive lineman. The Crimson Tide want to rush the passer, but have to be disciplined and keep Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel contained.

"Our strategy is to keep Johnny Manziel in the pocket as much as possible and try and keep good pass rush lanes, try and keep him as a traditional quarterback," Tide defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan said. "When he gets outside the pocket, that's where he makes the most plays."

But how do you keep him in the pocket?

"It's all about the games we run, the stunts that we'll have up front," Pagan said. "If we have a game where something is inside, then we'll have somebody outside to cover the game. It's all about really our rush lanes and us staying in the right position."

What about when Manziel escapes the pocket?

"You've just got to look at his hips and look at the right things," Pagan said. "You can't get caught looking at his feet or hands or his head or anything like that. You've just got to look at his hips because his hips will never lie."

Still, there's no secret formula to stopping Manziel.

"We've just got to play Alabama football, play the way the coaches have our game plan mapped out and just pretty much do what we do here," Pagan said.


Tide coach Nick Saban sees no reason for his players to ever talk to Texas A&M players during the game.

When asked whether trash talk is apart of the Tide's game, Saban shot down any notion his players using it against any opponent.

"It's never a part of our game," Saban said. "I mean, we tell our players there's no circumstance where you need to talk to another player. And there's been very little of that with our team."

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the Aggies' season opener against Rice for taunting.

Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin benched Manziel following the flag and said he wouldn't have returned to the game no matter the circumstances.

Manziel kept a calm head for the most part against Sam Houston State and Sumlin spoke highly of his quarterback's calm demeanor after the week two win.

"I think he saw some times today that he saw some questionable things happening after the play that he walked away from," Sumlin said. "That's going to happen. We had that conversation last week about things happening on the field and people saying things to him and taking shots. That's the way it is.

"Is that fair? Probably not, but that's where we are."

Saban wants his players to take most of the emotions out of the game.

"People who get emotional sometimes don't make the best decisions," Saban said. "We need to make good decisions in this game so that we put ourselves in the best position to have a chance to be successful against very good players.

"That part of the game, I have no use for. And you've seen very little of that from our team. That's not going to be our approach going into the game."

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