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Old 10-29-2009   #1
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Default Really good Zgonina article

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Zgonina is 39, the second-oldest nonkicker in the NFL. The oldest is Brett Favre, and on that sliver of common ground the resemblance ends. Zgonina has played 17 seasons on the interior defensive line and special teams for eight franchises, including five years with the Rams, four with the Dolphins and seven daysóduring a bye week, no lessówith the Raiders in October 1998. He has started just 63 of his career 208 games, and he has never been paid more than the NFL minimum (currently $860,000) for a season's work. Few players have endured more kickoff return-team collisions, of which, says Zgonina, "half the time you just get run over by a missile."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...91/1/index.htm
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Old 10-29-2009   #2
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

Good read. Loved the line about how he is a gossip queen. lol
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Old 10-29-2009   #3
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

Respect.
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Old 10-29-2009   #4
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

I'm glad Houston teams have guys like this one their rosters. Biggio and Mutombo for the Stros/Rockets (yeah they were some of the greatest of all time while Zgonina is more humble, but it's cool to have a figure like that). He's really earned his way here, I'm glad that he's a Texan.
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Old 10-29-2009   #5
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

Thanks for letting me know about tuis article it was a great read and well written. I have much more respect now for who I refer to as mr calves
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Old 10-29-2009   #6
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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He's also been witness to a generation of NFL history. Zgonina was drafted in the seventh round by the Steelers in 1993, and on the first day of training camp he found himself in a team ritual called the Oklahoma Drill. (Elsewhere it's known as the Nutcracker.) "An offensive lineman and a running back on one side, a defensive lineman on the other side," says Zgonina. "I check the list in the locker room, and I'm going against [six-time All-Pro center] Dermontti Dawson and [All-Pro running back] Barry Foster. They blow the whistle, Dermontti stands me up, turns me and Barry just runs right on by. Awesome. I barely saw him."
Ha, this reminds me of myself in my first Oklahoma drill. But Zgonina obviously was better at it than I was. The strongest O-lineman we had was blocking for the FB. I'm a little guy, now, so you can imagine me then. I was probably 5'2", 100 lbs. LOL the o-lineman just blew right through me. I still don't know why I was included on this drill. And they made me do it 3 times after this. The last time I avoided the OL but the FB ran me over. LOL I still made the tackle though.
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Old 10-29-2009   #7
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

This was one of my favorite drills in high school cause I would blow up the blocker just to make a statement thenthey would want no part of a full on block making it so much easier on me the next few rounds
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Old 10-29-2009   #8
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by silvrhand1 View Post
This was one of my favorite drills in high school cause I would blow up the blocker just to make a statement thenthey would want no part of a full on block making it so much easier on me the next few rounds
I hated it. I was a CB/WR. But I was too good at the cover/receiving drills, so they started to put me in other types of drills. I'll hit, but usually I'd have to hit skinny wide-outs. Not a 200 pound fullback. XD

(NOTE: 200lbs is big for a 7th and 8th grader) LOL
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Old 10-29-2009   #9
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

Good article SB-Tex, I read all of it. Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2009   #10
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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His shoes are old-school high-tops that he stockpiled when Nike stopped making them several years ago. "They look old enough to go straight to the Hall of Fame," says Jay Brunetti, Houston's director of equipment services, a 35-year NFL veteran. On the bottom of the shoes Zgonina will wear only all-black cleats, unlike his teammates' glitzier models. His belt cinches with two metal rings, old school, while his teammates' have conventional buckles.

On Sunday mornings Zgonina is the only Texan who applies his own tape to his shoulder pads, and he uses ancient, four-inch carpet tape. (Other players' pads are taped by the equipment staff with thinner, two-sided tape.) Two blueberry cake doughnuts must be placed in his locker before the game by Brunetti's assistant, Chris Snell. When the team returns to the locker room for last-minute preparations, Zgonina sneaks into the equipment room and calls his wife. Upon returning to the field, he first smacks every assistant coach on the butt with the back of his right hand, then takes a seat on the bench at the 50-yard line, where Snell unties and then reties Zgonina's cleats before putting two puffs of airónot one, not threeóinto his helmet liner.

At the last minute Zgonina seeks out the second-oldest position player on the rosterówith the Texans it's now 34-year-old strong safety Nick Fergusonóand says into his face, "Let's go, old man."

Soon the rituals will end. Zgonina says this is his last year. (Although he also says, "Never say never.") He will dote on his family, and he will devote more time to his bull-breeding business. An era will end as quietly as it has been played. And the game will lose a keeper.
Makes ya want to go suit up for a game! Great article! Definitly old school. So great to see players old/new that appreciate the game, and earn the right to play.
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Old 10-29-2009   #11
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Cool Re: Really good Zgonina article

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NFL minimum (currently $860,000)
Wow, I thought it was $250,000.
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Old 10-29-2009   #12
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by Yankee_In_TX View Post
Wow, I thought it was $250,000.
His amount is the veteran minimum, and he gets extra based on how many years he's been in the league. 10+ years gets 845,000.
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Old 10-29-2009   #13
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by Yankee_In_TX View Post
Wow, I thought it was $250,000.
stop living in the past man!
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Old 10-29-2009   #14
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by Yankee_In_TX View Post
Wow, I thought it was $250,000.
Yankee's verbalism doesn't translate well in the south, LOL!
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Old 10-30-2009   #15
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by STEEL BLUE TEXANS View Post
Good find. Excellent read.
Jeff is my kind of player. Old school who EARNS every minute of playing time with his heart and love of the game.

Some of these younguns could learn something.
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Old 10-30-2009   #16
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by Yankee_In_TX View Post
Wow, I thought it was $250,000.
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Originally Posted by AnthonyE View Post
His amount is the veteran minimum, and he gets extra based on how many years he's been in the league. 10+ years gets 845,000.
It gets even better. Yes Zigi (whose wife and family sits near us - random observation) gets the $845k, but if the Texans pay him less than a nominal signing bonus like $50k or so, then he only counts half that total against the cap. Funny how you can throw around numbers like that for a decent player, but brilliant by the players to get that seniority cap exception. Makes it so you can say why not have the savvy vet like Zigi for the same cap hit as some 4 year scrub who hasn't done anything. Oh and for the record, shows McNair spending the extra money that isn't on the cap.
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Old 10-30-2009   #17
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

Great read. Hope he sticks around, even as a coach or an assistant like Matthews. It's good for the locker room environment.
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Old 10-30-2009   #18
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

I met Zigi's Mom in Kansas City during the preseason, a wonderful lady who has NEVER missed one of his games. She was concerned then that the Texans would let him go with the final roster cuts. Glad her concerns were unfounded. He's one of the old school, good old guys that you feel proud to have on your team. A good example to the younger generation player. When the time comes, I hope he retires a TEXAN!!
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Old 10-30-2009   #19
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Default Re: Really good Zgonina article

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Originally Posted by SheTexan View Post
I met Zigi's Mom in Kansas City during the preseason, a wonderful lady who has NEVER missed one of his games. She was concerned then that the Texans would let him go with the final roster cuts. Glad her concerns were unfounded. He's one of the old school, good old guys that you feel proud to have on your team. A good example to the younger generation player. When the time comes, I hope he retires a TEXAN!!
I'm pretty sure he will!
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