Oakland Raiders receiver Derek Hagan at 2011 training camp (photo by Levi Damien)
Raiders signed Derek Hagan Wednesday afternoon. Thursday was his first practice. That's a total of five days from signing to game time and just three practices before the Raiders open the 2012 season on Monday Night Football versus the division rival Chargers. And yet Hagan is confident he will not only be ready to go but not be limited.
"I definitely expect myself to learn the whole playbook [by Monday]," said Hagan. "Obviously this is what I do, this is my job, this is my profession. If I gotta learn it in three days that's fine with me. It's definitely gonna be a cram session. They're may be a few things that I may not memorize at the right time but I know I just gotta put that time in and hopefully come Monday night I'll just be able to do what I'm supposed to do and be where I'm supposed to be.
"I think it helps a lot because just working with Carson and just knowing some of the things he does and some of the signals he gives, I'm definitely used to that. But I think just right now is just trying to focus and learn the new terminology because a few things are different from last year's. Some stuff is still the same but that's one thing I know, I got three days to learn it and make sure I'm right and I'm out there doing the right thing."
Carson Palmer has been impressed with how quickly his new receiver has been able to pick up the offense as well. It's unfortunate he couldn't see it last season before they cut him in favor of TJ Houshmandzadeh but hey, nothing like a second chance.
"He was only here [Last season] for a short time," said Palmer of Hagan. "I just remember him being really consistent. I think six, seven, eight-year vet that understands the offense surprisingly well already. Hasn't even been here 24 hours. But been really surprised to see how well he's picked things up in his first practice, because there's a ton of different formations and shifts and motions. He's done a real good job in Day 1, just really consistent.
Learning the entire playbook before Monday is a lofty goal but as Hagan says: "This team has goals and me personally I have goals and I just wanna come in and work and show this coaching staff I'm able to get the job done so we can keep moving forward."
We'll just have to wait and see how that works out.