Giants Wide Receiver Derek Hagan Shows Patience Is a Virtue

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst INovember 23, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 21: Derek Hagan #80 of the New York Giants against the Pittsburgh Steelers during their preseason game at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 21, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Giants got bad news for their receiving corps when they found out they would be without Steve Smith until early December last week, and now Hakeem Nicks is going to miss the next three games with a leg condition that developed as a result of a hard hit against the Eagles.

After Steve Smith tore his pectoral muscle in practice the week before they played the Dallas Cowboys, Ramses Barden was forced into action; it didn't last long, as he had to be placed on injured reserve due to two fractures in his ankle.

Not only that, the Giants have had to place Victor Cruz on IR to make room for other players, despite his insistence that could have returned this season.

Top that injury sundae off with Domenik Hixon's knee surgery in the offseason that forced him to miss all of this season and you have five of the Giants top six receiving options out for at least one more game. 

Insert Derek Hagan.

Hagan had been watching games on TV this year from his couch, and with all of the injuries, the Giants gave him a call last week and threw him to the lions in a fight for first place in the NFC East with the Eagles.

He did his best and even scored a touchdown, but on several occasions proved rusty and even dropped a couple balls.

Hagan gave the Giants the easiest option in free agency because he had spent the 2009 season and 2010 training camp with the team. He knew the offense and Eli already had some chemistry due to practicing with him in the past. However, he wasn't relied upon for much of the game, only coming in on certain packages.

In this Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Hagan will get the start opposite Mario Manningham in lieu of Duke Calhoun, who has been terrible when the Giants needed him the most.

In an effort to give the unit some more help, the Giants worked out both Kevin Curtis, former Eagles wide out and Michael Clayton, formerly of the Buccaneers.

Apparently, Clayton did more to impress and he has been signed today; he will have three days to figure out the offense.

Tom Coughlin actually mentioned that he would consider using Travis Beckum at wide out, since he possesses the necessary speed to do so. Exactly how much Clayton will be used is still up in the air.

Getting back to Hagan, he was forced out of the team's final roster due to the sheer depth of talent at the position and now, ironically, that depth is gone and he is back.

He will have a chance to prove why he wanted to change from a full time special teams player to wide receiver.

It was his loss of passion for special teams that ultimately cost him a spot in favor of Calhoun, maybe in this short time period he can justify a long term place with the team.