Five questions with ... Evander Hood

May, 2, 2009
5/02/09
12:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Last week with the final pick of the first round, the Pittsburgh Steelers chose defensive lineman Evander "Ziggy" Hood out of Missouri.

 
  AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
  Evander Hood stretches during Steelers minicamp at the team's training facility in Pittsburgh.

Hood is expected to provide depth at a position where all three Pittsburgh starters are over the age of 30. This weekend, the AFC North blog caught up with Hood to discuss various topics on and off the field.

How did the nickname 'Ziggy' come about?

Evander Hood: I got it from my grandmother. She couldn't say "Evander" fluently, so she gave me the nickname "Ziggy." I was too young to remember when it all started. It has no particular meaning. It's just a name, most likely.

Your former college teammate at Missouri -- receiver Jeremy Maclin -- was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. How do you think he will do at the pro level?

EH: I think he's going to do well. Every rookie is going to have to change something. It's going to be something that's new to him. But I think he's going to do just fine where he is in Philadelphia.

Any difference getting drafted by the defending Super Bowl champions as opposed to the 31 other teams?

EH: You're on a pedestal to perform, especially in a city like this that prides itself on its football team. You have to live up to the history, what the team produces, and all the great D-linemen that came out of here. So really you're just trying to perform well, but not only that, you're helping the football team in the process.

How would you describe your style of play?

EH: Well, it's going to be a whole new style now, because I have to switch it up coming from Missouri where it was one-gap [assignments]. But really I'm going to give it everything I got, and hustle is going to be my No. 1 priority. I may not be the biggest, strongest, fastest guy out there. But I'm going to give everything I got, and I won't ever quit on a play.

What is your hometown of Amarillo, Texas, known for?

EH: We had [professional wrestler] Terry Funk originate from Amarillo. But other than that, it's nothing but tumbleweeds and boots [laughs].

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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