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hawaiiansteel
05-18-2012, 01:45 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers News Bulletin: The Rise of Cameron Heyward

by Neal Coolong on May 17, 2012

http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/4067244/128804601_extra_large.jpg

7 months ago: PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 9: Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers causes a fumble against Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Tennessee Titans during the game on October 9, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Titans 38-17. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

I'm really interested to see the fruits of DE Cameron Heyward's labor this off-season. Watching him again, there were times he looked like an animal. Granted, more times he looked lost, but when he looked decisive, he really got off the ball and after the ball carrier.

I haven't been shy to express my opinion about DE Ziggy Hood, and I'll be the first to declare the nuances of the defensive lineman in this defense need to be fully understood. But an athlete is an athlete and a baller is a baller. I expect Heyward to push Hood hard for his starting spot, probably lose out, but absolutely gain on his total snaps per game.

One would expect Hood, who's going to want some push before entering into extension talks next year, to ratchet up his game, as well. Hood easily looks the technically superior of the two, but Heyward's get-off and explosion are above Hood's already, even if he doesn't appear to know what he's doing (rookie year).

Getting that extra foot or two of penetration into the backfield from a 3-4 defensive end is critical, and it creates significant problems for the offense, both on the ground and in pass protection. It closes off escape routes for the quarterback, disrupts running back's routes and draws extra attention from the line. Even better, it forces teams to use another tight end to protect the end.

The question floating around the league now is how do you stop the big, receiving tight end. My (glib and ignorant) response is "make him stay in and block."

Can Heyward develop into that kind of a defensive end? Time will tell, but it will be fun to watch.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/5/17/3026739/Pittsburgh-steelers-news-willie-colon-david-decastro-cameron-heyward-ziggy-hood#storyjump

Djfan
05-18-2012, 01:51 PM
Great problem to have, with these two guys competing.

NW Steeler
05-18-2012, 01:58 PM
I think the best case scenario is that both of them perform so well that they start opposite each other and Kiesel spells them.

Crash
05-18-2012, 01:58 PM
Ziggy's a bust.

squidkid
05-18-2012, 02:50 PM
wouldn't making one play outperform hood?

hawaiiansteel
05-25-2012, 03:24 PM
Breaking down the defensive line for the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers roster

Submitted by Syndicated sources on May 25, 2012
Brought to you by: Sports Media 101

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in somewhat a rebuilding stage along their defensive line. Gone to retirement are long-time veterans defensive end Aaron Smith and nose tackle Chris Hoke and even nose tackle Casey Hampton, who is recovering from an ACL injury, had to take a large pay cut to remain on the roster. The team has been preparing for this transition for some time now, spending three draft choices, including two first round picks on defensive linemen over the last three installments of the NFL Draft.

At nose tackle, Hampton is the wildcard as the team prepares for opening day. After suffering an ACL injury in the playoff loss to the Denver Broncos, no one is sure whether he will be ready opening day or not. If Hampton cannot go early and starts the season on the PUP list, veteran nose tackle Steve McClendon and rookie fourth round pick Alameda Ta'amu from the University of Washington will battle for the starting position. Even if he is ready to go, both McClendon and Ta’amu should see plenty of action as this looks to be Hampton’s last season in the Black and Gold.

At defensive end, starters Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood, and top back up, last years number one pick Cameron Heyward, are in place. The only true question is what player will step up and seize the last roster spot available for a rotational defensive end. At this point, it looks like that battle will come down to two players, Al Woods or Corbin Bryant.

Last season, the Steelers claimed Woods in November after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. A 2010 fourth round selection of the New Orleans Saints out of LSU, he is a journeyman run stuffer, who has also seen time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While he was on the active roster, he did not see action and is a unknown commodity at this point. Bryant had a solid training camp for the Steelers last season and looked like a player that could pay dividends down the road. The 6-4, 300 pound defensive end was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent out f Northwestern in July 2011 and spent time between their active roster and practice squad during the 2011 season, at one-point taking the spot of Aaron Smith when he was placed on injured reserve.

In the end, Bryant should win the position as the final defensive end out of training camp. He is a player who is stout at the point of attack and flashed some up-field ability in preseason last year, and would probably have been drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft had he not been recovering from a knee injury. In fact, he was one of the teams 30 pre-draft visitors leading up to the draft.

Bryant, Corbin DE

Hampton, Casey NT

Heyward, Cameron DE

Hood, Ziggy DE

Keisel, Brett DE

McLendon, Steve NT

Ta'amu, Alameda NT

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/breaking_down_the_defensive_line_for_the_2012_pitt sburgh_steelers_roster/10870529

Crash
05-25-2012, 03:26 PM
So they draft 2 DEs in three years to compete with each other rather than have them starting together in the future?


Damn that Bruce Arians!

SteelBucks
05-25-2012, 05:54 PM
Personally, I wish we could have had that '09 pick back....especially when ILB James Laurinaitis was still on the board. He would have been more than a capable replacement for Farrior.

steelz09
05-25-2012, 06:06 PM
With Heyward, Bryant, Ta'mu, McClendon and Ziggy the Steelers have a solid rotation for years. At least, that is my optimistic opinion.

I was really really really worried about the NT position but now w/ McClendon showing great signs and the Ta'mu pick, we have young depth.

Captain Lemming
05-26-2012, 10:28 AM
So they draft 2 DEs in three years to compete with each other rather than have them starting together in the future?


Damn that Bruce Arians!

Couldn't agree more Crash.
I have always contended that the skill set required for DE in our D does not require a 1st round pick period. Two is just ridiculous.

While your comment is sarcastic you do know that JPN does in fact "blame Arians" when we drafted Hood over an olineman?

You need to lay some knowledge on him,

I like Tomlin and think Colbert has no peer, but this one is most certainly on them. Hood especially, should have been a second rounder on a 4-3 team

Slapstick
05-26-2012, 10:29 AM
Couldn't agree more Crash.
I have always contended that the skill set required for DE in our D does not require a 1st round pick period. Two is just ridiculous.

While your comment is sarcastic you do know that BN does in fact "blame Arians" when we drafted Hood over an olineman?

You need to lay some knowledge on him,

I like Tomlin and think Colbert has no peer, but this one is most certainly on them. Hood especially, should have been a second rounder on a 4-3 team

Hood was pretty much a 2nd round pick...

Captain Lemming
05-26-2012, 10:49 AM
Hood was pretty much a 2nd round pick...

Very late first true, but we are not a 4-3 team. THAT is the problem.

Flasteel
05-26-2012, 11:02 AM
Even if Hood was a "2nd round value"...so what? He's going to be a solid contributor for years to come. His second contract won't be based so much on where he was picked, as much as it will performance. We'll get him on the relative cheap and he'll be starting opposite Heyward for a long time. Right now, having those two compete for one starting spot is a great thing considering the tremendous need to rotate your big guys.

I never really never liked the pick too much (although I desperately wanted the position to be addressed at the time) and Ziggy hasn't impressed me all that much to this point, but he is definitely solid and is a high-effort guy. His job is to occupy two gaps in the running game and draw the double team in the passing game to allow the line backers to make plays. For the most part, it appears that he is doing a pretty decent job at the former, but could step it up with the latter. Having the injuries and drop-off in play at LB last year, made it tough to evaluate from my couch. :D

Calling him a bust...even by 1st round expectations, is completely off-base in my opinion.

Crash
05-26-2012, 11:08 AM
If he's not a starter in YEAR FOUR? He's a bust.

Flasteel
05-26-2012, 11:42 AM
If he's not a starter in YEAR FOUR? He's a bust.

Try re-reading the first paragraph I wrote. Take off your Crash goggles and pay particular attention to the part about starting for years to come.

That may be a supposition, but it's no more of an unknown than your doubt that he will be a starter. Let's again...just wait and see. You may be right in the end, but I wouldn't put my money on that.

Crash
05-26-2012, 12:04 PM
Try re-reading the first paragraph I wrote. Take off your Crash goggles and pay particular attention to the part about starting for years to come

Pay particular attention to this: If he's not a starter in YEAR FOUR, he's a bust and he WILL NOT receive a 2nd contract from this team.

If this defense is as hard to learn as Dick LeBeau and his supporters claim, and somehow Cam Heyward in year TWO can get it down and start over a guy who will have been here FOUR YEARS? Then Hood's a bust. period.

Slapstick
05-26-2012, 12:15 PM
Pay particular attention to this: If he's not a starter in YEAR FOUR, he's a bust and he WILL NOT receive a 2nd contract from this team.

If this defense is as hard to learn as Dick LeBeau and his supporters claim, and somehow Cam Heyward in year TWO can get it down and start over a guy who will have been here FOUR YEARS? Then Hood's a bust. period.

I would expect Heyward to learn faster...the Buckeye D is pretty similar along the D-Line to LeBeau's D...

Flasteel
05-26-2012, 12:22 PM
Pay particular attention to this: If he's not a starter in YEAR FOUR, he's a bust and he WILL NOT receive a 2nd contract from this team.

If this defense is as hard to learn as Dick LeBeau and his supporters claim, and somehow Cam Heyward in year TWO can get it down and start over a guy who will have been here FOUR YEARS? Then Hood's a bust. period.

That's a ridiculous statement to make. I think Heyward's skill set is better suited for the position and I think it will give him an edge over Ziggy. Right now they are battling for the starting spot and it's a testament to both players skill set and approach. Keisel is playing at the zenith of his career right now, but will one day (sooner, rather than later) slow down and Ziggy will likely step in for him. Right now, it looks to be a superb 3-man rotation. Maybe not what you hoped for, but certainly not a bust.

Again...your arguments are so shallow, generalized, and absolute, that they are sometimes absurd. This is a perfect example.

Crash
05-26-2012, 12:56 PM
Right now, it looks to be a superb 3-man rotation

Yeah LeBeau thought so well of Hood's great finish to 2010 that he put him right back on the bench to start 2011.

Shoe
05-26-2012, 05:55 PM
Personally, I wish we could have had that '09 pick back....especially when ILB James Laurinaitis was still on the board. He would have been more than a capable replacement for Farrior.

I think we could've done better than Road Warrior #3, though I hope this is a lesson learned in drafting 3-4 DEs in the first round. You won't get value at the bottom of the first (round). That's because D-linemen do carry a premium--If you really are good (i.e. 1st round worthy), you're likely to get draft (overdrafted) higher than the bottom of the round. Hood and Heyward are more likely to just be solid ham and egger types than anything else. I don't know what the original writer was talking about... I saw no "flashes" of brilliance from Heyward. And Hood has never done anything to distinguish either.

phillyesq
05-26-2012, 07:27 PM
Ziggy did play well in 2010 when he stepped in, but he seemed to regress significantly last year. I'm certainly not going to hold it against him that he was benched for Aaron Smith. Even though Aaron obviously wasn't the player he used to be, if he is on the team, I think he is the presumptive starter. I think that Ziggy's upside is probably the KVO level of play, and I think he still has a way to go to get there.

I'm not thrilled that Ziggy was a first round pick, but looking back on that draft, there aren't a log of other guys that would have been a clearly better pick. Maybe Max Unger, but I can't say that I've watched him play enough to offer an informed opinion. Laurinitis would be better now, but who knows when he would have started playing. McCoy obviously would have been great, but no way would the Steelers have invested 2 consecutive first round picks in RBs.

As for Heyward, I think he has the potential to be better, and I ultimately think he will be the better of the two players. My guess is that he concentrates on RDE this year and that he will be groomed as Keisel's successor. I don't know that he makes a probowl, but I think he will have an above average career.

Slapstick
05-26-2012, 08:35 PM
Some might think Ziggy is a bust, but be thankful that the Steelers had the forethought to draft him or you could have watched Nick Eason start for Smith these last two seasons...

Eason improved over time, but think about that...

Crash
05-26-2012, 08:52 PM
Yeah props to them for drafting Ziggy and only playing him when Smith gets hurt.

Wonderful.

Slapstick
05-26-2012, 08:55 PM
So, you would have preferred Eason...

Duly noted...

Crash
05-26-2012, 08:58 PM
So, you would have preferred Eason...

Duly noted...

If Hood is only going to see significant time when someone is hurt he's a bad pick. You use #1's for future long term starters, not for depth.

Slapstick
05-26-2012, 09:03 PM
Key words: "future long term"

Crash
05-26-2012, 09:05 PM
Key words: "future long term"

And like I said, if he's not starting week one of his 4th season now that Smith is gone? BUST.

Chadman
05-27-2012, 12:00 AM
Fair dinkum you blokes work yourselves up over nothing.

Hood was drafted to be the long term replacement for Aaron Smith- at the time the Steelers had a set DL with Keisel, Hampton & Smith, but all 3 were aging players.

Smith got hurt for significant periods the last 2 of his seasons. Ziggy Hood stepped in & started. When Smith was healthy, Hood went back to the bench. As the DL is a 3 man rotation, and all 3 incumbant starters were aging, the Steelers also drafted Cam Heyward, who yes- plays the same position as Hood. Yet at any one time in a 3-4, 2 DE's are on the field. That they would require 2 young DE's going forward isn't a surprise, a conspiricy or an indication of Hood's success or failure. So drafting Heyward is no indication as to the feeling at the Steelers about Hood.

That Hood stepped in and started when Smith got hurt also says that the team feels good enough that he was developing to take the spot. They didn't insert Eason. They didn't insert Heyward. They didn't go & sign a FA. They promoted Hood. And lo-and-behold, he didn't stand out as terrible either. Did he make a bunch of plays? Not really. But he wasn't the pinpointed weak link either.

You all want to make out that Heyward will beat out Hood & that'll mean Hood's a bust. As a gambling man, Chadman is willing to lay a cool $100 that says Hood is the starter, and Heyward is the backup. Anyone want to contest that?

Now- if Keisel plays until he's 35, and Heyward isn't starting, is Heyward a bust too?

If McLendon wins the NT back-up job this year over Ta'Amu, is Ta'Amu a bust?

Hood's 'lack of progress' has more to do with twisted perception & having to play behind an establish, respected veteran or 2, than any lack of ability.

And the argument of the 'value' of drafting 3-4 DE's in the 1st round always seems to come back to "Smith was a 4th rounder! Keisel was a 7th rounder!". Excellent points, both, however both Keisel & Smith were drafted at a time when the Steelers ran a 3-4 & the NFL didn't even know 3-4 was a possibility. Supply & demand. The last 5-6 years has seen an explosion of 3-4 defences, simply supply & demand theory will tell you that if more teams want 3-4 DE's, the price of them will go up. In this case- draft picks are the value. You can't get as many Smith & Keisel's in 2012 as you could 10-15 years ago. So before we argue the value of a 1st round 3-4 DE, take a look around at the rest of the NFL's 3-4 DE's, the young ones, and find Chadman a comprehensive list of 4th-7th round success stories, and Chadman will concede the point.

Shawn
05-27-2012, 12:28 AM
From a talent perspective, Heyward is special. He has those things you can't teach. It wouldn't shock me if he did indeed beat out Hood by mid year.

Crash
05-27-2012, 01:04 AM
Now- if Keisel plays until he's 35, and Heyward isn't starting, is Heyward a bust too?

If Hood is starting and Heyward can't beat out a 35 year old Keisel? Yes, he is.

Steelerphile
05-27-2012, 07:00 AM
I expect Hood to increase his impact in terms of sacks, pressures and TFL this season. I don't think he's been more silent in these areas due to lack of ability. I think it was only his mind-set and intention to hold his position stoutly. When the coaches give him the go ahead to unleash some his ability to get after the QB, I don't doubt he has the ability to do more of that. I don't think that Heyward is significantly more talented than Hood and if Heyward doesn't outright start over Keisel, he won't be a bust either. That is a ludicrous comment since Keisel has played at a Pro Bowl level for two seasons. But all of them will play and who starts will be after thought. They need all of them and Keisel will need rest since he has started to shows signs of the injury bug.

Shoe
05-27-2012, 07:37 PM
From a talent perspective, Heyward is special. He has those things you can't teach. It wouldn't shock me if he did indeed beat out Hood by mid year.

Specifically, what talents do you see with Heyward that are "special".

I'm not hating; I'm just curious. I have nothing against Heyward (or Hood, for that matter)... and I would like to see the things that you see (that make him a special talent). I have a draft guide, and I'm quoting here:

"...he could be relegated to a two-down role given his inefficiency rushing the passer and has athletic and instinct deficiencies for which all the intensity, heart, and hustle in the world can't fully compensate."

You can argue that this scout is wrong of course. But is he going to be that off-base in his evaluation? I mean--I don't think people would've ever said thie things they said here about Heyward about someone like Reggie White (a "special" talent) Unless you're talking about non-athletic talents.

Shawn
05-28-2012, 07:58 PM
Shoe, that must had been a scout who was a Michigan fan. He was a workhorse, leader, and great citizen with a love for football while playing at OSU. I'll let his play against Arkansas speak for itself.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahe4FEgdl5w

AkronSteel
05-28-2012, 09:21 PM
I actually have Heyward penciled in on my depth chart at starting LE. I think the guy is going to take a step forward this year. I like Ziggy and until last year he was showing a lot of promise but for some reason he took a step back last season and didn't show out a lot on film. I remember him having an arm injury or something last preseason for some reason and maybe that affected him all year but IDK?? I just think that Cam could move past him this season. Heyward is packed with talent and energy. He stepped up last season in limited duty and made a couple of very solid contributions. He made a big play in the Titans game with the strip sack of Hasselbeck. He had the blocked FG against Cincy that stopped them on the first drive and changed the early momentum in that game that ended up being a blowout. He will have the opportunity to have a full offseason for the first time since before his senior year and he has been in the system for a full season already. The guy can push the pocket pretty darn well and he could give the Steelers a pretty fierce pass rush if he steps up like I envision. He could give them a duel threat on the left side with him and Woodley. The guy has all the talent needed to be a solid if not spectacular 3-4 defensive end and could be a difference maker to the likes of Aaron Smith and Ray Seals. I look forward to his maturation and also the continued maturation of Hood. They are both 2/3 of a pretty solid DE rotation. Plus with Keisel's health history the last couple of seasons they will probably be starting opposite each other for about a quarter of the season in 2012.

Oviedo
05-29-2012, 07:34 AM
Sorry, but I don't see what step back Ziggy took last year. He did exactly what the passive D-line scheme of LeBeau asked him to do. There was never a team running over him or driving him off the line. Ziggy's only problem like Timmons is that no matter what he does it won't be enough even though they execute their assigned roles very well.

Heyward is getting all the love simply because of who his Dad was. He did nothing last year to show he is a budding star.

phillyesq
05-29-2012, 08:47 AM
Sorry, but I don't see what step back Ziggy took last year. He did exactly what the passive D-line scheme of LeBeau asked him to do. There was never a team running over him or driving him off the line. Ziggy's only problem like Timmons is that no matter what he does it won't be enough even though they execute their assigned roles very well.

Heyward is getting all the love simply because of who his Dad was. He did nothing last year to show he is a budding star.

Dick Lebeau's scheme doesn't ask defensive lineman to be mere bystanders. In his prime, Aaron Smith, in addition to holding the point of attack, caused disruption to the point where an offense needed to commit two blockers to try to handle him. Ziggy Hood did not do that last year. He did not create disruption, he did not command double teams, and he did not always hold the point of attack. He also failed to provide an inside push on passing downs. That has nothing to do with scheme, and everything to do with the player.

Hopefully, the step back was a result of the lockout, and Ziggy comes in ready to play this year.

Oviedo
05-29-2012, 09:48 AM
Dick Lebeau's scheme doesn't ask defensive lineman to be mere bystanders. In his prime, Aaron Smith, in addition to holding the point of attack, caused disruption to the point where an offense needed to commit two blockers to try to handle him. Ziggy Hood did not do that last year. He did not create disruption, he did not command double teams, and he did not always hold the point of attack. He also failed to provide an inside push on passing downs. That has nothing to do with scheme, and everything to do with the player.

Hopefully, the step back was a result of the lockout, and Ziggy comes in ready to play this year.

You do realize that Ziggy had 21 QB pressures last season. I think that led defensive linemen. That doesn't scream failing to provide push to me but hey that's just me.

phillyesq
05-29-2012, 10:01 AM
You do realize that Ziggy had 21 QB pressures last season. I think that led defensive linemen. That doesn't scream failing to provide push to me but hey that's just me.

I had not seen that stat. Do you have a link to the pressure stats? I'd be interested to see it.

Regardless of his 21 pressures, he showed flashes of being disruptive in 2010; I did not see nearly as much of that in 2011.

Oviedo
05-29-2012, 11:20 AM
I had not seen that stat. Do you have a link to the pressure stats? I'd be interested to see it.

Regardless of his 21 pressures, he showed flashes of being disruptive in 2010; I did not see nearly as much of that in 2011.

Add up the game by game summaries on Steelers.com

phillyesq
05-29-2012, 12:57 PM
Add up the game by game summaries on Steelers.com

Thanks. I'll check that out.

phillyesq
05-29-2012, 12:58 PM
On Hood, this is an encouraging sign that he is working hard this offseason:


Bob Labriola ‏@BobLabriola One more: Ziggy Hood wears a weighted vest under his practice jersey every day

hawaiiansteel
05-31-2012, 10:04 PM
On Hood, this is an encouraging sign that he is working hard this offseason:

check out these before and after pics of Ziggy, he has definitely been working hard:

http://www.outerlim.com/index.php?page=outer_limits_ziggy_hood.php

http://www.outerlim.com/images/outer_limits_sports_ziggy_hood_1.jpg

hawaiiansteel
06-08-2012, 02:13 AM
Steelers’ Hood goes to extremes to add muscle

By Mark Kaboly - Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, June 8, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=JVOKn o7xUxxMKUEeUw7OV8$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvTnax9VXBX2iS oMUf2$1zLWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

Ziggy Hood spent the early part of this offseason watching every one of the 833 snaps he played last season.

For the most part, he didn’t like what he saw.

Hood, the Steelers’ 2009 first-round pick, realized he was slow off the ball, and it was too easy to knock him off his feet.

Considering Hood said he was “feeling sluggish” and not “in tip-top shape” during the season, he knew it was time for a change.

“What better way to help my speed and help my agility but to lose body fat?” Hood said. “I play better when I feel good. When I don’t feel good, I don’t do as well as I want, and I didn’t feel good all the time last year.”

Hood called on the help of Bill Nichol, founder of Outer Limit Athletic Performance in Valencia.

With the recent birth of his second son, Hood wasn’t able to travel to his typical offseason workout venue in Atlanta. Hood needed a closer alternative and recalled a pamphlet he came for Outer Limit.

“They wore me out,” said Hood, a self-proclaimed workout warrior. “And I loved it.”

Hood saw immediate results and drastically changed his body composition.

In a four-week span in early March (during Phase I), Hood lowered his body fat from 24 to 18 percent. He lost 18 pounds of fat and gained 20 pounds of muscle, going from 305 pounds to 307.

“I felt a big difference and feel great right now,” Hood said. “You feel good, you play good. You can always improve, and that was one area I would like to improve on, and that’s what I have been doing.”

Even though his workouts have dipped from five days a week during offseason practices, Phase 4 of Hood’s training will start at the end of the month and last until training camp. He plans to arrive at St. Vincent looking more like a linebacker than a defensive end.

“All that big and looking sloppy, that’s out the window,” Hood said. “We are sexy now.”

Hood has become a YouTube sensation, of sorts, with his training. Video of him jumping on top of a 50-inch box from a seated position has more than 6,000 hits in two weeks.

Although he insists he isn’t interested in heavy lifting anymore — instead he’s focused on speed and technique — there are videos of Hood deadlifting 700 pounds and pulling a 1,200-pound sled 28 yards.

“You can be big and lean and still do your job correctly,” Hood said. “That’s what I am trying to do here.”

Hood has contributed since his rookie year. He has started 16 games over the past two years, but he also had Aaron Smith as a safety net.

With Smith gone, the left defensive end spot is his.

“I feel like I took the right steps in learning while he was here,” Hood said. “But now, it is time for me to step up and do my job.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/1920580-85/hood-feel-defensive-steelers-fat-pounds-307-6-4-body-muscle

phillyesq
06-08-2012, 11:58 AM
Hood is certainly working hard this offseason. I really hope that it translates into on-field results.

Sugar
06-08-2012, 05:32 PM
Check it: http://youtu.be/t5beqytZ7_0

NJ-STEELER
06-08-2012, 05:54 PM
Sorry, but I don't see what step back Ziggy took last year. He did exactly what the passive D-line scheme of LeBeau asked him to do. There was never a team running over him or driving him off the line. Ziggy's only problem like Timmons is that no matter what he does it won't be enough even though they execute their assigned roles very well.

.

he reviewed tape of himself last year and said he has to play better

what does that tell you?

hawaiiansteel
06-11-2012, 12:28 AM
MarkKaboly_Trib via twitter:

"Ziggy Hood wears a 6-pound vest during OTAs to simulate the weight of his shoulder pads. Learned it from James Harrison a few years back"

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/

hawaiiansteel
06-11-2012, 03:26 AM
Competition At Defensive End = Win For Steelers

Jun 9th, 2012 by DomSteelers

You know the saying “Competition Breeds Success”? Well, that very thing just might be happening now for the Steelers at the Defensive End position. According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Mark Kaboly), Defensive End Ziggy Hood has been a workout mad-man this offseason and has really dedicated himself to becoming a better player in 2012. This offseason, Hood has dropped 6% off of his body fat percentage (24% to 18%), packed on 20 lbs. of muscle, and most importantly dropped 18 lbs. of fat to sculpt his body into a rock solid 6’3” 307 lb. frame.

http://nicepickcowher.com/files/2012/06/4966400-300x226.jpg?e98d57

Hood’s drastic transformation could not come at a better time, as Cameron Heyward will be vying for a starting spot and extended playing time in the Steelers’ 5-Technique Rotation (Hood, Heyward, and Brett Keisel) in 2012. To me, the fact that the Steelers have three talented Defensive Ends which will be jockeying for time on the field this season is nothing short of fantastic. So today I figured would be a great opportunity to discuss my feelings on Ziggy Hood, their “go-to” 5-Technique rotation in general, and the sorts of things expected from this group this season.

In terms of playing the run, Hood’s off-season work to strengthen and streamline his body can only help him against the run. Hood’s 5-Technique position calls for him to have a 2-Gap responsibility in the run-game and at the very least hold at the point of attack if not more. While Hood has done a decent enough job against the run in the Base-sets there has still been some room for improvement. Because Hood has added strength and worked on his agility, it should help him against the double teams and man 2-Gaps better while trying to create a mess for the Linebackers to clean up in the run game.

What intrigues me the most is to see what the more athletic Ziggy can do rushing the passer. Hood in my opinion is the best 5-Technique the Steelers have in terms of pass rushing ability at the moment. That being said, if him and/or Keisel/Heyward and/or McLendon can provide a stout enough pass rush and at least push the pocket in Nickel and Dime sub-packages where only 2 of them are on the field, it will only give James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, and whichever guys are getting to the Quarterback more leeway to run free and attack.

With 23 starts and four professional seasons under his belt, Hood is what I consider to be a veteran. I am sure he knows better than anyone that he will be eligible for Free Agency in 2014 and strong showings in the next two seasons are vital for him to continue to contribute at the professional level and earn a new contract with Pittsburgh or elsewhere. Thus, 2012 and 2013 are make or break for Ziggy, and it certainly appears that he wants to take his already developing game to the “next level.”

Heyward and Keisel

Before I continue, kudos must go to Colbert and Co. when they zeroed in on a “BPA+Need” selection in the form of Heyward last April. I am sure they conversed with Defensive Line Coach John Mitchell and Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau at length and determined that Aaron Smith was likely on the tail end of one of the best and most unheralded careers of a 5-Technique Defensive End in the last two decades.

Moreover, I am sure that they saw that the addition of a player at a position of need, and where a 3rd year man like Ziggy Hood was the only experienced and significant depth was an added bonus as well. And I am sure it did not hurt that Heyward had the ideal size (6’5″ 288 lbs.), skill-set, experience in a pro-style Defense with 3-4 elements (at Ohio State), and professional attitude to play the 5-Technique with the club.

I am sure that I am one of many which are extremely excited to see what Heyward can do in Year 2 of his professional career. Cameron looked much further ahead development and scheme-wise than Hood was during his Rookie season, and that was without OTA’s and such because of last year’s lockout. While Cameron started a bit slow, big things are expected from him this season, and Hood seems to already be feeling the heat. As I discussed in the Defensive piece of my two “Breakout Players” posts from last month, Heyward is definitely somebody to keep our collective eyes on this season, and could shine as part of the 3-man rotation.

I know that I have discussed it at length before, but the biggest benefactor of all of Heyward’s continued development and Hood’s desire to step up his game is Brett Keisel. At 34, Keisel still has some solid football left in him, and he made the Pro Bowl following the 2010 campaign. But at 34, he is still getting a tad “long in the tooth” and keeping the wily veteran fresh will be a bonus for this Defense. If Mitchell and LeBeau are comfortable with Heyward and Hood together in games and subbing “The Beard” out for spells at a time, Keisel will undoubtedly be quite fresh come December and January. With a healthy “Beard” comes a happy Defensive Line and Defense as a whole come Playoff time.

Final Thoughts

I understand that these are only offseason workouts and that Hood is not actually kicking some tail out there against real live opponents yet. Nevertheless, seeing Hood’s dedication to get better and outplay his competition is something to look forward to in Training Camp. Hopefully this group can stay healthy and form a stout 3-man rotation at the position over the course of the year (4 if you count McLendon at 285 lbs. but 3 if he is at 325 lbs. and asked to man the Nose). My ultimate hope and wish is that Hood and Heyward can step up their games enough to relieve Keisel whenever he needs a breather. While “The Beard” may be one of those ostracized elderly Steelers Defenders that some in the media decry, he can still bring it. If all three can contribute regularly and at a high level, good things will happen because not only will they be making plays, but the Linebackers and Defensive Backs will be free to do their jobs and more. So as I stated previously, competition can breed success, and in my mind it could very well breed some great success along Pittsburgh’s Defensive front in 2012.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/06/09/competition-for-playing-time-at-5-technique-win-for-steelers/

Slapstick
06-11-2012, 07:42 AM
he reviewed tape of himself last year and said he has to play better

what does that tell you?

That he's mature and committed to becoming a better football player...

hawaiiansteel
06-14-2012, 12:31 AM
Heyward has high expectations this year

By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Defensive end Cameron Heyward feels more confident entering his second season with the Steelers, in part, because he’s had offseason practices and minicamp to prepare.

A year ago, the NFL lockout slowed his progressed.

“When you can slow it down, you’re going to have much more success,” said Heyward, a first-round selection in 2011. “I’ve been able to focus on my keys and execute.”

Heyward has higher expectations for himself this season.

“If there’s pressure, there’s pressure. I’m just going to do my job,” he said. “I don’t have to be an all-star. If I’m opening the gap for somebody else — it may not show up in the stats — then we’re winning. I just want to be a part of the mix, so I just have to execute.”

• The Steelers signed linebacker Brandon Johnson and long snapper Matt Katula on Wednesday. Johnson, a fifth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, spent the past four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, playing primarily on special teams and as a backup linebacker. Katula, a seven-year veteran, played with Baltimore, New England and Minnesota Vikings. He appeared in 93 games as a long snapper but only 13 games over the past two seasons. Katula, an undrafted free agent in 2005, played the last five games of 2011 with the Vikings. Also, the Steelers placed receiver Connor Dixon (South Park) on their waived/injured list and released tight end Wes Lyons (Woodland Hills).

• Running back Isaac Redman surprised himself with how quickly he grasped the offense of new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, especially the two-minute offense. “This is a learning camp,” Redman said. “Right now, we’re trying to get in a position where we’re not thinking about. We’re starting to get a hang of it. We’re starting to grasp the two-minute drill, but I surprised myself how I’ve caught on to the verbiage of it.”

• Rashard Mendenhall, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2011 regular-season finale, isn’t sure when he’ll be ready to play this season. “I’m not looking too far down the line, but right now, I’m comfortable with my recovery,” Mendenhall said. “The healing process has been going well.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...son-linebacker (http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/1978021-85/heyward-season-steelers-2011-games-katula-execute-expectations-johnson-linebacker)

hawaiiansteel
06-17-2012, 05:15 PM
Confidence on the line

By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer dlolley@observer-reporter.com

http://www.observer-reporter.com/assets/8192569/06-14-steelers-instory.jpg

PITTSBURGH - The numbers weren't overwhelming, but there is no doubt 2011 was a big year for Steelers defensive linemen Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward.

A 2009 first-round draft pick of the Steelers, Hood made 14 starts at defensive end because of injuries to Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith. Last year's top draft pick, Heyward, became the primary backup at defensive end for the same reason.

Both should reap the benefits of their playing time this season.

"I think I learned a lot from the playbook. I learned a lot more about my position," Heyward said as the Steelers continued their three-day mini-camp Wednesday at their practice facility on Pittsburgh's South Side.

"It's an ongoing process. From the first day, I am constantly learning and getting more confident in my abilities. Ultimately, as I'm more confident, I'm able to do more. I think it will show on the field."

Hood had 31 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season, and Heyward contributed 11 tackles and a sack.

Smith had 70 tackles in 2002, his most productive season. His career high for sacks was eight, a number he reached in 2001 and 2004.

Smith's play also was long considered the standard by which 3-4 defensive ends were measured. Injuries, however, limited his play in the past three seasons and finally forced his retirement after 13 seasons.

Hood has lowered his body fat from 24 percent to 18 percent. He now packs 307 pounds on his 6-3 frame and looks as if he were chiseled from a block of granite.

"My wife and I made a commitment to each other to eat better and take better care of our bodies," Hood said. "We wanted to eat healthy as a family thing. It all started with our second son being born. I got ahold of the right people to help me excel in that area."

It's part of Hood's commitment to help replace Smith's quiet leadership on the defensive line.

Keisel and nose tackle Casey Hampton will still be the most vocal people in the Steelers' defensive line meetings, but Hood feels he can bring something to that as well.

"That's leadership that's not here," Hood said. "It's something you could fall back on, something you might see differently from him. He could coach you and make you a better player.

"My strength is leading by example. I'm not a vocal guy. I let Keisel and Hamp do that. I'll lead by playing hard. Hopefully, some guys will follow that and push harder."

Either Hood or Heyward will win the starting job opposite Keisel, but both figure to play a lot in the Steelers' defensive line rotation.

Heyward's head was swimming just trying to learn the playbook at this point last season. Now, however, he feels much more prepared to compete and let his play on the field speak for itself.

"I think once training camp rolls around, I'll better be able to evaluate what I'm doing," Heyward said. "I'm just out here trying to get better with my technique. There's not a lot of physicalness right now. I definitely feel more confident and better to play my position on the field."

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sports11/06-14-2012-Steelers-Heyward-Hood

Sugar
06-26-2012, 03:39 PM
Got this off the front page: http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/ziggy_hoods_newest_workout_video/11093849

Ziggy is a BEAST!!! Hopefully, the work in the gym will translate to the field.

Oviedo
06-26-2012, 04:16 PM
Got this off the front page: http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/ziggy_hoods_newest_workout_video/11093849

Ziggy is a BEAST!!! Hopefully, the work in the gym will translate to the field.

A BEAST??? The guy is from another freakin planet. Jumping from his back onto a 50" height at 307lbs. That is unfreaking believeable. Lebeau--please let him rush the freakin passer instead of holding an OT at the LOS...PLEASE.

Sugar
06-26-2012, 04:19 PM
A BEAST??? The guy is from another freakin planet. Jumping from his back onto a 50" height at 307lbs. That is unfreaking believeable. Lebeau--please let him rush the freakin passer instead of holding an OT at the LOS...PLEASE.

I know that some guys are just workout warriors, but Ziggy was a ballplayer that has turned into a workout warrior. Methinks that he and Cam are going to be VERY hard to contain at the LOS. That's saying nothing about da' Beard, either.

Slapstick
06-26-2012, 04:45 PM
Ziggy was already am NFL caliber athlete and player...

This year, he has pretty much remade his body...lean athletes like runners compete with about a 12-15% body fat, IIRC...

A 300+ pound man at an 18%? Wow...

Jackson
06-27-2012, 02:35 PM
Ziggy's a bust.

Was going to say that about Heyward. Or, more accurately, ask when his inability to contribute anything worthwhile-much less claim a starting spot-gets the "bust" talk going. Ziggy may not be a bust, but he's surely a disappointing former 1st round pick.

Oviedo
06-27-2012, 02:42 PM
Was going to say that about Heyward. Or, more accurately, ask when his inability to contribute anything worthwhile-much less claim a starting spot-gets the "bust" talk going. Ziggy may not be a bust, but he's surely a disappointing former 1st round pick.

Every 1st Rounder Tomlin is associated with is a BUST. Them's just the rules. (sarcasm now)

Shoe
06-27-2012, 03:11 PM
I know that some guys are just workout warriors, but Ziggy was a ballplayer that has turned into a workout warrior. Methinks that he and Cam are going to be VERY hard to contain at the LOS. That's saying nothing about da' Beard, either.

It's funny how we dismiss "useless" drills (40 times) in one breath, and in the next breath we get all fired up over Hood and all this supposed talent. He is your classic workout warrior. It doesn't translate onto the field, certainly not to the level that his supposed talents would indicate.

Now, I'm not down on him. I think he can be a solid DE in our scheme. Same with Cam. Thinking he is anything more though (as if he is somehow restrained by the scheme) is silly and sets him up to look like a disappointment.

I'm thinking Keith Willis, I'm thinking Donald Evans, at best a Ray Seals. He's no Aaron Smith.

hawaiiansteel
06-27-2012, 03:23 PM
Every 1st Rounder Tomlin is associated with is a BUST. Them's just the rules.

David DeCastro is a bust, he hasn't done a damn thing yet to this point...:stirpot

hawaiiansteel
08-04-2012, 05:54 PM
Hood clear-cut starter

August 4, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An anticipated competition between two first-round draft choices at defensive end has not materialized in the first week of practice in pads in Latrobe.

As it was last season, Ziggy Hood ('09) starts on the left side and Cameron Heyward ('11) backs up Brett Keisel on the right. Hood started 10 games for an injured Aaron Smith in '10 and 14 games for Smith last season. This will be the first season he enters as the starter, provided things stay this way.

"I know what to do, I don't have to worry about learning the plays from somebody else," said Hood, describing what it means to enter this season No. 1 on the left. "I have the plays down."

He also cut some excess, he said, although he still weighs 305.

"I feel physically bigger. I dropped a lot of fat. The scale still reads 305, but I feel physically bigger."

His mentor, Smith, came to be honored by the Steelers and their fans and officially announce his retirement from football. Hood learned plenty from Smith in his three seasons with him, including techniques applied off the field.

"You see a lot of old guys put Icy Hot on themselves, like Aaron" Hood said of the pain-relieving cream. "I see why he did it because it warmed himself up, so I started doing it. I'd rather do it now than in my later-on years when everything would catch up to me at the last minute."

Quick hits

• The Steelers added cornerback Josh Victorian (No. 35) to replace Terry Carter, who was waived injured. Victorian has been with three teams since 2011 without making a roster.

• Roethlisberger threw early in practice but was held out of the 11-on-11 drills. Keisel and running back John Clay did not practice. None is known to be injured.

