Well, our post on how the Bengals are not utilizing blogs and new media got noticed by at least one Bengal. WhoDeyRevolution spoke with Bengals Safety Chinedum Ndukwe this morning about his goals for the season, the biggest eaters on the team, Madden 2009, his best friend Brady Quinn and more.
Here is a partial transcript of our conversation:
(WDR): I am thinking about going to business school. Any tips for getting
Chinedum Ndukwe (CN): Well, I would suggest becoming a really good football player first…I really enjoyed the experience for a couple of weeks taking business classes on entrepreneurship investment strategy.
WDR: What advice would you give recent Elder grad and future Notre Dame Tight End Kyle Randolph about playing for the Irish under Coach Weis?
CN: For the transition from high school to college, you
couldn’t ask for a better coach than Coach Weis. Everything he does is for a reason. You hear a lot of news about him being tough
and being blunt but it is all tough love. He is genuine and you can trust him for who he is.
WDR: Do you think that going to Notre Dame prepared you for the transition to the NFL better, being under the national spotlight and having the constant pressure?
CN: Definitely. At
Notre Dame you are playing on such a huge stage with such high
expectations….for me, the transition from college to the NFL wasn’t adjusting
to the speed, it was more of a mental demand. You have to be more prepared on every play than in college.
WDR: You went to high school with Brady Quinn in Columbus, do you guys still keep in touch?
CN: Oh yeah, we talk weekly. He is one of my best friends.
WDR: Do you talk trash to him before or after the Bengals play the Browns?
CN: Yeah, but its all in good fun. I can’t wait to set up opposite him when he
gets an opportunity to play.
WDR: Did you grow up as a Bengals or a Browns fan?
CN: Bengals for sure.
WDR: You are remembered at Notre Dame for your huge hit on Calvin Johnson - what is your biggest hit in the NFL?
CN: My biggest hit was probably against
the Jets on Chad Pennington. He’s a
great QB but he was a bit shook up.
WDR: What has new D
coordinator Mike Zimmer been emphasizing so far in the offseason?
CN: So far, it has been a lot of technique. He has really been stressing a lot of technique and film study. As a former DB coach, he has been working a lot with the DBs so far which I have really enjoyed.
WDR: What do you think
will be the big changes between Zimmer and Bresnahan? Do you think the team will move to a 3-4?
CN: I don’t thin we are going to a 3-4. but we might go to some 3-4 fronts sometime. I loved Coach Bresnahan’s defense. He put me in a position to make plays. With Coach Zimmer, its kind of unknown,
WDR: Were you
disappointed when the Bengals didn’t draft Notre Dame grad Trevor Laws?
CN: Yeah, I knew that we were looking at the defensive tackle in the 3rd and I saw he was still around, but we have so many Domers on the team maybe they were worried we would take over the locker room.
WDR: What did you
think about the Bengals draft?
CN: From what I have been hearing, they did a great job. Jerome Simpson looks like a big time receiver.
WDR: What do you do in
the offseason to prepare for the season?
CN: It was a long season, so right after I did a lot of resting to heal up my body. Then after a month I got back in the gym and started working out, nothing heavy. Then I was able to spend a few weeks at Harvard. It is really a lot of running and conditioning and staying in shape. There is never downtime in the NFL.
WDR: What are your
personal goals for the 2008 season?
CN: Seeing the things better…seeing the whole field better. I want to be an everydown player this season. I want to become an impact player on D and be a force on the field every down.
WDR: You signed a
multi-year endorsement with Reebok - what shoes are you wearing right
now? Do you wear Reebok's everywhere? After games, when you take
your Reebok cleats off, do you put on a different pair of Reeboks for the press
conference? What about to church or a wedding - does Reebok make
CN: You know, you can take it as far as you want to go. If you want, they can specialize the shoes to
fit your feet, but the HexRides I wear in training camp fit great.
WDR: Training Camp starts soon, which seems pretty boring. Not much to do but practice, sleep and eat. Who are the biggest eaters on the team? My bet is on Big Willie.
CN: You know what, I have never seen Willie eat. I don’t know if he has a personal chef in his
dorm room, I really have never seen him eat. Dan Santucci is always eating though. Lots of Italian food. Pasta,
WDR: What about someone who you wouldn’t expect would be a big eater?
CN: Antiono Chatman is a big eater. He may be tiny but he can eat.
WDR: What is your favorite place to eat in Cincy?
CN: After games, if my family is in town, we like to stay
downtown and go to one of the nicer restaurants like Mortons. I also really
WDR: How do you like your chili?
CN: I’ll do a three-way every now and then. Maybe throw some onions on. But I don’t know if the human body can handle
it more than once a month.
WDR: What are your goals for the team in 2008?
CN: When you start the season you want to win every game,
the division and the Super Bowl. And we
have the players do to do that. We have
the best QB in the game, great wide receivers, we have restocked our D-line,
and I am a bit biased, but a great set of DBs.
WDR: Do you play fantasy football? If so, what was your team name last year?
CN: Nah, I don’t play. Maybe I should get a league together this year.
WDR: What about
Madden? If I was in the NFL, I would constantly play games alone but on 2
player to set up plays to jack up my own stats. Like, do you ever make
Hines Ward come over the middle on purpose so you can flatten him?
CN: I used to play a lot in college, but I haven’t gotten to too much in the NFL. I am actually headed back to
WDR: Do you check your
stats to see how Madden rates you?
CN: Yeah. I haven’t for the new season, but I am going to go online today and check on that. Thanks for reminding me.
WDR: Good luck with
that, and good luck in training camp and with the season. Who Dey.
CN: Thanks. Who Dey.