Ed Thompson: I know you really liked the fact that you were moved back to weakside
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
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: Listen to Audio