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Old 09-09-2009, 05:10 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default On the Steelers: Hood likely will keep No. 1 picks' streak intact

It looks as if Ziggy Hood will dress for the game tomorrow night against Tennessee, keeping yet another long Pittsburgh pro sports streak alive.

This one also goes back to the 1990s, back to 1996 when Steelers first-round draft choice Jamain Stephens did not dress for the opening game of the season. Since then, all 12 first-round picks have played in the opener, and it appears Hood will make it 13.

The Steelers rarely, if ever, dress seven defensive linemen for games. The other six are veterans, and it now appears Nick Eason will be the odd-man out.

Hood, the second-youngest player on the squad, has stayed almost exclusively at left defensive end this summer, so he likely will get some snaps against Tennessee in relief of Aaron Smith.

"I'm just sitting there waiting," said Hood, who plays on no first special teams. "If the coaches feel that it's time for me to step in, I'll be ready."

So, too, will the team's oldest player, Travis Kirschke. He'll spot Brett Keisel at right defensive end.

Kirschke turned 35 Sunday, four months to the day before linebacker James Farrior hits 35. Kirschke is among the many former Detroit Lions who have helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls. There were so many ex-Lions on the team in 2005 that they took their own team photo in Detroit at Super Bowl XL.

They added yet another this season in wide receiver Shaun McDonald.

Kirschke had his best season with the Steelers at age 34 after solving back problems that nearly ended his career in 2007. He played every game, and his 42 tackles were the most of his five seasons here.

"I'll tell you what, it's nice going through a season healthy," Kirschke said. "How much more fun you have playing this game when you feel good."

The presence of Kirschke and Eason prompted the Steelers to waive promising young end Sonny Harris. They wanted to get him on the practice squad, but the Carolina Panthers spoiled that plan. Yet, keeping Kirschke and Eason, 29, shows their priority is to win now over stashing a young player for later.

Casey at the bat

The photo opportunity of the year occurred after practice yesterday when 350-something nose tackle Casey Hampton hoisted cancer victim Heather Miller, 11, into the air after practice. His teammates, who surrounded tiny Heather, broke out in applause.

Miller, from Bedford, visited the Steelers and her two favorite players, Hampton and Troy Polamalu, as part of the Make-A-Wish charity. Her visit with the Steelers will be featured on "The Today Show" tomorrow morning on NBC, with Tiki Barber reporting.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09252/996596-66.stm
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Hood likely will keep No. 1 picks' streak intact

I'd love to see Ziggy get his feet wet tomorrow night against the Tatas!

This kid is loaded with talent and athleticism and I feel he is going to be a tremendous impact player for years to come.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Hood likely will keep No. 1 picks' streak intact

Surely Big Snack won't be able to play every down, but I'd love to see this kid come out and just get a taste for the NFL.
He is very athletic for his size and I know some day will be plugging holes and causing problems for the offensive lines.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Hood likely will keep No. 1 picks' streak intact

i think they'll bring him in on passing downs
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Hood likely will keep No. 1 picks' streak intact

This is great news! I am very happy to see that Ziggy Hood will be active for the game tomorrow. Nice surprise because I thought he would be the odd man out for the first game. Make some plays Ziggy so we can see your dance!
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