Ten Questions With Tyjuan Hagler

Tyjuan Hagler is gearing up for his first season at weakside linebacker for the Colts after spending his rookie season sidelined with an injury. We recently asked the talented and personable linebacker ten questions for this ColtPower exclusive.

Q:  Last year you spent some time on the physically unable to perform list following sports hernia surgery. What's happened for you physically since then?

Tyjuan Hagler:  Since then I feel myself being actually a hundred percent now.  No matter what I do running, lifting, everything feels great. There's no pain anywhere and I haven't felt like that in two years.  It really helped me out a lot sitting out last year letting my body heal and learning.  I was getting mentally ready for the season this upcoming year, so it's really put me in a great position and I'm looking forward to the season starting.

Q: I know you were a little bit surprised when the Colts let you ride out the rest of the season rather than activating you.  Did you have any physical setbacks at all?

TH:  No I don't think so.  I'll probably be a little rusty when I get out there on the drops, but other than that I'll be fine because I really didn't have an offseason. I've been here since late January working out, getting in shape and everything, trying to get back into the football mode.  So I'm pretty much ready and able. And I'm doing everything possible to get back out there.

Q:  You've just got to be chomping at the bit since you haven't had the opportunity to play in a game until your last one in college…

TH:  Oh yeah, I'm definitely excited. I can't wait. I was talking to my mom about it just about an hour ago, checking on the times for the preseason camp and games because she hasn't seen me play in a while. So I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Q:  Do you feel your skills match up well to the weakside position?

TH:  Oh yes, I think they're definitely matched up because I actually played weakside and strongside in college. It's something I'm definitely familiar with, so now I've just got to get familiar with the playbook as far as the Will linebacker position. It's nothing big though, I'll be able to play it.

Q:  Who is your primary coverage responsibility in this defense?

TH: Mainly the backs and the tight ends, basically both of them. 

Q: Do you feel you have the speed to keep up with those guys?

TH:  Oh yeah, I definitely have the speed.  Speed is a part of my game so that's why I'm so happy I'm outside and everything. I know I can keep up and I know I can play there.

Q:  (laughing) That was a bit of a trick question, because I know coming out of the University of Cincinnati, you had a great reputation for your speed.

TH:  (laughs) Exactly.

Q: This was your first time being there at the facility as new rookies came in the door. And they probably had that same wide-eyed look you had a year ago, trying to find their way around and really getting used to the idea that they're really NFL players.  What was that like for you to watch these guys walking around?

TH:  It was kind of weird.  Like you just said, I remember me coming in, being a rookie last year and I was like "Oh my God.  I'm really here and everything."  I talked to one of the safeties -- I can't remember his name -- and he was asking me about it. And I told him it's a job, so you've got to come to work everyday ready to play.  I told him you've got go out there and give it everything, nothing's guaranteed.

Q: What's going through your mind?  Obviously you didn't get a chance last year to go out there and show what you were capable of. And yet here they have a new group of twenty-some guys coming in trying to find a job while you're trying to hold yours down.

TH:  I really don't think too much about who all they bring in.  I'm really thinking about what I'm going to do when I get the opportunity to be out there; how I'm going to react, how will I bring the things I learn in the meeting room to the field and make them work and how the coaches want them to work.  That's really my thought process right now.  I'm going to be so excited to be out there I've really got to calm down and not put too much pressure on myself, and actually get out there and get the job done.

Q: What else can I share with the fans for you at this point?

TH:  I'm looking forward to being out there.  And I apologize for not being out there on the field last year because of the injury, but those things happen.  But tell them they will see a lot of Tyjuan Hagler this year.

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