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Thread: Can Cameron Heyward beat out Ziggy Hood?

  1. #1

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    Can Cameron Heyward beat out Ziggy Hood?

    Pittsburgh Steelers News Bulletin: The Rise of Cameron Heyward

    by Neal Coolong on May 17, 2012

    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.


  2. #2
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    Great problem to have, with these two guys competing.
    Steel City Mafia
    So Cal Boss (Ret)

    My son's first Kansas Turkey!

  3. #3
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    I think the best case scenario is that both of them perform so well that they start opposite each other and Kiesel spells them.

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    Ziggy's a bust.

  5. #5

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    wouldn't making one play outperform hood?

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    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

    [URL] sburgh_steelers_roster/10870529[/URL]

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    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!

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    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.

  9. #9

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    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.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash View Post
    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
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 05-26-2012 at 10:47 AM.


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