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fordfixer
11-04-2009, 02:09 AM
Steelers DE Hood making steady progress

By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 51399.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_651399.html)

Late October is generally not an ideal time to go to a beach north of the Mason-Dixon line.

That didn't stop Ziggy Hood from using the break last week to trek to Atlantic City, N.J., and see the ocean for the first time.

"It's like taking a Deep South kid and taking him somewhere where it snows," said Hood, the Steelers' rookie defensive end who grew up in the panhandle of Texas. "They're intrigued by it. So, I was out there messing with the seashells and just walking along the sand."

Hood also went in the water while in Atlantic City, which is fitting since he may feel like he is swimming against the current at times during another unfamiliar experience.

Hood has had to make the transition from tackle in a 4-3 defense to end in a 3-4 alignment. Progress has come in increments rather than leaps the next tackle Hood makes will be his first one in the NFL but the Steelers have been encouraged by what they have seen from their 2009 first-round draft pick.

"He's a tough guy to block on Wednesdays and Thursdays," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Hood, "which means at some point he's going to be a tough guy to block on Sundays. We'll see when that happens."

Hood is part of the three-man rotation the Steelers use at left defensive end in place of Aaron Smith, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hood has played sparingly in seven games. The Steelers, however, may have to depend on Hood more with the midway point of the season approaching.

Travis Kirschke, the new starter at left defensive end, is questionable for Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos because of a strained calf. If Kirschke, who also has been playing through chronic back pain, is unable to go in Denver, seventh-year veteran Nick Eason and Hood will get the majority of the snaps at left defensive end.

"He comes in every day with the mindset to get better," Tomlin said of Hood. "He's a very hard and diligent worker."

The biggest adjustment Hood has had to make since joining the Steelers is as much mental as it is physical.

In the Steelers' scheme, defensive ends are required to stand their ground and occupy blockers.

That is a significant change for a player whose motto at the University of Missouri was "tackle the running back on the way to the quarterback."

"Here it's more get your hands on the guy, hold your gap," Hood said. "You've got to hold your point of attack and allow the linebackers to get there."

It may sound simple, but playing end in the Steelers' defense comes with as steep a learning curve as almost any other position. That is why the Steelers prefer to bring young defensive ends, like Hood, along slowly.

"Each game, I'm going to get better," Hood said. "I won't have a breakout game not until two, three years down the line. But I'm going to do what I can to make sure if I'm in (the game), nothing goes wrong."

steelblood
11-04-2009, 09:09 AM
"two, three years down the line"?????

Look, I know there is a learning curve, but he should have the mindset that he can have a breakout game NOW. I have heard this from him too much. I know he is towing the company line, but he doesn't have to know all of the nuances of playing 3-4 end to have a breakout game. We may need him too if Kirschke is out. After all, a break out game may be 2-3 tackles (at or near the LOS, not five yards downfield) and 1/2 sack and a pressure as an interior nickel rusher. Frankly, I don't know why we don't use him as a nickel rusher more. Mostly, that position is no different from what he did in college. It is time to set this kid loose on third down and against the two minute offense.

stlrz d
11-04-2009, 09:39 AM
Unclench dude...it'll be ok.

All good things come with time.

steelblood
11-04-2009, 10:02 AM
Unclench dude...it'll be ok.

All good things come with time.

I'm not asking for a pro bowl performance. I just want to hear him say that he is ready to step in and make some plays. I just don't like it when his goal for the rest of the year is simply to "not make mistakes" when he gets in.

His attitude should be that he can have a great game now (even if he is still learning). I really don't think that is asking for much. He is a first round pick and should have more confidence at this point and the staff should be playing him in situations that play to his strengths more (like inside nickel rusher).

Finally, no need for the smart a$$ comments. I'm not a hater or someone who panics. I just call them as I see them. There is no need to speak down to me.

stlrz d
11-04-2009, 10:08 AM
I wasn't speaking down to you. You've never said something like that to a friend before?

Hood is obviously quite well coached in the PR department...under promise, over deliver.

I'm glad he's down-playing it and not shooting his mouth off about what a star he's going to be.

That's what professionals do.

steelsnis
11-04-2009, 10:56 AM
I'm glad he's down-playing it and not shooting his mouth off about what a star he's going to be.

That's what professionals do.

Ding Ding Ding Ding, winner, winner, chicken dinner!

That's one of the reasons that Hood is a Steeler. Smart guy, hard worker, coachable. Add all of that onto his natural talent (size, speed, etc) and I would bet some good money that he'll be a stalwart on the D-line.

Leave the braggarts and blowhards to the bottom feeders.

steelblood
11-04-2009, 11:40 AM
I wasn't speaking down to you. You've never said something like that to a friend before?

Hood is obviously quite well coached in the PR department...under promise, over deliver.

I'm glad he's down-playing it and not shooting his mouth off about what a star he's going to be.

That's what professionals do.

I don't have any friends. That's why I'm on a message board. :lol:

I hope you are right and he is hiding the confidence that he has.

SteelCrazy
11-04-2009, 12:23 PM
I wasn't speaking down to you. You've never said something like that to a friend before?

Hood is obviously quite well coached in the PR department...under promise, over deliver.

I'm glad he's down-playing it and not shooting his mouth off about what a star he's going to be.

That's what professionals do.

I don't have any friends. That's why I'm on a message board. :lol:

I hope you are right and he is hiding the confidence that he has.

Are you saying I don't have any friends either?

RuthlessBurgher
11-04-2009, 02:18 PM
I just don't like it when his goal for the rest of the year is simply to "not make mistakes" when he gets in.

However, if he wants to get any significant playing time in this defense, "not making mistakes" is rule #1. When he is in there, we need him to be gap-sound above all else. We don't want a guy who thinks he's a big shot and wants to make a splash by making an all-out rush at the QB instead of occupying his lane, thereby giving a RB a big hole to run through for a 40+ yard gain.

Oviedo
11-04-2009, 03:05 PM
The board seems rather hormonal today

ikestops85
11-04-2009, 03:10 PM
The board seems rather hormonal today

It's obviously our time of the year. :shock:

SteelCrazy
11-04-2009, 04:01 PM
The board seems rather hormonal today

You can tell we are coming out of a bye week.........Let's get back to football!

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-04-2009, 05:03 PM
The board seems rather hormonal today

You can tell we are coming out of a bye week.........Let's get back to football!

Yeah...I hear ya! Any chance Monday night football could be moved to Sunday? :Beer :Beer :Beer

SteelCrazy
11-04-2009, 07:46 PM
The board seems rather hormonal today

You can tell we are coming out of a bye week.........Let's get back to football!

Yeah...I hear ya! Any chance Monday night football could be moved to Sunday? :Beer :Beer :Beer


Screw Sunday! I'm ready for a Thursday night game!! :Boobs :bungalssuck :ratsuck :brownssuck :2c

stlrz d
11-04-2009, 10:00 PM
Dudes, you have plenty of friends. ;)

http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t107/russler65/Steelers/SteelersNationAFC.jpg

sd steel
11-05-2009, 12:43 AM
Dudes, you have plenty of friends. ;)

http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t107/russler65/Steelers/SteelersNationAFC.jpg


Even me D???? :Cheers :lol: