View Full Version : PFW: Ziggy Hood striving to improve

05-21-2010, 12:13 PM
this is a ProFootballWeekly (PFW) article via Yahoo.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... to_improve (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AlWDoaZs6b2NuCvl1URWnOtDubYF?slug=pfw-20100520_steelers_de_hood_striving_to_improve)

As a rookie, Ziggy Hood made the transition from a defensive tackle in Missouri’s defensive scheme to defensive end in the Steelers’ 3-4 front. The early steps of that adjustment behind him, he wants to translate his knowledge to on-field production.

“I tell myself, ‘I know the playbook. I know what to do. I’ve just got to do it,’ ” he told PFW this week.

Hood, the Steelers’ first-round pick in 2009, played in all 16 games as a reserve last season, notching eight tackles and one sack as he learned Richard LeBeau’s defense, which requires defensive ends to be stout at the point of attack. Though he had a strong preseason, racking up three sacks, he said he didn’t start to get comfortable in the defense until later in the regular season. Indeed, his best game came in Week 16, when he recorded his only sack of the campaign and recovered a fumble late in a 23-20 win over the Ravens.

“I wasn’t thinking about anything,” Hood said of his approach late in the season. “I was going out there and playing my technique.”

As a senior at Missouri, Hood notched 62 tackles (seven for loss) and five sacks playing inside in the Tigers’ scheme. He followed that impressive performance with an excellent workout at the NFL Scouting Combine, when he bench-pressed 225 pounds 34 times and was hand-timed at 4.83 seconds in one of his 40-yard dash attempts. Many thought Hood would land with a team employing a 4-3 scheme, but the Steelers, looking to get younger along the defensive line, took him with the No. 32 overall pick.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hood’s top attribute is his quickness of the ball. He wants to make strides in his hand quickness, too, which he believes will help him as a pass rusher. He’s worked on getting better at “shooting” his hands, or rapidly getting his hands up into the opponent’s chest area. He also believes he began to play with better leverage as last season progressed — a critical skill for a defensive lineman of his size.

Hood has tried to emulate the Steelers’ starting defensive ends, Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel, who have a combined 199 starts. However, he has found that process challenging and marvels at their knowledge of the game.

“When I watch them on film, I’m like, ‘Wow, how can I ever play like those guys?’ ” Hood said.

Hood, who likely will be a backup this season, is focused on being assignment-sound in the Steelers’ scheme.

“As long as I secure my job, that’s a huge success to me,” he said.

05-21-2010, 01:25 PM
Hood is humble. Maybe too humble.

05-21-2010, 03:20 PM
Hood is humble. Maybe too humble.

Aaron Smith isn't too humble. Troy Polamalu isn't too humble.

Ben Roethlisberger isn't...let's not go there. :wink:

05-21-2010, 04:25 PM
Hood is humble. Maybe too humble.

Aaron Smith isn't too humble. Troy Polamalu isn't too humble.

Ben Roethlisberger isn't...let's not go there. :wink:


Ziggy won't be buying any shots for "his bi%$es"

05-24-2010, 09:53 PM
A world of difference

By Teresa Varley – Steelers.com

Last year defensive end Ziggy Hood was being inundated with information, trying to learn the playbook while making an impression during his rookie OTAs.

What a difference a year makes. Hood, now in his second season, is feeling comfortable in the Steelers defense.

“It’s like a sigh of relief,” said Hood. “I pretty much have the playbook down, not all of it yet, to where I can focus out there on perfecting my skills and technique on the field.”

As the 2009 season progressed, Hood felt like his technique improved steadily and it showed in the form of playing time, especially when injuries hampered the defensive line.

“You can tell how it improved by the amount of production on the field,” said Hood. “When my technique got better, my production went up about half way or near the end of the season last year.”

Hood looks at this year’s OTAs as being just important as the sessions his rookie year, allowing him the opportunity to grow even further.

“They are a key for me,” said Hood. “For the young guys this is where you grow and refine your skills. The vets know it. They can take it easy. For the young guys it’s a learning curve and it helps make it better.”

While Hood is offering encouragement to the current rookie class, he is leaving most of the advice giving to the older veterans on the team.

“The only thing I can do is provide my side of the story,” said Hood. “Right now it’s the vet’s job. I am in no situation to tell them anything because I am only in my second year here.”

* * *

Rookie running back Jonathan Dwyer has an inside track on getting advice from one of the team’s most established veterans.

Dwyer is cousins with linebacker James Farrior, with Dwyer’s great grandfather and Farrior’s great grandmother being first cousins.

“He can tell me the ins and outs and how to be a great player, being able to play as long as he has,” said Dwyer, who found out from family about the relationship. “That is what is great about the camaraderie we have in the locker room.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 9ab4b23b9b (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/A-world-of-difference-/f9627d63-e139-4b30-b4c7-d19ab4b23b9b)

05-25-2010, 09:14 AM
Did not know about the Farrior-Dwyer cousin thing. That's interesting.