Questions and Answers with Colts safety Tom Zbikowski.
*Question: When did you start playing football and how did you get started?
*Answer: "My brother made me play. Well, my brother had two brain tumor surgeries and they told me he wouldn't be able to play football really or baseball. So, I was super hyperactive as you can imagine as a kid so I was probably five and he just threw me in the car with my parents and just signed me up and started playing. I didn't really want to play at all. I wasn't really interested. I was five."
*Q: So, how did you get from being an uninterested five-year-old to being a professional football player?
*A: "I just kept playing and then once they moved me to running back like my third or so year into it and I started scoring touchdowns. I really liked it."
*Q: Have you ever played any positions other than safety?
*A: "Yeah, probably all of them. My dad was a coach one year and every dude on the team scored a touchdown. So when we'd have like a big lead or score, he'd put all the backfield on the line so I played center, guard, tackle, defensive end, linebacker, DB and quarterback in high school (Buffalo Grove (Ill.) High School)."
*Q: What was your favorite position to play?
*A: "Quarterback. They get all the glory. The ball was in my hands all the time. I'd pretend to drop back and pass all the time. If someone was open, I'd throw it. If not, I'd just take off running for a touchdown. It was magnificent. I played with all slow white dudes around my area and looked like the best athlete of all time."
*Q: When did you decide you wanted to make a career out of football:
*A: "In high school I really took off. I know I was first-team All-American, but I think I was ranked 24th or 25th in the country. Then once I started getting offers, I knew I had to be at least good enough to play college. But I wasn't getting any taller from high school, you know what I mean. I was only going to be 5-11, maybe 6-0 at most. So (I) might as well switch positions and see if I can do it. Then I decided to ride it out as long as I can. I'm really not in a hurry to get a job."
*Q: What are your plans after football?
*A: "My brother is a fireman so I'll probably… I already took a test for the Chicago Fire Department, so I'll probably just do that. It's on my mother's side. My grandfather, my uncle now my brother were all – my brother is in a suburb on the south side of Chicago, but my uncle and my grandfather were Chicago firemen. So, I figure I'll just go with that – stay active, do something useful. I don't really care about money. I like making it. I enjoy earning a paycheck, but it's not really anything to me."
*Q: Was there one moment where you realized that you were actually playing in the NFL?
*A: "I never really had one moment that was an epiphany about being in the NFL. I felt I was always a good enough player. I know we're supposed to say it's a privilege to play here but it's not. You earned the right to play here. You've got to be good at it. They told me I wasn't going to be that good in high school, then they told me I wasn't going to be that good in college, and then they told me I wasn't really professional. So I just keep going with it."
*Q: Is there any one person who you can attribute your success to?
*A: "Everyone throughout my life I'd say."