Film Room: Jacob Hagen A Hopeful

It certainly seemed earlier in the offseason that the Pittsburgh Steelers were rather interested in finding a fifth safety to carry on to the 53-man roster once the regular season begins. It looked as though they might have found that candidate when they added free agent Daimion Stafford late in the proceedings.

As you no doubt know by now, however, Stafford failed to report to training camp and has evidently chosen to retire—or at least is strongly leaning in that direction. But before there was Stafford, there was, and remains, Jacob Hagen, who has been around the block already.

The Liberty University product has spent time with the Steelers during each of the past three offseasons, and lasted throughout last season on the practice squad. There appeared to be some believe that he could potentially emerge for a spot on the 53-man roster this season.

And what better way to judge that than to look at what he does on the field? Unfortunately, the first-year safety did not play a lot, and when he did, as is often the case for safeties, there was little to analyze, but some work during the third quarter could serve to highlight some things.

Very early in the half—in fact, on the second play—the Giants were facing a second and eight. With the Steelers in their 3-4 front, Hagen came up into the box at linebacker depth. While he ultimately was able to come in unblocked, he read the play well and attacked quickly, making the tackle after a one-yard gain.

On the next play, with New York facing a third and seen, Hagen played the role of deep safety, dropping back just before the snap. Though not his sole responsibility, from what we can see from the broadcast footage, the tight end was able to find the zone in front of him. He made a hard tackle but could not jar the ball loose. You can see the linebackers’ reaction to allowing the play to go over their heads, indicating that they should have gotten more depth on their drop.

A bit later in the same quarter, in fact, on the same drive, we did get a shot of the last thing that anybody trying to make the roster wants. The first-year safety missed a tackle in open space that he should have had.

I think that Hagen is probably a longshot to make the 53-man roster unless he starts to shine on special teams, but he does figure to be a prime candidate once again for the 53-man roster. He could be the new Jordan Dangerfield.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Daniel Moon

    I am hoping Hagen will take one of reserve safety spot. His range is good and has a better potential than either Dangerfield or Golden.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Hagen is still eligible for practice squad; but that would expose him to waiver wire.

  • Dshoff

    Matthew, on that second vid if that LILB drops deep enough to cover the guy, then there would have been a WIDE open guy short. The LCB is covering a wr going down the sideline. So should that LILB have dropped more or should he have stayed on the crossing reciever?

  • #beatthepats

    Hagan should be considered for the 53, mike mitchell is hurt and brings nothing to this defense. Im amazed how he has avoided criticism and his position should be contested. Short term ir him and he wont be missed.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Only way he makes 53 is if golden is cut or Mitchell is ired

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Ridiculous. Hagen and Dangerfield are night and day. Danger smokes him like NFL vs high school jv

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, it’s hard to say exactly who’s assignment is who’s, but it seems clear to me that one of the ILBs was meant to take the crossing route and one meant to take a deeper drop. But the Giants put them in a difficult situation (by design).

  • LucasY59

    I saw him lining up similarly to a LB and forgot it was Hagen, thought it was a different LB I didnt know (checked to roster to see if it was Galambos and figured out it was Hagen)

    I really wanted the team to draft Melifonwu and have a player they could use as a money or dime back able to play and be LB/Safety Hybrid

    SO IF the team could find the room to keep a guy like Hagen on the roster it could be a good thing, but I would still rather keep Allen if the choice is between the two of them, and I think it is more likely the team keeps an extra ILB (Johnson and/or Fort) than a 5th Safety, so most likely Hagen is going back to the PS

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Probably not going to make it. If anything a safety will get picked up off waivers.

  • Conserv_58

    In the first video the thing that stands out the most to me is seeing #51 Stevie Johnson completely whiff on the play. He makes a good jump, but takes a bad angle and then gets taken out of the play by the Giant’s #60. Hagen cleaned up what Johnson should have done already. It was a heads up play by Hagen.