Tom Zbikowski talks about playing Washington this Saturday in this Irish Eyes Video
We've also added a transcript of Zbikowski's comments for those that can't view the video clips.
Tom Zbikowski TranscriptZbikowski on what he remembers about Tyrone Willingham:
"I think the biggest thing was going through recruiting and him being in the house and kind of getting me to come to this place. I'm fortunate that I did come here. Everything is working out."
On what it was like to have Willingham over to his house:
"It was enjoyable just to have the University of Notre Dame's head coach in your house, especially for me. It was like a dream come true."
On if he feels there's any emotions attached to this game because Willingham is on the other sideline:
"Coming off a loss, for me personally and this team, I don't think we're going to care who we're playing. We've got to get back on the field and take it to whoever we're playing."
On if he thought about having to play this game in the off season:
"We knew it. I guess we're looking forward to it because we know there's going to be a lot of hype around the game regardless or record, regardless of the team."
On where he feels he's improved his game this year:
"I think just being composed. Last year I was kind of focused on everything I was trying to do. This year I've been able to help out Nedu (Chinedum Ndukwe) and Ambrose (Wooden)…getting more of a concept of what coaches are trying to do week to week and the team we're playing. A lot more big picture. I'm kind of one that holds grudges against teams that I lose to, so I'm not really happy the next season when I get another chance."
On working on consistency this week:
"Our big emphasis in the secondary was making plays…just going out and making plays every single time we get the chance to make a play. Not holding up, we're supposed to take care of our teammates but we've got make plays. We've got to do that on a consistent basis."
On being labeled the leader of the tough guys by coach Wes:
"That's the way I was raised and that's the way I was brought up. Being mentally tough, and when things get down, my dad and mom always told me ‘tough times don't last, tough people do.' That's kind of what I live by."
On if his dad Ed is a tough guy:
"Yeah, a little bit. That fight would still be pretty close. I've narrowed the gap a little bit. He's 60-some years old so I give him a body shot and he usually goes down." On watching the film against Michigan State, seeing the mental errors, and then being upset because the team essentially beat themselves last week:
"It's tough look at it, especially seeing up play the first half and seeing us play the second half. It was like two different teams on defense. It does bring up the point of emphasis of consistency. I hate losing, but you've always got to take something out of it. You've always got to learn from it. You've got to get hungry again." On if being aggressive on the field is something he ever has to control:
"Yeah, the biggest thing is composure. You've got to be aggressive, but you've also got to be composed. Instincts plays a big part of that. You've got to have that football instinct."
On if play-action passing is where he has to make sure he's not too aggressive and not sell out to stop the run:
"The good thing about our system, and especially the position I'm playing, there's a little more look for the run play, putting our corners, locking them down. On the run play, letting me go up and try to make a play, but also trying to get help if they're doing an underneath route."