View Full Version : Steelers Ziggy Hood, more than just a rookie

08-13-2009, 08:24 PM
Steelers Ziggy Hood, more than just a rookie
August 13, 1:03 PMPittsburgh Sports Examiner
Matt Pawlikowski

PITTSBURGH - The Steelers first round pick Ziggy Hood will get his chance to take center stage Thursday night, as the regulars are not expected to play more than a few series.

If his attitude towards learning is any indicator of what one might see, it should be a good debut for Hood, who has looked impressive in drills, and even on off days, such as Tuesday morning in camp, is found studying films instead of relaxing in the dorms.

" He's a sharp kid, and he has good football character," Steeler coach Mike Tomlin said. "We said those things about him when we drafted him. Everyone you asked at Missori or who had contact with this young man talks about things you can't measure with him. His physical talents are his physical talents, but what he is willing to do is what attracted us to him, and he hasn't disappointed in that regard."

Hood was drafted with one thing in mind. Being the lineman of the future for the Steelers, with good reason.

Travis Kirschke is in his 13th season for the Steelers, Aaron Smith is in his 11th season and Casey Hampton his ninth, while Brett Keisel (eighth year) and Nick Eason (seventh year) are also up there. Nose tackle Chris Hoke, who has been Hampton's backup the past five years, is also entering his ninth year in the NFL.

"He's going to be a good player and be a good player for a long time," Smith said. "He's a good kid, he works hard and he is a smart kid and he listens. I really like him as a player and as a person."

Smith is a player whose mind Hood has picked since he's been in camp and OTA's with the Steelers.

"Any little teaching technique that he's taught me I've taken and I have been trying to learn from it," Hood said. " He's been a vet and in the game for so long, I have no choice but to listen to him."

While Smith has become a mentor, Hood says he is trying to pick all the veterans minds and get better.

I'm leaning a whole lot, and trying to learn from every player on this team," Hood said. "I'm especially learning the defensive line part on how you have to run to the ball and really about being more physical on the attack. Wherever coach feels he need me to be, I will adjust to it and get better."

During his career at Missouri, Hood had 15.5 sacks, 170 tackles and 22 stops for losses. He also forced five fumbles and blocked a kick. Asked what his goals are for the upcoming year, his humility surfaced. He did this out of a 4-3 system though.

But in the Steelers, The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hood couldn't have asked for a better situation to be in. Many players of his caliber are drafted by a team that has missed the playoffs, and are thrust into a starting role. With the Steelers, he lands with the Super Bowl champs, and has time to grow.

"Right now, I'm just sitting back, viewing all the vets, learning everything until that time comes," Hood said. "It's a good learning experience, but I'm doing a lot better than the last OTAs we attended. I'm doing a great job working on my technique and doing everything I can to get better out here."

08-13-2009, 09:52 PM

08-13-2009, 10:52 PM
Fisrt I got to see of him was tonight being out here on the west coast and all......He is pretty big....He should have no problem playing nose if he has to.......

08-13-2009, 11:04 PM
Ziggy is a big versatile D-lineman that can play anywhere on the line. When he was at Missouri the coaches had to move him around so teams couldn't plan against him, they even put him at DE!

08-13-2009, 11:58 PM
impressive play by hood
think the best (rookie, 2 year) in the game

The Definiti0n
08-14-2009, 12:40 AM
He played well. I saw him inside on passing downs, outside in a 2 point stance...a versatile guy.

Galax Steeler
08-14-2009, 05:54 AM
He played good last night in his first game.

08-14-2009, 06:27 AM
i liked the ziggy dance, lol.

08-14-2009, 01:32 PM
i liked the ziggy dance, lol.

Yeah agreed. Good stuff :thumbsup:

(And based on his work ethic and attitude, we dont have to worry about him going overboard)

08-14-2009, 01:44 PM
I don't know, I would have liked to see him be a little more physical off the ball. He seemed to be dancing with the O'lineman instead of blowing him away. The sack was nothing special, he came in untouched as the O'lineman blew his assignment. I think he still needs a lot of work.

But the dance was good.