Colts Q&A With Tyjuan Hagler

LB Tyjuan Hagler (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler gets his third start in a game where the stakes are high and the audience is huge. Ed Thompson talked to him about Monday night's game and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ed Thompson:  I know you really liked the fact that you were moved back to weakside linebacker this year since it allows you to roam and use your speed. But now you've been inserted as the starting strongside linebacker where you worked as a reserve last season. Sort of a bittersweet move for you?

Tyjuan Hagler: I wouldn't say bittersweet, I'd say all the way sweet. It's a starting job, and as long as you're starting I can't see any bitterness that can come out of that. You've got to be happy and just feel blessed that you have that position.

ET:  You're role does change as the strongside linebacker. Walk the fans through what this means for you in the Colts defense.

TH:  It means I won't be as much of the free guy like I was last week (laughs).  I'll be the guy that's mainly taking on blockers and clearing things out for Gary (Brackett) and the safeties and everyone.

ET:  You've got the strength to play that role...

TH:  Oh, yeah. It's a little bit of hard work, that's all it is. 

ET:  The coaches seem to have a lot more confidence in you this year. What do you think you're doing so much better than you were doing at this same time last year?

TH:  I think that I'm more consistent than I was last year. Last year I would make a play, and then I'd make a mental error on the next play. This year I think I'm making more plays and I've become a lot more comfortable out there.  Having Gary out there has been a really big help to me with how he talks out there and everything. 

ET:  Now you're moving into a spot that Rocky Boiman got to start in during the last couple of weeks. How do you guys work through that as teammates, because it's obviously got to be a little awkward.

TH:  It's really been fine. Rocky and I are pretty good friends. If I have any questions he's been answering them for me. There's really not any bitterness or anything coming out of it.  


Tyjuan Hagler tackles Dante Hall
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

ET:  Your third start of your career will include your first start at strong side, your first start on Monday Night Football, and you've got to face the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars. A bit overwhelming or are you ready and confident?

TH:  Oh, I'm ready. I'm definitely ready and confident. This is probably one of the best times to move, we'll be on prime-time, everyone's going to be watching, and it's going to be against a good team with two powerful running backs. So I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge.

ET:  How much has Jacksonville's big rushing performance from last year been a topic of discussion among the defense this week? Or is that just a history lesson for you guys?

TJ:  We looked at it more like a history lesson. We looked at the film from last year and we saw what we did wrong. A lot of times it was just missing tackles or someone not staying in their gap. So we're just going to stay focused and do our job like we've been doing all year.

ET:  The Colts have come out in most games this year with the thought of stopping the run first and making the other team one-dimensional. More of the same this week?

TH: Exactly. It'll be the same way, that's how we play ball here.

Listen in on the rest of this exclusive interview where Tyjuan talks about the differences between Jaguars running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, the challenge of defending tight end Marcedes Lewis, the challenges quarterback David Garrard presents for linebackers, and more in this two-minute audio clip. It's a Scout.com subscribers exclusive: 


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