• Guard Willie Colon and defensive end Cam Heyward got into a tussle, and then Colon squared up and fired a punch to Heyward's helmet. They were then separated.

• Colon (ankle) and Isaac Redman (groin) came away with injuries Friday night.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/wallaces-absence-strains-depth-647530/#ixzz22bntqBDO

fezziwig
08-06-2012, 03:32 PM
I can't rememeber who was on the boards when Hood got picked so I'm guessing the Steelers went with best available player at the time. Or maybe that was the reason they got Heyward or was it they figured out Hood wasn't cutting the mustard so then they got Heyward. Anyway, I remember when many thought Kiesel wasn't pulling his weight but look at him now. Having said all that, Hood doesn't impress me one bit but maybe we can continue to hang our hats on next year Hood might have a breakout season. Sound like any linebacker you might know ?

lloydroid
08-06-2012, 04:38 PM
I can't rememeber who was on the boards when Hood got picked so I'm guessing the Steelers went with best available player at the time. Or maybe that was the reason they got Heyward or was it they figured out Hood wasn't cutting the mustard so then they got Heyward. Anyway, I remember when many thought Kiesel wasn't pulling his weight but look at him now. Having said all that, Hood doesn't impress me one bit but maybe we can continue to hang our hats on next year Hood might have a breakout season. Sound like any linebacker you might know ?

Hood has been working out like an animal and has transformed his body from being chubby and fat into being ripped and beastly. Watch out for the difference it will make this year. As for Heyward seeing the field, he will see it plenty, either though rotation or injury, but Heyward will be out there a lot.

See the insanity of Zig's workouts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq53TKUWxNQ

fezziwig
08-06-2012, 04:48 PM
Nice workout but, can he open up lanes for our linebackers ? All joking aside.....wow !

lloydroid
08-06-2012, 05:42 PM
Nice workout but, can he open up lanes for our linebackers ? All joking aside.....wow !

Open lanes for LBs? He might be actually putting pressure on the QB HIMSELF and when was the last time we had a D lineman who could do that? I know in our 3-4 it is not the job of the DL to pressure the QB, generally speaking. But it sure would be a nice luxury if we had one who could, on occasion, get to the QB himself. Now add in the pressure from Woodley, Harrison, et al and WOW.

fezziwig
08-06-2012, 05:55 PM
I thought the same thing if he could actually put some pressure on the QB's and perhaps dare I say, " some sacks " I know our defense is not built on DE sacks but it would be nice to see these guys get a little fun once in a while by knocking down a qb or two.
The thing about having muscles, being strong and all that stuff and that stuff is good but, I've learned in the past by listening to the old timers or vet that, experience is a lot of the key when it comes down to it. When they start learning the hand work, foot work and body movements it allows them to take the next level of being a better player. You know all that talk like, once I no longer need to think about it and just reacting to a guys move, makes a world of difference. Cool for Ziggy and how hard he is trying. I wonder with the training he is doing if that is normal stuff for NFL players or is he just doing something few attempt ?

lloydroid
08-06-2012, 07:00 PM
I thought the same thing if he could actually put some pressure on the QB's and perhaps dare I say, " some sacks " I know our defense is not built on DE sacks but it would be nice to see these guys get a little fun once in a while by knocking down a qb or two.
The thing about having muscles, being strong and all that stuff and that stuff is good but, I've learned in the past by listening to the old timers or vet that, experience is a lot of the key when it comes down to it. When they start learning the hand work, foot work and body movements it allows them to take the next level of being a better player. You know all that talk like, once I no longer need to think about it and just reacting to a guys move, makes a world of difference. Cool for Ziggy and how hard he is trying. I wonder with the training he is doing if that is normal stuff for NFL players or is he just doing something few attempt ?

I actually know the guy that sold them most of the equipment he was using in the video. And it is all leading-edge stuff for training and great for improving football production. Ziggy will be a beast from training in this way. Just look at the difference in his body - less fat, more muscle and more speed. It will matter. The guys making/creating this type of training have known of how great it works back in the mid 90s.

Sugar
08-06-2012, 07:25 PM
I actually know the guy that sold them most of the equipment he was using in the video. And it is all leading-edge stuff for training and great for improving football production. Ziggy will be a beast from training in this way. Just look at the difference in his body - less fat, more muscle and more speed. It will matter. The guys making/creating this type of training have known of how great it works back in the mid 90s.

Add to the better body yet another year of NFL experience and a real camp this year. I'm looking for good things from Ziggy. He was already known to have a high motor, so now he's added to the package.

RuthlessBurgher
08-07-2012, 10:24 AM
Or maybe that was the reason they got Heyward or was it they figured out Hood wasn't cutting the mustard so then they got Heyward.

Hood was drafted in 2009. Aaron Smith turned 33 in 2009. Knowing that it typically takes a couple of years for a rookie d-lineman to develop into a legit 3-4 DE, and Aaron would be in his mid-30's and likely near the end of his playing career when Ziggy was ready for prime time, the pick of Hood as Smith's eventual replacement made sense.

Heyward was drafted in 2011. Brett Keisel turned 33 in 2011. Knowing that it typically takes a couple of years for a rookie d-lineman to develop into a legit 3-4 DE, and Brett would be in his mid-30's and likely near the end of his playing career when Cam was ready for prime time, the pick of Heyward as Keisel's eventual replacement made sense.

hawaiiansteel
08-16-2012, 05:11 PM
Comfort level improves for Heyward

2012-08-16
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cameron Heyward and the rest of the 2011 rookie class had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of the NFL labor dispute a year ago. The lack of a collective bargaining agreement meant that Heyward and other rookies could not benefit from participation in offseason training activities or a full-length training camp.

A young player learning a complicated defense, Heyward, a 6-foot-5, 288-pound defensive end from Ohio State, never did feel completely comfortable playing in Dick LeBeau's defense last season.

"It takes time," said Heyward, who was the 31st overall selection in the 2011 draft. "It's different for everyone, but this defense is a little bit complicated and you just have to study."

In his second training camp, Heyward has a better comfort level, and he is hoping that will translate into a more productive season. He played in a reserve role a year ago and recorded nine tackles and a sack in the regular season. When starting right end Brett Keisel went down with an injury in a playoff game at Denver, Heyward played more and had three tackles in a 29-23 overtime loss.

"Everything was a whirlwind last year," he said. "I wouldn't change it. I just feel more comfortable with the playbook this year. Having a true offseason with OTAs, I know why I am doing something as opposed to knowing I have to do something. Overall, I feel healthier and stronger than last year."

There was some speculation before training camp began that Heyward would push Ziggy Hood for the starting job at left defensive end, but Heyward has worked almost exclusively behind Keisel at right end through the first three weeks of training camp.

