ZIGGY HOOD PRESS CONFERENCE FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
Art Rooney, II:Good afternoon. Before I introduce Ziggy (Hood), I just want to welcome everyone to the 2009 version of training camp. And I want to say thanks to all the folks at St. Vincent who've prepared the campus. Everything looks great, ready to go, and one new surface field out there, so we're looking forward to a great training camp. I'd like to introduce Ziggy to comment on his signing. We appreciate the fact that he and his agent worked hard to make sure he's here on time and certainly he's worked about as hard as any first round draft choice I can remember since between draft day and today in terms of getting ready to be here today. So we appreciate all the hard work, Ziggy, and wish you a lot of luck in your first year and many years as a Steeler.
*Ziggy Hood: *Thank you. I'd first like to say thank you to the whole Steeler organization and my agent for doing a great job with this whole deal. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here right now. I'd like to say thank you to the fans for being patient for me, because we got everything taken care of, and I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to put some more work in and training right now. So I'm ready to work.
*What is your weight, and what do you anticipate maybe your contribution being?
Well, right now I'm at 305. As far as playing on defensive line, anywhere the coaches feel necessary to put me in, in any situation, I'm ready to go. Right now I'm just sitting back, viewing all the events, learning everything until that time comes.
*Coming to a lunch bucket blue collar town like this, how do you think that you'll fit in with not only the team but the city?
I think I fit in all right because Pittsburgh looks like a busy city where everybody's working a whole lot. I'm no stranger to working out myself, so I think I'll fit in pretty well where everybody's just working together, pretty much.
Do you know what to expect from this camp, and how much would the OTAs do you think help you as you get ready for your first game so you're not as nervous or not used to being around the guys since you just had show up today and get started?
Well, I think the OTAs prepared me a little bit for training camp, but there's nothing like the experience until you get there, so I won't know the experience until after I'm done and I'll be able to elaborate on it a little bit more. But I think OTAs have done a great job preparing me as far as the outline of what's to come. But there's no experience until you go through it yourself.
*How important was it for you to get a deal done before camp? I mean, I think you told your agent you wanted to get something done so you wouldn't have to hold out while they were practicing.
The less stress on me and the organization and everybody else, the less problems when it comes for me to get into camp. So I feel like everybody took the necessary steps of making everything happen correctly to where we can get into camp and start preparing for the upcoming season.
*There's a lot of leadership on that Steelers defense. Is there one player in particular who's already kind of taken you under their wing?
I think Aaron Smith has done a great job. My locker sits right next to his, so any little piece of technique he's taught me, I took a lot of it, really learning from him because he's been a vet in the game for so long that I have no choice but to listen to him, But really, I'm trying to get experience from everybody because each player brings something new to the table. If it's from working hard or doing the certain steps to eating right, maybe I can take all of that and combine it and use it well for myself.