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Galax Steeler
01-26-2010, 05:27 AM
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

He didn’t expect to get the playing time he did this season, but when he was called upon Ziggy Hood stepped up.

The Steelers number one draft pick in 2009 thought most of his learning his rookie season would be done from the sidelines, watching the veterans ahead of him. But when injures started to mount on the defensive line, Hood was called to duty.

“When I came in I was told I would catch one or two snaps and spend most time on special teams,” said Hood. “When ‘Big A’ (Aaron Smith) went down, and I had to step in for Travis (Kirschke) and Nick (Eason) when they needed a break and for Brett (Keisel),

“I did what I had to do and came in and think I played pretty well. There were some aspects where I was disappointed. If I would have done this a little bit more, took this right step or shot my hands quicker maybe I would have done a whole lot more. It was a big bonus for me to go in there. I had no idea I was going to play this much anyway.”

Hood finished the season with seven tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery, but took away something even more important from his first season in the NFL.
“Having the experience under my belt and stepping on the field first hand were important,” said Hood. “Next year will hopefully be a lot better and I will come out stronger and play a whole lot better.

“It was all a mental game. There are some things you can do, try to outrun someone, out power them. Toward the end you had to become a whole lot smarter. That is where I developed more. Instead of just using my athletic ability I was looking beyond, looking at the formation, looking at the guy in front of me and trying to really study, what can he do, what blocks can I get, how can I approach this and disrupt the offensive line.”

* * *

While Hood was getting increased playing time, Smith could do nothing but watch his team after being placed on injured reserve on Oct. 14. And it wasn’t easy.

“It was the most frustrated I have been,” said Smith. “I have been on injured reserve before but it wasn’t this long. To watch this many games and not be able to help the guys and contribute is hard for me to take.”

And what made it even harder was seeing the team struggle at times during the season, especially when they went through a five-game losing streak.

“It’s hard to just watch,” said Smith. You build relationships and you are part of the team and to see them struggle. I don’t know if I would have made a difference, but I sure would have liked to help them out.”

Smith, though, plans on being back ready to go for the 2010 season.

“I am doing really well. I plan on coming back in full force and contributing next year,” said Smith. “The offseason is really important to get back to where I can compete and help the team.”

http://news.steelers.com/article/116982/

stillers4me
01-26-2010, 05:36 AM
Welcome, Aaron!

HometownGal
01-26-2010, 07:32 AM
I feel Ziggy played decently for a guy who is still in the infancy of his career. :thumbsup: He's still learning the ropes in the Steelers D and I have no doubt he is going to be a difference maker in the seasons to come.

Good to see that Aaron is recovering nicely and expects to be back ready to rumble next season. :applaudit:

CanadianSteel
01-26-2010, 11:45 AM
Nice read and good to see Ziggy get some quality snaps this year as I do think it will benefit him going into his second season. Confident he can play at this level but understanding he has lots to learn.

supa_fly_steeler
01-26-2010, 12:45 PM
Id love to see Hood sack flacco on his head for a screensaver. He's gonna be a great DE imo.

zulater
01-26-2010, 05:05 PM
I think Ziggy will be a big part of our defense next year.:thumbsup:

steelpride12
01-26-2010, 06:48 PM
Hood with the limited snaps and action he had played pretty well and im sure is no easy process to learn and master that tricky Lebeau defense.
He will become something special for this D line down the road and I hope he can continue to grow stronger, and smarter for the seasons to come as a back up roll.

Northside Jonny
01-26-2010, 06:59 PM
Ziggy will most certainly contribute more next season. He was learning a new blocking scheme and with a year under his belt and two training camps I think he will play a much bigger role next season. Glad to have him he's a smart dude graduating in three years and playing for Mizzou. Now he got nothing but time to study the playbook especially now that the rookie jitters will be gone.

Chidi29
01-26-2010, 07:49 PM
Hood is yet another reason why Aaron Smith could easily get cut in camp.

Northside Jonny
01-26-2010, 07:56 PM
Hood is yet another reason why Aaron Smith could easily get cut in camp.

We all know competition breeds success, I don't see any scenario where the steelers cut Aaron Smith he is way to valuable. If anything they will rotate to keep eachother fresh.

Chidi29
01-26-2010, 08:04 PM
We all know competition breeds success, I don't see any scenario where the steelers cut Aaron Smith he is way to valuable. If anything they will rotate to keep eachother fresh.

I know that cutting Smith sounds crazy and I understand and agree with how valuable he's been to the team, but it's very possible he gets the axe.

1. He's in his mid-30's. Been playing DE for a long time. Like a NT, it takes its toll on you. Maybe slightly less of one but you're constantly throwing yourself into guards and tackle every play, especially as a 3-4 DE whose job is to clog up blockers, not get around them.

2. Torn rotator cuff. To go along with his torn bicep in 2007. With your arms and upper body strength obviously being as important as they are to a DE, he needs to be able to recover from this. I have my doubts that he'll be the same player. Rotator cuffs are nasty things.

3. Hood. For the aforementioned reasons.

4. Money: Even without a cap, if a player isn't worth what he makes, he'll get cut. You still have to be smart about how you go about your money and treat it like a normal year as best you can. We'll owe him $5 million in 2010.

