Ziggy Hood Super Bowl XLV Media Day Interview Transcript

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS MEDIA DAY

DEFENSIVE END ZIGGY HOOD

(on how it feels to be in the Super Bowl) “Right now it’s like a dream come true. It’s still somewhat surreal until we step out onto the field. We got the pads on and emotions are flying high.”

(on his role increasing and Aaron Smith issues) “Well I don’t think there will ever be a replacement for Aaron and I could never fill his shoes. My playing time has increased with him being down. And my role has stepped up a little bit. I still have to take care of my technique and do what I have to do to make myself better and make this team better. Make this defense better.”

(on Missouri players making it to the Super Bowl) “Hopefully we can continue this tradition. I prefer to be making it to the next one as well. But that’s not in my wishes right now. The main thing is to focus on this game and this game only.”

(on how playing at Missouri prepared him for the Super Bowl) “I played a big game back in Missouri and it’s the biggest game of my life right now. I’m okay. I’m ready for it. I feel like I’m prepared. We had a great week of practice last week and we’re going to have another great week of practice this week. I’m going to take every initiative in getting myself ready.”

(on the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma) “My biggest one was my last one. That was the Alamo Bowl against Northwestern. That’s my last game, my last senior game, so that was my biggest game. Some good memories out there.”

(on being drafted by Pittsburgh) “Truthfully, I really didn’t care where I got drafted, because I knew I was going to get in and play football. So, I wasn’t looking to go first round, second, third. I was just looking for the opportunity to play. And it just so happened I got picked in the first round by the Super Bowl Champs and I fell on a great team.”

(on not making it to the playoffs last year) “Things happen. I guess we let a couple games slip away from us, but the main important thing is that we are here now. Now we know we need to take the initiative and try to win this game.”

(on the Steelers’ defensive tradition) “I really don’t know how or what to feel. When I slip on the jersey, I’m slipping something on that’s (as) big as me. I’m representing my family. I’m representing Amarillo, Missouri, and most importantly, I’m representing myself.”

(on family attending the game) “I’m gonna have my immediate family. My mom, dad will be watching carefully. But it just so happens just a lot with everybody watching this game. Folks are into this game.”

(on making the transition to the NFL) “Hand placement, foot placement. I mean, two years is still not enough. I’m going to need more years under my belt, but so far so good. I just want to keep this going until the wheels fall off.”

(on the AFC championship game) “It was a high point, but more importantly it was a total effort from everybody. If LT (Lawrence Timmons) wouldn’t have jumped over that running back and snapped back into me, I would have never got that.”

(on walking into Cowboys Stadium) “Well, one, it was cold, because of the draft. But, it was a warming sensation. We finally made it. Now, we just got to go out there and play Sunday.”

(on the Mssouri tradition) “A lot of guys have moved on to better things and it’s always good to hear back from the older guys, especially Coach (Gary) Pinkel, my D-line coach. My linebacker coach—now he’s a defensive coordinator up there in Missouri. And just having that behind me makes me want to work hard and go out there and play even better and win. Not only win that for you, but win that for them as well.”

(on the mental adjustment from college to professional football) “I’ve got all the physical capabilities; it’s just that I have to take what I know from the field and somehow use that in the defense. Somehow change my technique to fit this team, which I have done well so far.”

(on ever becoming frustrated early on) “It was something new for me, something hard. Even sometimes in the games where I feel like I’m not getting it, maybe after I make some type of play. Maybe it wasn’t a tackle, maybe I just extended my arms and locked out a guy and kept myself in the gap and someone else made the play. That’s when it starts really making sense to me.”

(on the Super Bowl meeting childhood expectations) “Oh, of course. It’s living past that. I couldn’t imagine that I was going to get here so early in my life, but it’s just a wonderful feeling and I’m enjoying it.”

(on his first day as a Steeler) “You’ve heard of the Steel Curtain and Mean Joe Green, everybody that has played there before. You’re walking into a team that prides themselves on defense and Pittsburgh is a blue collar city, so everybody comes to work. I feel like my work ethic is good enough, so when I come in, I just feel right comfortable.”

(on going up against Aaron Rodgers) “Well, he’s a fast moving guy. He can make plays on his feet. We’ve got to do what we can to slow him down. He’s still going to make plays regardless, because he’s that type of caliber player. Maybe a future Hall of Fame player if he keeps doing what he’s doing. And we’re going to do everything we can to prepare for him.”

(on whether he was hazed by the veterans as a rookie) “Nothing special, other than buying donuts before every Saturday. It wasn’t anything or any type of hazing. I just had to build up to the older guys. I still have a long way to go.”

(on the defensive line at Missouri) “All of that comes from Coach Kulagowski . Coach has done a great job of putting us in different positions to make plays. Big shout out to him, because he produces the D-line. We’re all doing a great job and representing Missouri well.”

(on the mindset of coming to the Super Bowl) “Wow, it really is crazy. There is no way to describe it.”

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.