AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas linebacker/defensive end Breckyn Hager has apologized for his comments toward Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
During Monday’s weekly availability, Hager said he wanted to injure the nation’s top passer.
“I say injure that quarterback, that’s the mentality right now. We’ve got to take him out. We know he’s banged up and we’ve just got to get after him,” Hager said.
Mahomes is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Longhorns after injuring his shoulder in Tech’s win over TCU.
Hager released a statement this afternoon apologizing for the comment:
“I want to apologize for what I said earlier today at our press conference. I play hard and it’s our team’s goal to get pressure on the quarterback, hit him and disrupt the offense. When I go out there I want to play my most aggressive game, but I’m not trying to do anything to physically injure someone. I have too much respect for Patrick Mahomes and every quarterback I play against to ever do that. That’s not what I’m about, not the way I was raised and not the way we play football at Texas. Our coaches don’t teach us that or coach us to injure other players in any way. It was a really poor choice of words, and I truly regret it. My point should have been that it’s our job as defensive linemen to make our presence known and affect the quarterback. Life is bigger than a game, and I’m still learning how to be a better player on and off the field. I hope everyone will accept my apology for what I said.”
Coach Charlie Strong also weighed in:
“I know Breckyn regrets what he said earlier, and we just had a long talk about it. I want to make one thing clear – we never walk into a game wanting to injure someone. We would never coach that way and that’s not how our team plays. We respect the game too much, we respect other players, we respect how hard they’ve worked to get in the position they’re in, so that’s not our character. Breckyn knows we want to get pressure on the quarterback, we want to get around him, we want him to feel our presence. That’s what he’s talking about, but you never walk into a game saying we’re coming in to injure you. Breckyn knows that. Patrick Mahomes is the nation’s leading passer and we have a ton of respect for him.”