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Old 04-25-2009, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_622367.html

Hood slides under the radar to Steelers
Buzz up!
By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 26, 2009
About the writer

John Harris is a sports columnist for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached via e-mail or at 412-481-5432.
Prisuta recaps picks

As a college sophomore, Evander "Ziggy" Hood, the Steelers' newest first-round draft pick, fractured his right foot in a game. He returned to action three weeks after surgery to have a screw inserted even though doctors said he would be lost for the season.

Playing through pain, Hood compiled 38 tackles (24 solo), four sacks, five stops for losses of 18 yards and four pressures. He also caused two fumbles and deflected a pass.

As a senior, Hood collected 62 tackles (31 solo), five sacks, seven stops behind the line of scrimmage, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick. Primarily an inside run stopper, he still finished with 15 1/2 career sacks.

Hood's body of work at Missouri and a brief 15-minute conversation with the coaching staff at the NFL Scouting Combine in February convinced the Steelers to make him the team's first defensive lineman selected in the first round since Casey Hampton in 2001.

Sometimes, a team just has a feeling about these things.

In other words, the Steelers didn't expect Hood to be available with the No. 32 pick.

Quite frankly, Hood's talent was too good to pass up.

Like Rashard Mendenhall a year ago whom the Steelers didn't invite to Pittsburgh for a more in-depth pre-draft interview because they never figured he would be available Hood was an afterthought until Saturday.

Hood was shocked the Steelers drafted him.

"I had one 15-minute interview with the Steelers. After that, I didn't hear too much until today after the 27th pick,'' said Hood, referring to the Indianapolis Colts, who had that pick and took Connecticut running back Donald Brown instead. "I thought they were looking for an offensive lineman, maybe a linebacker.''

Instead, the Steelers settled for a tough, throwback football player who remained on the field two seasons ago despite a major injury that would have kept most players out of action, only to make himself one of the most dominant defenders in college football.

"He's all about team concept, he's all about family, he's all about morals and work ethic,'' said Steve Parr, who coached Hood at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas. "He's a great team guy, very smart.''

When asked what he looks for in potential Steelers a few days before the draft, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin described Hood without even realizing it. Or maybe he did realize what he was saying, and we didn't know it.

"The deciding factors are the things that you can't measure character, toughness, smarts,'' Tomlin said.

When he met with Tomlin at the combine, Hood discussed defensive schemes and strategy and his willingess to learn.

"Really, it was more than my ability, speed and strength. I think the way I presented myself and I feel like I came off as a good character,'' Hood said. "And I think I knew a little bit about the game and explained my defense. And really sitting there with Coach Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff and making myself available to where I can be coached and have no problem being coached and I don't mind fixing and adjusting to different things.''

Apparently, Tomlin and the Steelers took the bait.

A look at Evander Hood (No. 32 overall)

College: Missouri

Position: Defensive tackle

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 300 pounds

Notable: Nicknamed "Ziggy" by his grandmother after her favorite cartoon character. ... Was named a first-team all-Big 12 by coaches, after recording 62 total tackles, five sacks and seven tackles for a loss as a senior. ...Ran 4.97 at the combine and had 34 reps of 220 pounds, tied for the fifth-most by any player at the combine. ... Very smart (named second-team all-Big 12 academic team) and very tough. When he suffered a broken foot as a sophomore, he had surgery to insert a screw, missed only three games and returned to play the rest of the season. ... Totaled 170 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss in four years.

Quotable: "I'm going to take everything I can and everything I know and put it to become of their star players and make sure I don't let down the whole Steelers organization."


Even more: Evander Hood at
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

Dunno about anyone else, but I'm liking this pick more and more.

People will moan about the O-line, but the fact is we have young guys there, we have old guys on our d-line.

Tough and smart. Can't teach that.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

Only thing I dont like is he is possobly Keisels replacement next year.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

We need some depth in our defense. Welcome Ziggy.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelman16 View Post
Dunno about anyone else, but I'm liking this pick more and more.

People will moan about the O-line, but the fact is we have young guys there, we have old guys on our d-line.

Tough and smart. Can't teach that.
Realistically, I just wanted to see some drafting of youth on both Offensive and Defensive line. Hope to see some more of that tomorrow, but I am good with getting a DE in the draft.

Hood, Gilbert, Moala, Maggee, Kyle Moore, Hill, etc. were all guys that I would have been happy to see.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_622372.html

A look at Evander Hood (No. 32 overall)

College: Missouri

Position: Defensive tackle

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 300 pounds

Notable: Nicknamed "Ziggy" by his grandmother after her favorite cartoon character. ... Was named a first-team all-Big 12 by coaches, after recording 62 total tackles, five sacks and seven tackles for a loss as a senior. ...Ran 4.97 at the combine and had 34 reps of 220 pounds, tied for the fifth-most by any player at the combine. ... Very smart (named second-team all-Big 12 academic team) and very tough.

When he suffered a broken foot as a sophomore, he had surgery to insert a screw, missed only three games and returned to play the rest of the season. ... Totaled 170 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss in four years.

Quotable: "I'm going to take everything I can and everything I know and put it to become of their star players and make sure I don't let down the whole Steelers organization."

Even more: Evander Hood at NFL.com

(Smart and tough I like the combination. - mesa)
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

Young...

Good Character...

34 REPS !!!!!

300 pounds and STILL ran a sub 5 - 40 yard...

_____


Well, I wasn't sure about the guy... But these kind of things I LOVE to hear.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

With the way the centers went off the board I am glad that we picked this guy up.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

I would have loved seeing Ben behind a top notch center, but they weren't there. Nothing wrong about picking the best player available considering our defensive line needs the youth. Our future looks better today because of this pick.

Welcome to the brotherhood, Ziggy...you lucky dawg!
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hood slides under the radar to Steelers

I love Ziggy
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