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Old 05-27-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers' Hood gives helping hand to youth football

Steelers' Hood gives helping hand to youth football
Posted: May 26, 2012 - 9:26pm
http://amarillo.com/sports/pro-sport...youth-football
By LANCE LAHNERT
lance.lahnert@amarillo.com

Several ‘‘Terrible Towels.’’ A few black and gold No. 96 jerseys. People holding gold hard hats.

Steeler Nation lined up Saturday at Brown’s Automotive Group in Amarillo to chat with and get an autograph from Pittsburgh defensive lineman Ziggy Hood.

The 2005 Palo Duro graduate and starter on the Steelers defense was in Amarillo to promote the July 14 benefit banquet for the West Texas Youth Football League.

Hood will be the keynote speaker for the WTYFL fundraising event that is open to the public.

First in line to meet Hood was 40-year-old Chris Teltow of Amarillo. Teltow is a supervisor at Lake Steel and said he is a hard-core Steelers fans.

“My dad was a Steelers fan all his life and that’s where I get it from,” said Teltow, who plans to attend the Dec. 16 Pittsburgh-Dallas game at Cowboys Stadium. “What Ziggy is doing helping kids out is just awesome. It’s good to have somebody popular like this to come in and do something good for kids.”

Tickets for the event are $65 and available at all Panhandle Ticket Outlets, or by calling 806-378-3096.

Before sitting down to sign autographs for the line of black and gold clad fans stretching end-to-end in the building, Hood answered questions from Amarillo media.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hood will start his fourth year in the NFL when the Steelers visit Denver on Sept. 9. The 25-year-old started 14 games last year for the Steelers and is coming off recent Organized Team Activities (OTAs) with his Pittsburgh teammates.

Hood said Amarillo will always have a special place in his heart and family life with his wife and two young boys “is just great. I’m here at Brown’s for this signing and trying to give back and help our youth.”

How did the OTAs go?

“You see where you stand position-wise. Plus, you get to hone your techniques. Iron sharpens iron is one of my coach’s favorite sayings.”

Did you guys talk much in the locker room about the bounties the New Orleans Saints franchise were fined for?

“Not really. There is no bounty system (in Pittsburgh). You got guys saying, ‘let’s go out and hit them.’ That’s part of the game. There is no bounty system in our locker room. You got out there and do your job and try to win games.”

How about opening up against Peyton Manning in his debut with the Broncos?

“Man, we aren’t worried about that right now. The focus is on OTAs starting back on Tuesday.”

Are there differences in the workouts for OTAs?

“They are all pretty much the same. The primary focus is on the young guys and making sure they get the plays down. For the older vets, it’s to make sure their skills are still there. There is no contact. So you really don’t know where you are until you strap on the pads.”

What’s your perspective going into the fourth year of your career?
“I was told as a rookie I’d come in, play a little bit and not see the field very much because we had a lot of great d-linemen in front of me. Injuries came and I was thrown into the fire. I took my opportunity and ran with it.”

How has life in the NFL changed for you?

“I’m a whole lot more comfortable. You learn as you go. You learn from older guys. Not only that, you learn from your mistakes on the field.”

What’s it like playing for coach Mike Tomlin?

“It’s great. He’s a great guy and means business on the field. He will joke around in the locker room but when it’s time to play he means business.”

One of your best friends and former Palo Duro teammate, Josh Young, is back coaching the Dons this year. What do you think of Josh making the move from Dalhart?

“It’s great for Palo Duro, I think they got a good guy. I would love to see him take his young DBs out there and flourish.”

You and Troy Polamalu share the same shampoo?

“No (laughs). His hair does smell pretty good in the huddle when he starts whipping it around. So he is apparently doing something right.
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