One thing I didn’t have a chance to tell you about was my conversation with Derek Hagan about the hit he took from Asante Samuel in Sunday night’s game. Welcome back to the NFL, Derek! Samuel was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit and will likely be fined by the NFL, but Hagan said it wasn’t the two heads making contact that kept him on the ground.
“I was fine,” Hagan said. “It wasn’t the hit that hurt, I just fell on the point of the ball and it knocked the wind out of me. I actually tried to get up and say something in Asante because he was walking away like he was all big and bad, but I couldn’t speak at the time. It wasn’t the hit. I was out for one play and then next play I’m right back in.”
Remarkably, Hagan was able to hang onto the ball through the hit.
“Receivers, we’re taught to catch the ball and that’s all you think about,” he said. “You can’t worry about a defender in front of you, behind you, on the side of you. When you start thinking about those things you start dropping the ball. The main thing is you just have to concentrate and make the catch and if you get hit, hey, it just looks better that you held onto the ball.”
Hagan said a lot of teammates were talking to him about the hit and the possible fine against Samuel. Hagan said that’s up to league to decide (although he figures he will wind up fined).
“Unfortunately he caught me, it happens, but I’ll be looking forward to seeing him again in a few weeks,” Hagan said. “He didn’t say anything to me. I just saw him walking off like he was big and bad. There’ll be a little payback later on.”
UPDATE: Samuel told reporters in Philly today that he was fined $40,000 for the hit.