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Hagg thankful for opportunity

Posted Aug 8, 2012

Safety Eric Hagg is excited and thankful for the opportunities he has been presented with during training camp.

Second-year Cleveland Browns safety Eric Hagg was competing well for the team when he was injured during training camp in 2011. He lost the first six weeks of his NFL career while working to recover from the injury.

Hagg made it back for the final 10 games of the season and impressed the coaching staff with his effort, both on defense and special teams. He made 10 total tackles, including nine solo stops, defended one pass and recovered a fumble in reserve action.

Fast-forward one year and Hagg is healthy and serving as a major contributor as the team’s starting free safety.

“It feels amazing,” Hagg said. “I’m just doing what the coaches want me to do and thank God for where I’m at right now. There’s more communicating, learning, picking up things from spring ball and what we did last year. (We’ll) just keep on communicating, keep on talking and the depth is really good too.

“(I’m) just learning what they want me to do, doing the film work and listening to the players and listening to the coaches, just doing my job and working on it.”

During the offseason organized team activities and minicamp practices, as well as the training camp sessions, Hagg has shown an ability to impact an opponent’s passing game by reading the quarterback’s eyes and stepping into the passing lane. He has been able to intercept passes, break up others and force quarterbacks to check down to other receivers.

For his efforts, Hagg has drawn positive reviews from his coaches.

“He’s done a good job and he’s also in a competition there,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “He will start the game this week, but I think we’re going to have to see some performance from everybody, from most guys in the game.”

The Browns open the 2012 preseason Friday night against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Hagg was listed as the starting free safety on the team’s first depth chart and is looking forward to showing the coaching staff what he can do live-game situations.

“It’s going to be really cool,” Hagg said. “I’m pretty excited to go out there, see what I can do and just keep on communicating and talking.”