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Fire Haley
03-14-2010, 02:19 PM
Modest Hood is focused on getting better

Evander "Ziggy" Hood grew up in Amarillo knowing that when the subject turned to the NFL, this place bleeds the silver and blue of the Dallas Cowboys.

But for more than two hours Thursday, Hood turned part of Amarillo into "Steeler Nation."

http://www.amarillo.com/images/031410/69001_270.jpg
http://www.amarillo.com/images/031410/69002_270.jpg

In a store called Gameday near the Westgate Mall, Hood sat in the middle of the jam-packed store at a table next to his dad, Charles, and was engulfed by Pittsburgh fans decked out in black and gold in the heart of Cowboys country.

He signed purses, T-shirts and shot glasses with the Steelers logo. He signed football cards, photos, many No. 96 Steelers jerseys with HOOD on the back. And sometimes, as many as six or seven items for one person.

The 300-pound plus Hood, a muscular mountain of a man, is a Palo Duro graduate and was the first-round draft pick of Pittsburgh Steelers last year after starring on the defensive line for the Missouri Tigers.

Hood said he is taking a break from his workout schedule in Pittsburgh for a week or so to be with family and friends in Amarillo.

And his fans.

"This is the greatest day of my life," one young girl shouted after taking a picture with Hood.

"Can you win us another Super Bowl?' asked a man wearing a leather Steelers jacket.

"We'll try," said Hood, breaking into a smile.

Hood is a man of few words. He signed and signed free of charge on this day.

Hood is also a man proud to call Amarillo his home, and he has been kind enough to share his road to the NFL with all of us.

He talked with Palo Duro football players for an hour this week. He continues to keep his feet on the ground. And this good guy who got more and more playing time as the season progressed, answered a few of my questions,

My favorite answer was about his impression of the NFL after a year.

"Until your name is ringing like Jerry Rice, and you know you have it made," Hood said. "Until then, I have to keep on working."

In his first season, Hood played in all 16 games, made eight tackles, had one sack and defensed two passes.

Hood took time out from his autograph schedule to answer a few more questions.

What's it mean to see this many fans come out and want your signature?

"The Steelers fan base is growing in Amarillo. We didn't have too much to smile about (during the season). To come in here and see all these smiles, I'll take that day. Hopefully, I can bring a smile to them, too."

What was your message to the Palo Duro football team?

"For me it's about if I can help just one kid get out (to college) - mission accomplished. Not everybody is going to have a chance to play in the NFL. I know that and they know that. It's a business. It's the league.

"But what I told them is if you can put your effort in other ways in life and help contribute to society and help others, then you are a success. That's what you have to do. I shared my story and said just because you make the NFL it's not suddenly easy. You have to grind pretty much every day because someone is out there working right now and coming after your job."

How different is the college game from the pro game?

"Really, it was all the game speed. All the guys are big and everybody is fast. Until you experience it, there is nothing like it. It's hard to explain.

"But you have guys weighing 350 pounds and running just as fast as you are and you are fifty pounds lighter. It's crazy."

What did you learn you have to do to succeed in the NFL?

"It's all mental. Because everybody is big and fast. If you can outsmart your opponent, you are going to win. You won't win every time, but most of the time.

"Last year at this time, I didn't know what team I was going to play for, what technique, what position. Now, I know what I am. I'm a 3-4 defensive end playing four techniques and two-gapping. I can focus now more on my technique and get better. Coming up in our OTA's I won't struggle as much. Now I won't be running around trying to balance the playbook on my shoulders and can become a true technician on the field."

What's a Steelers home game like?

"The fan base out there is crazy. I don't see any fan base as crazy as that. Maybe some Cowboys fans, but I'm not sure they can even relate. They get Steelers tattoos and it's not just one person. It's a bunch of them. It's crazy. And I like it."

http://www.amarillo.com/stories/031410/new_news4.shtml

zulater
03-14-2010, 02:25 PM
Couldn't you have titled this thread differently? As soon as I saw "in the news" my mind went to areas it doesn't want to go to.

mulldog24
03-14-2010, 02:34 PM
Glad to see Ziggy out there doing positive things and being humble. Go Steelers!!!!!

steeltheone
03-14-2010, 02:53 PM
Should be starting this year....

pete74
03-14-2010, 03:02 PM
Yea I got scared clicking on this. I thought it was going to say he was on trouble or something. Hood seems like a great guy and should hopefully be as dominant as smith was for many years to come

tony hipchest
03-14-2010, 03:07 PM
damn...

i was hoping this was another bar hopping story so we could all bash him as well, call him a bust, and demand he be cut.

oh well...

