At what stage of your youth did you realize you were capable of being a professional athlete?
Wong says: First of all, it was always my dream that I wanted to become a pro football player or pro basketball player — one of the two. I guess it didn't really strike me … In high school I knew I was going to go on to college. I would have to say probably about my junior year in college. That's when I really realized that if I continued to work really hard it was close. At that point in college I was trying to establish myself as a starter and become a good college player, and that's when I really realized that I could go on.
Did you have one coach that stands out from the rest as inspiring/guiding you to reach for the stars? — Ametrine
Wong says: Yeah, definitely. My college coach, my position coach in college, Coach Zacharias, was someone who did a lot for me in terms of the way I prepared and the way I played. He was the guy that taught me a lot about football.
Since you have been in Minnesota there have been quite a few coaching changes. How tough is it for a player to adjust to this? Also, how much input do you have in your game plan? Thanks!
Wong says: It hasn't been too difficult in terms of adjusting, because we basically have the same philosophy and the same system. We've always had very good coaches wherever I was at or whatever position I was playing, so that was definitely a plus for me. How much input do I have? We don't necessarily make the game plan, but whatever we don't do well in practice and we don't feel comfortable with the coaches will throw out. Other than that, they basically put together a game plan and we try to execute it to the best of our ability.
You may have answered this one before, so please bear with me. You didn't start out at MLB. How was the change on you — hard or did it come pretty natural? To me I see a difference this year. You seem to be a little more, I think the words are "in control," more comfortable now than last year. Being the guy in the middle you are basically in charge on the D are you not?
Wong says: Last year, there was a lot of stuff going on and I didn't have a lot of experience to go back on. So sometimes certain situation that I hadn't seen before would present themselves and I would try to figure it out on the field, whereas now I've basically seen every type of play. I've seen every possible situation, or at least gone through the scenarios in my head to where the stuff becomes a lot easier to recognize. Being the middle linebacker, he basically calls the huddle, calls the play in the huddle, declares where the strength of the formation is and then makes any types of adjustments to the coverages.
With Robert Griffith going down, do your responsibilities change at all or was he basically only calling the secondary alignments?
Wong says: No, my responsibilities don't really change at all, but obviously it's all of our responsibilities to pick up and make sure that we get the extra big plays that Griff is so often making. But in terms of actually calling things, it's actually the same.
Hello, Kailee. I want to ask you a question I am sure plenty of others are asking. How improved is the D this year and what are the reasons for the improvements? I personally see a big improvement over last year, and even though the Carolina game was a loss I think you guys showed a big step forward and had the offense got it together there may have been a much different outcome. But you guys did a good job out there...I realize you can only hold a team so long before the so called dam breaks. Good luck this year.
— Lugosi 2002
Wong says: We are allowed to challenge routes and, not only challenge routes, but we're not switching coverages that often. So that's really allowing us to get better and better at executing what we do. Repetition is the most important key to anything. If you do it a number of times, you start getting good at it. You can start almost predicting things that are going to happen. And I think as we play the defense more and more we're going to continually get better, too.
Hi, Are there any athletes (current or retired from any sport) that you admire? If so, who and why?
Wong says: I admire Walter Payton. He's just a guy that would come to work every day. He would give it his all, 110 percent. He was very rarely hurt or dinged up. He was, I guess, the epitome of a professional.
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