"I wasn't even thinking in that regard," Heyward said. "I can't look at it as a numbers game or where I am on the depth chart. My main thing is I have to worry about doing my technique right. Hopefully, the coaches have confidence in me to go out there."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/comfort-level-improves-for-heyward-649123/#ixzz23jo8BOgB

fezziwig
08-16-2012, 05:19 PM
Everytime I listen to Heyward I feel this guy has his head on correct and with that he is going to make for an excellent Steeler type for years to come.

Oviedo
08-16-2012, 05:22 PM
Open lanes for LBs? He might be actually putting pressure on the QB HIMSELF and when was the last time we had a D lineman who could do that? I know in our 3-4 it is not the job of the DL to pressure the QB, generally speaking. But it sure would be a nice luxury if we had one who could, on occasion, get to the QB himself. Now add in the pressure from Woodley, Harrison, et al and WOW.

Harrison is broke. Woodley already has a nagging groin. Our DL had better get after the QB or we are in real trouble.

fezziwig
08-16-2012, 05:27 PM
From what I've been hearing, McClendon might be that double featured talent that can free things up for our linebackers and still make it to the QB.

Oviedo
08-17-2012, 08:07 AM
From what I've been hearing, McClendon might be that double featured talent that can free things up for our linebackers and still make it to the QB.

I think so too. I also think both Ziggy and Heyward have the ability to go after the QB if they are turned loose.

fezziwig
08-17-2012, 01:24 PM
I think McClendon, Kiesel, Heyward and Hood could really add something to the defense this season. I would love for Lebeau to put in a couple of 4-3 packages/plays.

Oviedo
08-17-2012, 01:41 PM
I think McClendon, Kiesel, Heyward and Hood could really add something to the defense this season. I would love for Lebeau to put in a couple of 4-3 packages/plays.


When I read what you typed I started to tear up a little bit. A couple 4-3 packages...I think I would cry.

fezziwig
08-17-2012, 01:49 PM
cry in fear or for joy

Oviedo
08-17-2012, 02:36 PM
cry in fear or for joy

joy joy happy happy :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

hawaiiansteel
09-03-2012, 02:54 AM
Steelers’ Heyward ready to contribute in 2nd season

By — By Ralph N. Paulk —
Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=TZAf_ 3hdo03bTZutFvdbzs$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvDEM0EcARkEl8 rNvdjCAsRWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward plays against the Panthers on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, at Heinz Field

Cam Heyward has a bad attitude — on the field, anyway.

The Steelers’ second-year defensive end couldn’t resist leaping into the fray of any dispute during training camp. Instinctively, it seemed, he dumped gasoline instead of water on every fire.

“Cam is always in a fight,” guard Ramon Foster said. “But that’s just him. I’m glad to have him on my side because I know he’s not going to back down.

“You can’t tell him to calm down. I don’t want to change that about him.”

Heyward ended up in the middle of most skirmishes at St. Vincent College. It began with guard Willie Colon. It continue with former Ohio State teammate and rookie tackle Mike Adams and then again with rookie guard Kelvin Beachum.

Heyward challenged them all, sometimes without provocation.

It’s not about flexing his muscles or proving he’s tough enough. It’s about intimidation.

“I don’t think the fights ever stopped,” Heyward said. “I’m a different person on the field. I leave it on the field because after that I’m done.

“I’ve always been a guy involved in skirmishes. I guess I’ve got a temper problem.”

It’s just a facade, really, said nose tackle Steve McLendon.

“Cam really doesn’t have an attitude problem,” McLendon said. “He just likes to play fast. He gives it everything, and if you don’t like it, you better get out of the way.”

Heyward spun his wheels throughout much of his rookie campaign in 2011. He couldn’t gain much traction, partly because he struggled to adjust to complex blocking schemes after three years of tormenting Big Ten linemen.

Admittedly, he intimidated no one.

A quicker, stronger Heyward possesses far more confidence as the Steelers prepare for their regular-season opener Sunday against Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

“It’s been a good start, but there are a number of things I can improve on, including better technique, taking better steps and using my hands more often,” Heyward said. “It’s a lot better than last year.”

Heyward, like other young players on last year’s roster, was adversely affected by a lockout that erased OTAs and minicamp. He progressed some but not enough to have a significant impact on an aging defensive front that lost nose tackle Casey Hampton and end Brett Keisel in a 29-23 overtime defeat to the Broncos in an AFC wild-card game in January.

Heyward spent part of the offseason workouts catching up. He focused primarily on using good extension while pass rushing and getting comfortable with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s playbook.

“I’m more in-tune and not thinking on the field, and I’m playing faster,” Heyward said. “I’m much more violent with my hands, and I’m staying tight on blocks but staying in my gap.”

Heyward, who missed the preseason opener at Philadelphia with a sore back, didn’t do much against Indianapolis or Buffalo. But he was an intimidating presence in the preseason finale against Carolina.

He showed signs of the player coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert envisioned when they made him the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. His stat line against the Panthers was overshadowed by how he collapsed the pocket or neutralized blockers to funnel running backs to linebackers — a prerequisite skill for the Steelers, considering safeties Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu had a combined 190 tackles last season.

“We’re taking the challenge to be an impenetrable force up front,” Heyward said. “We don’t want to make our DBs our leading tacklers again.”

The Steelers had the top-ranked defense last season despite a rather uninspiring performance by the defensive front. But its weaknesses were exposed by the Broncos, as quarterback Tim Tebow avoided only token pressure to make big plays in the passing game, including an 80-yard, game-winning touchdown pass on the first play of overtime.

The expectations are greater for Heyward this season. Perhaps there’s no greater challenge than facing quarterback Peyton Manning in the opener.

“If there’s high expectations, so be it,” Heyward said. “I have my own high expectations. I have to live up to those.”

Heyward figures he has a fighting chance of proving he can deliver. No longer is he buoyed by a sterling college reputation. His performance — good, bad or indifferent — is no longer overshadowed by pedigree: his late father and Pitt star Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.

“Cam doesn’t talk about what he’s going to do; he just does it,” Foster said. “He is definitely getting his own identity as he wants to be perceived. There’s always going to be a comparison between him and his dad. He can’t get past that, but he’s making a name for himself.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/2487745-85/heyward-field-season-steelers-cam-defensive-2011-expectations-front-game#ixzz25NZgwjte

Decleater
09-03-2012, 08:18 AM
Think about this. There are going to be a lot more knee, leg, ankle, hip and groin injuries this season due to 'helmet to helmet' hits being outlawed. Where else can defenders administer decleaters but low? This was actually predicted by one James Harrison when fines first started being given out.

Cameron Heyward will be a force on our D for years to come. So will Ziggy Hood.