Hagler Talks About The Last Three Weeks

In the second half of our interview with Tyjuan Hagler, he talks about what he learned and what was most challenging for him over the past three weeks....about the Cover 2 and the middle linebacker's role in it...and whether or not he would have preferred the practice squad to the IR list if it had been his choice.

Q: What units did you work with on special teams over the past three weeks?

A: All of them. Kickoff coverage, punt coverage, kick returns, punt returns.

Q: Did you find any unusual challenges working on any of those units?

A: When I did kickoff returns. I've never played on the front line, so that was something new to me right there.

Q:  Did you get any good tips from the coaches over the past three weeks that were particularly helpful as they got to see your style of play?

A:  At linebacker they were telling me to slow down on my reads. They said I try to play too fast. I was expecting everything to be faster, but they told me to just slow down just a tad bit so that I can read and react to the running back, read and react to the pass coverage.

Q: How significantly different is this cover two scheme from what you were playing in college?

A: It's totally different. Here, at middle linebacker, I run straight down the middle of the field between the hashes. In college, I just ran with the number three receiver, so that's totally different. It's something I've never done before.

Q: From what I understand of the Cover 2, you have to be very disciplined and stay where they want you to be, and not simply follow the flow of the play.

A: Exactly. They always want the Mike backer in the Cover 2 to stay a step behind because you always want to think pass first. If you get sucked in on play-action, it's going to be a touchdown to the receiver because the quarterback will throw it right over the top of your head.

Q: The only other option the Colts had, if they wanted to keep you practicing, would have been to try to move you to the practice squad. For you, the benefit would have been that you could have kept practicing, but the down side would have been that you would have been exposed to getting picked up by another team, even if you had cleared waivers and made it to the squad. So I know the Colts moving you to IR is actually a huge compliment to you, indicating they didn't want to take the risk of losing you. That's got to be a little bittersweet for you since I know you'd rather be practicing. If you would have had the opportunity to provide input into that decision, would you have preferred to take that risk of being picked up and having to pack your bags in exchange for the opportunity to be on the practice squad?

A: That's a very tough question right there. It's hard to say right now, because the main thing going through my head right now is "I want to play, I want to play, I want to play." And it's hard because I love this organization. But I also want to play and right now I'm not playing. So that's really a tough question.

Q: What's your outlook on the future? What are you going to be focusing on in the coming months?

A: Basically keep studying the playbook so I can keep learning. Keep watching film, analyzing and picking other players' brains, hear what they have to say, what checks they're going to make -- keep doing what I've been doing and keep working on my fundamentals and position drills. That's one thing I've got to stay on top of. Although I did get to practice for three weeks, that's not like getting to play for a whole season. When I get back out there, it's going to be like a year and a half without playing football. I've got to keep working hard so I don't lose anything and keep getting better.


Colts Blitz Top Stories