By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/23/2007

On Oct. 14 in Baltimore, Marques Hagans fulfilled a lifelong goal: He was quarterback in an NFL game.

But it was for just one play, the last of the game. And he was ordered to simply take a knee.

It’s been that kind of season for Hagans, a Rams fifth-round draft choice in 2006 who spent his rookie season on the practice squad transitioning to wide receiver from quarterback. He improved significantly and made the 53-man active roster out of training camp this year, but has played in just three games.

That’s because the Rams are loaded with wideouts — they have seven on the roster after releasing Travis Taylor this week — and because Hagans has been designated as the third quarterback for the seven other games.

As such, he suits up but only is permitted on the field in the fourth quarter, or if the first two quarterbacks are hurt earlier. Still, Hagans remains upbeat.

“I think the main thing is the learning experience,” he said. “I get the reps that I can get (in practice). Most of my preparation is done on the scout team and in the film room.”

On Fridays, Hagans moves under center for a few snaps. “We have a scripted part of the practice at the end that we do just for that,” coach Scott Linehan said. “If we got to that situation, we’d need someone to operate there who can run a portion of our offense.”

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Hagans, 24, tied a school record by playing in all 51 games during his four years at the University of Virginia. He passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

He made his NFL debut Oct. 7, getting one catch for 11 yards vs. Arizona. He had a team-high five catches for 74 yards against the Ravens, then added two receptions for 16 yards the next Sunday at Seattle.

Since then, he has returned to the sideline as the No. 3 quarterback, where he’s expected to be again Sunday when Seattle visits Edward Jones Dome. “I’d love to play,” Hagans said, “but I know what my role is.”