This is his 3rd season. He's had time to get acclimated. He has had no injuries holding him back (knock on wood). And he has *what we all see as* an average DE in front of him (not to mention an aging stalwart on the other side). The time for him is now.
If he doesn't win the job coming out of camp, I would say it is all she wrote (unless of course... Hood does finally emerge as a star! )
Ed Bouchette, has shared saying he has heard they Heyward is better and will be given the chance to unseat him this year.
I don't know if Heyward will unseat Hood, but everyone sits on our D. Only Fat Casey got the nod (his rookie year)
Yes Heyward has had 2, but he was drafted TO SIT. The Steelers made it very clear that they drafted him as a BPA deal, and he was to wait (presumably on Kiesel)
I recall when Polamalu rode the Bench he was nicknamed Bustamalu, we were sure wrong about that.
Heyward did recieve a lot more snaps this year (after getting his time in week 11 I believe) than years past and he was drafted to sit and wait behind Kiesel.
I think that Heyward will not recieve the starting job as they will want Hood to play the final year of his contract out to see what they got, and Heyward will get the nod to get a lot more snaps on the field (quite a bit more) for a more constant D-Line rotation.
Edit: Timmons sat for a few years himself, and now he is one of the better ILBs in the NFL
Last edited by Dupree; 06-02-2013 at 08:34 PM.
The Timmons comparison isn't quite right. Timmons was trying to make a switch to a completely new league, new defensive system, and new position. Heyward played in a 3-4 at OSU.
I'm not ready to write off Hood as a bust just yet. He finished the season strong and has something to build off going into this season. Playing DE in a 3-4 is not the easiest of positions. Outside of Aaron Smith and Richard Seymour, have there really been any other truly great 3-4 DEs?
Keisel got good, but it took him a while, but I remember for years people saying he was weak at the point of attack and couldn't hold up against the run.
And if we really dig into the numbers, Aaron Smith only had 50+ tackles 3 seasons and Keisel twice. Could Hood have had more tackles? Sure. But many more than 42 isn't typical for his position. 3 sacks aren't that bad either from his position.
There are more positives than negatives in his game. The problem is we drafted him with a first round pick. If we took him later, people would look at him differently. I think we want All Pros with our 1st round picks. And we didn't get it. But that doesn't make him a horrible player. It's not his fault Colbert and company drafted him #1.
And we're always going to compare him to Smitty who always took on a double team. That's the problem across our D line. Everyone of our guys can be handled with 1 blocker except for Casey who's now gone too. It puts even more pressure on our LBs.
All that said, I think Hood can get over the hump and be a solid player.
And OSU's 3-4 is no where near our 3-4.
They basically play a 4-3, in their alignment.
What OSU played was a 1-gap system, like what Houston Does with J.J. Watt, thats a far cry from what we do here.
Look at Mike Devito, a free agent from the Jets that signed a very reasonable deal with KC in the offseason. Is Ziggy Hood any better than he is?
Even aside from numbers, the eye test also tells a part of the story. You would frequently see teams open by running to the offensive right - directly at Ziggy. And he could not hold the point of attack. Obviously, the rest of the league saw him as a weak spot, and they attacked.
Ziggy Hood needs to play better. As a late first round pick, I don't expect a pro bowl player, but I do expect him to be an above average starter, and right now, he is not.
Didn't the Steelers end up with the #2 rush defense last year? Ziggy was never benched...so, he was out on the field to help the team earn that ranking...
If he were as pathetic as posters make him out to be, the rush defense could not have been that good with him on the field...and, he was on the field...
IMO, Hood's biggest problem with the fans is not being named Aaron Smith. I think this is the last year of his rookie contract, so we should get a glimpse into what the football minds of the Steelers think of him after the season when it comes time to sign his second contract. Inconsistency is his biggest problem right now. I'm still hoping he becomes what the Steelers believed he could be when they drafted him.
"Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll