In five years in SF, he has averaged over six sacks per year...not unheard of in a single season for Steelers 3-4 DEs, but never such an number over the course of several years...Keisel averaged less than half that number over the last five years...
More than 5 sacks by a DE In our system is rare more than common. And if you look at all of the sex, there's probably a few quarterback fall downs or blown assignments to get +5. Keisel has been very good but not out of the gate. He was a backup for years I think. Are the young DEs getting better?
Yes, but Hood may never reach Smith status. And while he was regarded as very good, how many pro bowls did he win in his first 10yrs? He did his job quietly. Sacks and pro bowls aren't much notice of us having good DEs.
Keisel's a good athlete for a DE, but he's still nowhere close to as good as Aaron Smith was. In that context, we've lowered the standard of performance on the DLine. We're comparing Hood and Heyward to Keisel's performance which is a step down from Smitty.
And we picked Hood and Heyward with first round picks. These guys need to be better than Smitty, otherwise, we're always gonna view them as a bit of a bust.
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 5.14.13
TUESDAY, 14 MAY 2013 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE
Dsf: Last week I asked about Cam Heyward playing in a similar 3-4 at Ohio State, and you said that Heyward has not been playing b/c Keisel has been so good, but Gerry has commented that Heyward frequently looks lost and confused. Do you see that in Heyward as well?
Ed Bouchette: I've been told that Heyward is better than Ziggy Hood and will get a chance to unseat him this year.
dave: Do you know if Casey Hampton wants to keep playing? Would he be willing to come back as a backup?
Ed Bouchette: I believe Casey does want to keep playing, at least that is what he said at the end of the year (but then, so did Hines Ward at the end of 2011). I don't think the Steelers want him back.
Zack: If we don't play on resigning Ziggy, because he would be better in a 4-3 scheme, couldn't we look to trade him
Ed Bouchette: First, I don't know that they don't plan to re-sign him and, second, trades don't happen very often in this league, especially by the team you are talking about. I suppose they could trade him, but I don' t think they'd get a high pick for him.
JamesinNYC: Any chance they could flip Hood inside with McClendon moving to DE?
Ed Bouchette: I think Steve McLendon could do that, but I don't think they will at this stage of Ziggy's career.