Northside Jonny
01-26-2010, 09:35 PM
Smith will be back and be hungry you ake some good points, but I don't think this team is in the position to make more holes where they don't have them . Hopefully he retires a Steeler I love Aaron Smiths game I don't think it is possible for a player to be more underrated. Not to mention a more underappreciated player in terms of national media. They seem to always find a way to shove a guy like Ngata down your throat what has he won ? How long he been doin what he's doin? Smith has 2 rings and 11 seasons nuff said. Man I hope your wrong.

Psyychoward86
01-26-2010, 09:38 PM
i sure hope Hood isnt plaesed with his rookie season. Satisfaction only takes away the carrot on a stick in front of your face. Never be satisfied Ziggy, but yeah im very pleased

steeltheone
01-26-2010, 10:35 PM
Hood is yet another reason why Aaron Smith could easily get cut in camp.

It makes alot of sense if this happens. I believe Hood is due 1.5 to Smith's 6 million this upcoming season. there is not near that much difference in drop off in play from one to the other. You will get crucified for pointing this out though. This board wants to keep Farrior, Smith , Keisel , Hampton and Clark and wonder why our defense folds in the 4th with a senior citizen squad.

OneForTheToe
01-26-2010, 11:26 PM
It makes alot of sense if this happens. I believe Hood is due 1.5 to Smith's 6 million this upcoming season. there is not near that much difference in drop off in play from one to the other. You will get crucified for pointing this out though. This board wants to keep Farrior, Smith , Keisel , Hampton and Clark and wonder why our defense folds in the 4th with a senior citizen squad.

Yea, we're funny that way .......we don't want to see the team cut a player who was still playing at a pro bowl level, before he was injured (and who is still under contract), for a promising yet unproven player. This is particularly true when there is no reason not to keep both.

But that is just how we roll.:coffee:

The Duke
01-26-2010, 11:46 PM
It makes alot of sense if this happens. I believe Hood is due 1.5 to Smith's 6 million this upcoming season. there is not near that much difference in drop off in play from one to the other. You will get crucified for pointing this out though. This board wants to keep Farrior, Smith , Keisel , Hampton and Clark and wonder why our defense folds in the 4th with a senior citizen squad.

Hey, if the steelers gave any indication they would ever even think about cutting smith, then it could be something to talk about. He's their guy, everyone respects him, he's a leader for this team

Face it, he's staying

As for Hood, can't wait to see him next season. Hopefully he has a Woodley/Timmons type of impact on their 2nd season

Galax Steeler
01-27-2010, 05:51 AM
I might be wrong but I don't see Smith being cut. If anything he will be kept around to help Hood and rotate in and out. I am sure we will see Hood on the field more this year.

Chidi29
01-27-2010, 03:39 PM
Hey, if the steelers gave any indication they would ever even think about cutting smith, then it could be something to talk about. He's their guy, everyone respects him, he's a leader for this team

Face it, he's staying

As for Hood, can't wait to see him next season. Hopefully he has a Woodley/Timmons type of impact on their 2nd season

It's a business. Not about who is the fan favorite. If Smith isn't worth keeping, he isn't worth keeping. It's bad business to pay a guy who isn't worth the money he's making.

The Steelers haven't been afraid to cut "blue collar, Steeler" guys or let them walk. Foote, Haggans, Faneca, and Porter come to mind.

It'd be about $1.8 million cheaper to cut Smith than to keep him so from a financial standpoint, it makes sense.

I'm not saying to cut him if he recovers from his injury, but that seems like asking a lot and I don't know if he can do it. I hope he does but there is a difference between hope and reality.

Chidi29
01-27-2010, 03:42 PM
Smith will be back and be hungry you ake some good points, but I don't think this team is in the position to make more holes where they don't have them . Hopefully he retires a Steeler I love Aaron Smiths game I don't think it is possible for a player to be more underrated. Not to mention a more underappreciated player in terms of national media. They seem to always find a way to shove a guy like Ngata down your throat what has he won ? How long he been doin what he's doin? Smith has 2 rings and 11 seasons nuff said. Man I hope your wrong.

Unless we decide to draft another DE. I wouldn't rule it out. I have mixed feelings on whether I would want us to do it - I know I hated it when we took Hood last year - but it's possible we'll go that route, especially if it's BPA which the Steelers are notorious for doing.

We have been heavily scouting Corey Wooton from Northwestern all year long.

AllD
01-27-2010, 04:57 PM
Remember Mario Williams did not have a huge impact his first season. Everybody was booing when the Texans took him instead of Reggie Bush. Looks like Williams was the better pick, but it took time for him to develop.

Northside Jonny
01-27-2010, 06:14 PM
It's a business. Not about who is the fan favorite. If Smith isn't worth keeping, he isn't worth keeping. It's bad business to pay a guy who isn't worth the money he's making.

The Steelers haven't been afraid to cut "blue collar, Steeler" guys or let them walk. Foote, Haggans, Faneca, and Porter come to mind.
It'd be about $1.8 million cheaper to cut Smith than to keep him so from a financial standpoint, it makes sense.

I'm not saying to cut him if he recovers from his injury, but that seems like asking a lot and I don't know if he can do it. I hope he does but there is a difference between hope and reality.

Last time I checked the steelers did not cut anyone of these guys they all had expired contracts and left to chase the $$$$$$$$$$$$. Smith is under contract and is not going to get cut. Like I said before the FO is not dumb enough to create hole where there isn't one . You say its about business well last time I checked the steelers business is winning championships . You don't do that by making holes where there wasn't one to begin with.. If his contract was up they might let him walk but they are not cutting Smith it just makes no sense..