(seriously, i dont think anyone has a clue yet how good he will be- in 5 years i bet he will be looked at as one of our finest 1st rounders right along with ben, heath, troy, mendenhall, and holmes).

XxKnightxX
03-14-2010, 03:28 PM
"Really, it was all the game speed. All the guys are big and everybody is fast. Until you experience it, there is nothing like it. It's hard to explain.

"But you have guys weighing 350 pounds and running just as fast as you are and you are fifty pounds lighter. It's crazy."

What did you learn you have to do to succeed in the NFL?

"It's all mental. Because everybody is big and fast. If you can outsmart your opponent, you are going to win. You won't win every time, but most of the time.

"Last year at this time, I didn't know what team I was going to play for, what technique, what position. Now, I know what I am. I'm a 3-4 defensive end playing four techniques and two-gapping. I can focus now more on my technique and get better. Coming up in our OTA's I won't struggle as much. Now I won't be running around trying to balance the playbook on my shoulders and can become a true technician on the field."


This is a clear case of a guy who knows what hes doing, fresh off his rookie year and the guy already has a plan, hes not getting above his head like other and hes someone who understands his role in the franchise and as a player in the NFL.

vtw8lftr
03-14-2010, 05:57 PM
This is a clear case of a guy who knows what hes doing, fresh off his rookie year and the guy already has a plan, hes not getting above his head like other and hes someone who understands his role in the franchise and as a player in the NFL.

Another solid first round pick... good to know that our FO does it's homework and grabs studs every year... even Mendenhall is looking a lot better. Just have to realize that Steeler rookies don't show their true potential until a couple of years down the road... not because they can't but due to the fact that the Steeler organization grooms their players for a couple of years before putting them in the starting rotation. I for one love the Steelers philsophy. :thumbsup:

GBMelBlount
03-14-2010, 06:56 PM
There is nothing that indicates to me that Ziggy wasn't a solid first round pick.

I'm hoping for big things from Hood.

stb_steeler
03-14-2010, 11:13 PM
Yea I got scared clicking on this. I thought it was going to say he was on trouble or something. Hood seems like a great guy and should hopefully be as dominant as smith was for many years to come

Kind of like the Bunghole site?......:rofl:

steelerdude15
03-15-2010, 12:29 AM
Nice to see some positive news for once.

Galax Steeler
03-15-2010, 04:46 AM
Ziggy seem to fit right in with the Steelers down to earth guy.

SteelerFanInStl
03-15-2010, 09:04 AM
You go Ziggy! I'm anxious to see a lot more of Ziggy in the coming season.

Steelers>NFL
03-15-2010, 09:09 AM
Let's get Ziggy wit it!

BigBen'sSwagger
03-15-2010, 09:51 AM
In a store called Gameday near the Westgate Mall, Hood sat in the middle of the jam-packed store at a table next to his dad, Charles, and was engulfed by Pittsburgh fans decked out in black and gold in the heart of Cowboys country.


I live down here in "cowboy country" and I can say that Steeler Nation is very well represented in these parts. I live in a little farming community and there are 2 other Steeler families in my little neighborhood. Every time I go on base I run into two or three more Steeler fans it is incredible. Yeah we may be in the heart of Texas but there are plenty o' Steeler fans to make a differnce!!! :tt03:



What's a Steelers home game like?

"The fan base out there is crazy. I don't see any fan base as crazy as that. Maybe some Cowboys fans, but I'm not sure they can even relate. They get Steelers tattoos and it's not just one person. It's a bunch of them. It's crazy. And I like it."

http://www.amarillo.com/stories/031410/new_news4.shtml[/QUOTE]

:rofl::rofl::rofl:
cowpoke fans??? Really??? I am sure he is just saying that because of where he is at. I remember the last time the Steelers came to Dallas. It was Ben's rookie year and one of his first come from behind wins. When the Steelers scored there were enough fans cheering to make you think it was a home game for us. It was also one of Ben's first come from behind wins. Oh the Glory days!!!

steelerdave1969
03-15-2010, 10:18 AM
Couldn't you have titled this thread differently? As soon as I saw "in the news" my mind went to areas it doesn't want to go to.

lol, I was thinking the same thing. Glad to hear that the or any guy is out there and appreciates the fans for what we stand for. Too many of the players today and yesterday are Just In It For The Money.. they dont really care about the fans unless they get caught doing something they shouldnt be then they try some Lame Appology... Good For You Ziggy:thumbsup:

Fire Haley
03-15-2010, 12:45 PM
Couldn't you have titled this thread differently?

Artistic license