Q&A: Eric Wood

Pittsburgh Steelers prospect Eric Wood elevated his stock with a strong performance in the Senior Bowl. Prior to the game, the center/guard from Louisville answered questions.

Eric Wood, C-G, Louisville

Q: Looking forward to facing B.J. Raji?

A: I'm looking forward to it. He's a good buddy of mine. We're training for the draft out in California together. Originally I thought I was going to be on the North, so I thought we were going to go against each other every day, but as I was watching tape I was less excited about it. He's playing really well.

Q: Ever play any guard in a game?

A: I never played guard in a game. I was starting at guard my redshirt freshman year back in 05 and Jason Spitz was playing center. We flip-flopped in the fall camp and I went 49 straight as the center.

Q: How did it go today playing guard?

A: It went OK. Obvious rust. Like Coach Marvin Lewis was saying, you sometimes can see more rust in a guy who didn't play in a bowl game, and that's me. I'm definitely looking to have a better day tomorrow. Like B.J. said, it's never as good or never as bad as you think it is. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Q: Is a change like that tougher mentally or physically?

A: A little bit of both. Obviously you've got to learn more assignments playing different positions, but that's something I came here to do. When Steve (Hale) initially called to invite me, that was one thing I said, that I wanted an opportunity to play a little guard. I understand I was brought here to play center, but I want to mark myself as an interior offensive lineman. If I'm asked to play right tackle, I'll do it. Left tackle might stretch it, but I'm here to show them I'm versatile.

Q: What fires you up on the field?

A: Well, I used to play tight end in high school, and catching passes and catching touchdowns is always fun, but I moved to offensive line and everyone's always asking me ‘What's the thrill? Is it even fun anymore?' Of course it is. What fires me up is trying to master my position, master techniques, and then the obvious: finishing plays, finishing blocks downfield, pancaking guys.

Q: What is your strength?

A: I'm fairly consistent in my play. What you see on film is primarily what you're going to get -- very consistent throughout games; rarely go up and down. I feel I have the strength, quickness and intelligence to play at a high level. Like Coach Marvin Lewis said, you already put in the bulk of your work in your college career; now you're here to put the icing on the cake.

Q: Have you sensed that this is a big year for centers in the draft?

A: Yeah, when Steve Hale called me he told me this is the best center group he can remember. So that puts an emphasis on us playing different positions this year.

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