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Derek Hagan, 11.22.10

Q: It looks like you'll be in the starting lineup, or at least get more playing time with Nicks being injured. After being out of football, how ready can you be?

A: Well, I've got to be ready. I have no choice. I have to be ready, I want to be ready, and I know I'm ready. I've been in this offense. I know what's going on. Some people, they're not sure how great of shape I'm in, but I know I'm in great shape. Just because I've been out doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything. I haven't just been sitting at home sitting on the couch and not doing much. I've been out running and doing what I've got to do to make sure I stay in shape. And like I said, the Giants gave me the call, I'm back and just out there trying to help this team and make plays.

Q: It was primarily the slot yesterday. How familiar are you with the other spots?

A: I think the other spots are a lot easier than playing in the slot. Obviously in the slot there's so much going on - you've got to know when you're hot, you've got to know when you've got to break a route off at a certain depth and that's definitely something I'm working on. I'll be putting in extra time with Eli to make sure we're on the same page. Sunday night we felt like we were on the same page, but there are some plays that we know we left out there, and hopefully come this week, we don't make those same mistakes.

Q: What kind of opportunity is this?

A: It's just one I definitely would love to take advantage of. Obviously we've lost two games in a row, and we're definitely looking to get back on a winning streak, and hopefully if we play well and execute and eliminate some of the mental mistakes and the turnovers, we'll be just fine.

Q: Is it hard?

A: No, not at all, because I always prepare myself like a starter. It doesn't matter what the situation is. Whether I'm running up and down the field on special teams or doing what I have to do on offense, you've got to prepare like you're going to go out there and play. This is not high school or college football. You've got to be prepared at all times, and they want me to get the job done and hopefully come Sunday I'll be ready to get the job done for them.

Q: Obviously you prepare, but can you believe it's actually going to come to fruition?

A: I can believe it. Obviously, like I said, even if I'm not the starter I still prepare like I'm a starter. We still all go out there and compete, and like I said, I'm definitely looking forward to this opportunity on Sunday.

Q: Is it hard to believe two weeks ago this was a full corps of receivers?

A: Right. It's strange. It's just crazy how this game of football works. Guys are here one minute and the next day guys are getting hurt. But we know those things may arise, and if something like that happens, the next man that's there has got to step up and fill that role.

Q: In those nine weeks back in California, did you consider it might be all over for you?

A: No. I never thought it would be over. I knew eventually some team was going to call. It didn't matter who it was, but it's just crazy how these things can work out. One day a team - they may need a receiver but the next day a different position gets hurt so they've got to bring in somebody else. So I just told myself just stay in shape and if things didn't happen this year, I definitely was looking forward to next year. But I'm in shape and I'm ready to go and I'm here now.

Q: Will this week of practice help because last week you didn't get many reps?

A: Well, I practiced all last week. I think having a second week under my belt, just to make sure everything is right, if I do have any rust, make sure I can rub that off and just be ready to go come Sunday.

Q: Eli said he was throwing some routes to you that he had never thrown to you in practice. How difficult is that?

A: Right. Well, we had chemistry over the summer, but obviously with me being gone for that time, obviously things changed and there were some certain routes out there that we didn't run last week in practice and it's just because of a certain look the defense gave us. Things change and you've just got to be able to adapt and adjust. We know we left some plays out there, but hopefully come this week we won't make those same mistakes.