The Devil is in the Numbers

666 isn't only the number of the Devil, but also the stat line of Derek Hagan's last game. The former Sun Devil and current Miami Dolphin, had a career-high 66 yards on six catches, in a road loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. Devils Digest caught up with D-Hage who talked about his rookie year in the NFL thus far.

Wide receiver Marty Booker, who has been one of his mentors to Derek Hagan on the team, didn't play due to injury which led to the NFL rookie's first ever start. "I felt I played OK, but obviously after I watched the film I saw the mistakes I made," said Hagan. "Overall as a team (the Miami Dolphins are 1-5 on the year), we just need to get it together. We left a lot of opportunities out there."

"It's kinda hard as a rookie to play on a team that's struggling," continued Hagan, "but you just have to forget about the record because it's a long season and we can turn it around at any time. We're stopping ourselves right now, it's not like anyone is stopping us. That's just killing us right now."

Hagan has been watching his alma mater struggle as well, and is in contact with some of his former teammates, whom he talks to on a weekly basis. "Things are rough there being at 0-3 in the Pac-10," he remarked, "but they just have to get over the hump. With the rest of schedule they have they should win all their remaining games. If they play good offense for four quarters every game they'll be fine."

The Dolphin receiver cited route running, as the skill he has improved on the most since the beginning of training camp. As mentioned, Booker as well as the team's No. 1 wide receiver Chris Chambers, have been very supportive of Hagan and instrumental in his development. When the Dolphin rookie couldn't catch a would-be touchdown pass against the Jets, those two were some of the first players to offer him encouragement.

"They know it was a tough ball to catch with the (Jets') DB putting is hands on it," said Hagan. "That's a play that I need to make, but fortunately on that drive we ended up scoring…everything is starting to come together for me. I'm just taking everything day by day and working on improving."

Hagan mentioned that the difference between playing with backup QB Joey Harrington and starter Dante Culpepper isn't noticeable. Then again, when it comes to smack talk, the distinction is crystal clear. "Oh yeah, Joey gave me a lot of crap after Oregon Beat ASU," said Hagan laughing. "We have another Oregon player, tight end Justin Peele, and he was talking smack too."

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