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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Marques Hagans believes this could be his big opportunity.

    By Melinda Waldrop

    July 17, 2008

    Since being chosen in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, former Virginia quarterback and wide receiver Marques Hagans has caught eight passes for 101 yards.

    Those weren't exactly the numbers Hagans envisioned putting up in his pro career.

    "I was definitely surprised, but it's not my job to coach the team," said Hagans, who will be the keynote speaker at Sunday's fund-raiser for the Tri-City Hurricanes youth football team at Reservoir Middle School in Newport News. "It's just my job to perform every day, and I guess when the opportunity presents itself, I'll get my chance to play."

    Hagans' chances might be helped by the return of Al Saunders to St. Louis. After a brief stint with the Washington Redskins, Saunders, the longtime Kansas City offensive coordinator who served as St. Louis' associate head coach in 1999, is back with the Rams, and Hagans thinks there's a place for him in Saunders' wide-open offense.

    "There's a lot more receiver formations in it, and the ability to put more receivers on the field," Hagans said. "I think it'll be a good opportunity for me and the other guys that are in the system. With the new energy and the new coaches and the offensive system that we have, hopefully things will carry over into the season and we can get this thing going."

    The Rams didn't go far in 2007, finishing 3-13 in Scott Linehan's second season as head coach. The poor results made Hagans' scarce playing time even harder to take.

    "Being the competitor that I am, you want to be on the field playing and trying to help your team win," said Hagans, who played in four games in 2007. "Especially when you only win three games, you always feel like you could have maybe done something to help the team win."

    As uncomfortable as his current position may be, it's not unfamiliar. At Hampton High, Hagans had to wait his starting turn at quarterback behind a kid named Ronald Curry. At Virginia, he took a back seat to Matt Schaub at QB, catching passes and returning kicks until Schaub graduated after the 2003 season.

    In his first year as the Cavaliers' starting quarterback in 2004, Hagans passed for 2,024 yards. In 2005, he threw for 2,492.

    "Every time I've been somewhere, I've had to fight for everything that I get, starting from rec league to going to high school, going to college and now in the NFL," Hagans said. "It's nothing new to me. I won't want it easy, anyway. I like it hard. But at the same time, when you work hard and you know you do everything that you can to try to get on the field, you like to see the dividends paid off."

    Hagans' early NFL career saw him take some practice snaps as the Rams' emergency quarterback, but he's focusing now on receiving and returning kicks.

    "It's definitely hard, especially coming from UVa and being a quarterback on a team where most of the offense went through me," Hagans said. "It's not that I'm a selfish player. I can adjust to a smaller role, moving from quarterback to receiver. Just sitting on the sideline, watching everybody play week in and week out, is just hard."

    Hagans said he's talked with Linehan about his role.

    "He always tells me that he's proud of the things that I do and the ability that I bring to the table," he said. "He's just got to find a way to try to get me on the field, I guess."

    Hagans reports to training camp July 24 in Mequon, Wis., with the same one-year contract he had in his first two seasons with St. Louis.

    "I feel like it's make or break every year," he said.

    Hagan's father, Michael, was encouraged to watch his son catch five passes for 74 yards in Week 6 against Baltimore in his only start of 2007. But after catching two passes for 16 yards the next week at Seattle, Marques didn't play again until Week 14 at Cincinnati, when he was held without a catch but put up 110 of his 130 kick-return yards.

    "Last year, toward the end of the season, I could see that he was a little down, because the team wasn't doing well, and he wanted to play and he felt like he should have been playing," Michael Hagans said. "... He's the kind, he wants to be on the field, and we want to see him on the field, too. It was kind of frustrating for him, but I told him, 'Don't let that get you down. You've come through all the time, so just overcome the adversity again.' "

    That's the message Marques wants to deliver at Sunday night's event, which starts at 6:30 and features a spaghetti dinner and silent auction. Tickets for children age 5 and up are $6, and they're $10 for adults.

    Hagans takes great pride in his football roots "We're all one big family, coming from the 757" and he wants area kids to know their dreams are achievable.

    "If I can make it, anybody can make it," Hagans said. "The world's always gonna turn its back against you and say you can't make it and make it hard for you, but you've got to keep believing it."


  2. #2
    TheBritishRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    I really like this guy, he has a lot of potential (although that seems to be said about nearly every WR on roster). However i would be shocked if he made the cut come September

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBritishRam View Post
    I really like this guy, he has a lot of potential (although that seems to be said about nearly every WR on roster). However i would be shocked if he made the cut come September
    I like him too and really wanted to see him succeed, but he seems to be the odd man out, which is too bad.

  4. #4
    chipperjones Guest

    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    If he works, he might be the 5th receiver after Holt, Bennett, Avery, and Burton, and ahead of Hall, Caldwell, one of whom would be cut. However i cant see him being much more than that.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Quote Originally Posted by chipperjones View Post
    If he works, he might be the 5th receiver after Holt, Bennett, Avery, and Burton, and ahead of Hall, Caldwell, one of whom would be cut. However i cant see him being much more than that.

    Where do you put Stanley in that mix?


  6. #6
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Practice squad.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Practice squad.
    hmmm, i new that.......damn.


  8. #8
    chipperjones Guest

    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Quote Originally Posted by Tampa_Ram View Post
    Where do you put Stanley in that mix?
    Thanks. I did leave out Stanley. However...I put him in the same boat as Hagans. The best I see for either one of them is 5th receiver.

  9. #9
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Its sad to see our players try so hard just to get sent to the practice team. He has the potential...I want to see it, but he has to work REALLY hard for it.

  10. #10
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Hagans is eager for bigger role

    Remember how excited we kept getting about him during the preseason? He looked great. I can remember a game he played in and caught a few passes and looked pretty decent, and of course the Ravens game when he had to come in as QB and down the ball.
    He's gonna have to work his butt off to make the roster though.

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