May 31, 2012

Q&A With NFL Newcomers: The Kevin Zeitler Interview

By - Tim Gorman

This week, I was able to get a hold of former Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, who the Cincinnati Bengals took with the 27th overall pick in this year's draft.

Photo by: Getty Images
Here's how our conversation went.

Q: How did you get started playing football?
A: My grade school coach convinced me to come out for seventh grades Jr. Vikings football program.

Q: Did you know heading into the draft that you'd be a first-rounder?
A: I thought it was possible because I did well in all the pre-draft workouts, but I wasn't counting on it. I had my draft party scheduled for the second day of the draft just so there wouldn't be any disappointment if I didn't get picked the first night.

Q: Have you thought about the fact that you'll have guys like Ray Lewis and James Harrison coming full-speed at you in just a few short months?
A: It has crossed my mind, but now I'm just concentrating on getting the playbook memorized and playing at full-speed again.

Q: If you weren't playing in the NFL, what would you be doing?
A: I've always been big on fitness so I would probably be a strength coach or a personal trainer.

Q: What was your overall draft experience like?
A: I had a good draft experience. I enjoyed training at API Phoenix and competing at the combine. Draft night was a great sense of satisfaction that all my hard work over the last couple years had finally paid off.

Q: So far, how would you say OTAs have been?
A: It's been great to get back to actually playing football again. I've set a starting point and hopefully I can keep building up through each practice.

Q: What advice would you give a young football player?
A: If you want to succeed in this game, there is no substitution for hard work. The hardest worker will get the opportunity he deserves.

Q: What is your favorite sports moment?
A: Winning two Big Ten championships the last two years.

Q: Is there a past or present NFL player you study to try and improve your game?
A: I watch Steve Hutchinson because of his explosiveness and ability to beat people.

Q: How big of a relief is it that you've already signed your contract?
A: It's nice to have it done, but it wasn't distracting me from being focused on playing prior to getting it signed.


  1. Nabbing an interview with a 1st round pick is pretty impressive. Nice!

  2. Not that big of a deal. Almost anyone can get an interview with a lineman taken late in the first round. Get one of a top ten skill position player and I'll be impressed.

  3. Zeitler was part of a very solid Cincy draft. They have a chance to be even better then last year. Nice interview Tim.

  4. Lineman or not (Anonymous), its still pretty cool that you were able to get a first round pick to field your questions. Nice job.