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Old 04-27-2009, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft
BY JIM WEXELL
For The Tribune-Democrat
http://www.tribune-democrat.com/spor...118001821.html

PITTSBURGH — You can’t help but take these draft prospects on as one of your own sometimes.

If you follow this stuff as seriously as I do, you’re bound to become a proud papa. Scouts do it all the time.

And the earlier you take these prospects on, the less fanfare those prospects have at the time, and the more criticism you take when you’re the only one who agrees with yourself about this prospect, the prouder the papa.

That was my son the Bills drafted. Yes, Tom Modrak stabbed me in the heart by picking center-guard Eric Wood four spots before the Steelers’ turn.

Liked him the first time I saw him. The Steelers had Wood ranked No. 12. They had Max Unger No. 15. Where they had eventual pick Ziggy Hood has not yet been learned by the media. He was at worst No. 14.

And that shocked me. I’d watched him play and was unimpressed. Until I sat down with Ziggy’s proud papa, Steelers D-line coach John Mitchell.

“He is the guy that I wanted from Day 1,” Mitchell said.

I’m quite partial to Mitchell’s advisements, but I’d seen the legendary Hood spin move. Maybe it’s not quite legendary, but I saw it – on tape and live at the Senior Bowl – and it made him stand out there. Very un-Steeler like.

“You won’t see that again,” beamed Mitch.

Just never figured him for a Steeler, though. Figured he’d be better off with the Colts, who just get after the quarterback. Go ahead and use that spin move with Willie Parker sprinting up the middle with a draw.

Yet, it appears I was wrong about Hood. Mitchell told me before the draft that he could coach him into a Steelers-style 3-4 end. What that basically means is that Hood will not only hold the point, he’ll keep his mouth shut about James Harrison getting all the sacks.

Hood’s strong. He benched a lot of weight a lot of times. And he can run. You can see that on tape. It’s just that, for all his weight room strength, Hood doesn’t appear too stout against the run. He just seemed – in the three TV games I saw – like a gap-shooting inside rusher in an untamed football conference. That’s what the combination of my eyes and my brain told me. And, really, since he’s not 6-5, he’s not Steelers-size, either.

“I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that,” said Mike Tomlin. “This is a 6-3, 300-pound man. Not many of those body types. He was one of the few. We’re very comfortable with his capability to play the five-technique in a 3-4 defense.”

It’s obvious that Tomlin likes Hood, and so it’s easy for me to get behind this. Tomlin has earned his stripes.

Kevin Colbert likes him, too. “He’s a special guy; he really is,” the normally non-excitable personnel director said. “He was just somebody we felt good about from the first time we scouted him.”

That’s the second guy to tell me that in one day, so I’m becoming a bit excited about what these pro coaches can do with a quick, flashy, and strong defensive lineman who might just be in need of some good coaching. These guys rave about Hood’s character and leadership, too.

“Described by many members of his team as ‘their guy,’ ” Tomlin said. “Captain. Leader. Good football player. He’ll fit in very quickly from a personality standpoint.”

So Hood it is. And, really, who else was there after the Bills took my son? I never really liked Max Unger; just the position he played. So, yes, it’s easy for me to be swayed.

I’m just a pretend scout who lost a pretend son anyway. I can still be a great pretend uncle.



Jim Wexell is a free-lance writer who covers the Steelers for The Tribune-Democrat.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

Wasnt Wexell saying we needed to draft a WR like Hakeem Nicks, or a CB like Alphonso Smith??

I thought he was crying uncle to admitt he never dreamed the Steelers would draft Ziggy Hood.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

i have never put much credence in what wexell feels.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft
BY JIM WEXELL


“I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that,” said Mike Tomlin. “This is a 6-3, 300-pound man. Not many of those body types. He was one of the few. We’re very comfortable with his capability to play the five-technique in a 3-4 defense.”
I have a question here what exactly does play the five-technique in a 3-4 defense mean.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

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I have a question here what exactly does play the five-technique in a 3-4 defense mean.
It's his pre-snap alignment. Basically a DE in a 3-4 scheme. Hope this helps.

A (zero technique) would mean a nose tackle aligned nose-to-nose with a center.
(1 technique) the defensive lineman is line up in the middle of the A gap.
(2 technique) defensive lineman is nose-to-nose with the offensive guard.
(3 technique) defensive lineman is line up in the middle of the B gap or outside shade of the guard. He is responsible for maintaining outside leverage and not letting himself get hook or reached blocked by the offense.
(4 technique) defensive lineman is line up nose-to-nose with the offensive tackle.
(5 technique) meant that the defensive lineman had his nose on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle.
(6 technique) was nose-to-nose with the offensive tight end.
(7 technique) meant the defensive lineman had his nose on the inside shoulder of the offensive tight end.
(8 technique) meant that the defensive lineman was aligned on air outside the outside shoulder of the offensive tight end.
(9 technique) meant that the defensive lineman has his nose on the outside shoulder of the offensive tight end.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

Alright, I'll give the kid a shot after reading this. If they are all high on him, and he was their 15th BPA, I'll definitely concede to their wisdom and sit back and watch the kid play...
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

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Originally Posted by SteelMember View Post
It's his pre-snap alignment. Basically a DE in a 3-4 scheme. Hope this helps.

A (zero technique) would mean a nose tackle aligned nose-to-nose with a center.
(1 technique) the defensive lineman is line up in the middle of the A gap.
(2 technique) defensive lineman is nose-to-nose with the offensive guard.
(3 technique) defensive lineman is line up in the middle of the B gap or outside shade of the guard. He is responsible for maintaining outside leverage and not letting himself get hook or reached blocked by the offense.
(4 technique) defensive lineman is line up nose-to-nose with the offensive tackle.
(5 technique) meant that the defensive lineman had his nose on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle.
(6 technique) was nose-to-nose with the offensive tight end.
(7 technique) meant the defensive lineman had his nose on the inside shoulder of the offensive tight end.
(8 technique) meant that the defensive lineman was aligned on air outside the outside shoulder of the offensive tight end.
(9 technique) meant that the defensive lineman has his nose on the outside shoulder of the offensive tight end.
Thanks for the info. Sounds like the young man has a lot of learning to do.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

So, even has we might have missed on Woods, we got A.Q. plus Ziggy. Maybe we got lucky after all.

Steeldude, maybe you need to pay closer attention to what Wex says, did you read his pre-draft candidates. He had Ziggy as and option in 1st round, he scored on Burnett, The Tank, A.Q. and I am not sure if another one.

Just mathematically you have any idea how hard is that?
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: JIM WEXELL | Crying uncle on the draft

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Alright, I'll give the kid a shot after reading this. If they are all high on him, and he was their 15th BPA, I'll definitely concede to their wisdom and sit back and watch the kid play...
Agreed. However, Unger was their 15th BPA, so by taking Hood over Unger that means he was ranked even higher than 15th, but the media just hasn't found out exactly where yet...and the Steelers will probably try to keep that under wraps.

Either way, they saw something that they must have REALLY liked for him to be ranked that highly on their boards and to get him at 32 sounds like a steal..at least in the FO's eyes.
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