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Old 11-01-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood
http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/10/31/s...th-ziggy-hood/
Posted Oct 31, 2009 10:07PM By JJ Cooper (RSS feed)

When the Steelers lost defensive end Aaron Smith for the season, it wasn't too much of a shock that the Steelers turned to veteran Travis Kirschke instead of first-round pick Ziggy Hood.

But now that Kirschke is also likely to be sidelined for next Sunday's Broncos game, it looks like the Steelers would turn to Nick Eason next week as the starter instead of Hood. Essentially the Steelers are saying that Eason, who battled Sunny Harris for a spot on the roster during training camp, is a better bet as a starter than the Steelers first-round pick this year.

That would normally be a sign that the first-round pick is on the path to being a big-time bust--first-round picks should be contributors, not the No. 5 defensive end on a team that normally carries five defensive ends.

But with Dick LeBeau's defense, it's just part of the tradition. Whether it's the complexity of the blitz schemes or the extreme emphasis on every player carrying out their assignment, rookies very rarely find they can contribute on the Steelers defense.

The best example of this steep learning curve is safety Troy Polamalu. As a rookie, Polamalu looked like a bust. He didn't play all that much, and when he did, he seemed to always be the guy being picked on. A year later, he was a key reason the Steelers went 15-1 during the regular season.

It was a similar story with 2007 first-round pick Lawrence Timmons and second-round pick LaMarr Woodley. Both spent most of their rookie seasons on the bench, then both turned into solid contributors in their second year. Chris Hope is now a Pro Bowler with the Titans, but it took him a couple of years to earn a starting job in Pittsburgh. In fact, you'd have to go back to 2001 first-round pick Casey Hampton to find the last time a Steelers defensive rookie has made a significant impact as a starter.

So Steelers fans shouldn't worry too much about Hood's inability to get into the starting lineup. Hood may not be ready to make a big impact this year, but we won't really know what the Steelers got in him until next training camp.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

At least our 3rd rd pick is playing.

I still say we should have taken Rey Maualuga. Can I say that here?
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

In most cases I'd agree with the premise of this article. There are a few positions on the field though that require less mental effort. The DE in the 3-4 is one of them. You cannot compare playing safety or ILB to playing DE in a 3-4. That's just ridiculous. That's like comparing then center to the QB. The two positions are not the same and one requires alot more mental preparation then the other. Hood has no excuse for not playing. He's a dissapointment to say the least. If he cannot handle the mental aspects of playing DE in the 3-4 then he's brain dead.

If Hood were playing LB I would not care that he can't even beat out a practice squad guy.

There is no excuse for Hood. He's a 1st round pick. He should at least be the #2 back up to Smith..... he's not even the #3 back up. I wonder if he's putting in the work. The fact that he cannot even beat out Eason makes me wonder if DL thinks he's lazy. Maybe he can turn it around next year? Who knows, but as for his rookie year he's a bust. We need Hood to play. We need a capable DE now more then ever...yet our 1st round pick can't even get on the field. There is no way to sugar coat that...and NO it is not the same as Troy P or Timmons.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

I'm really shocked that more Steeler fans are not complaining about Hood. This is actually a lot of patience for Steeler fans ......IMO.

Most called Timmons, Mendenhall and even Santonio Holmes a bust by week 8 of their rookie seasons. Its pretty much expected that very few rookies are gonna be big impact guys for the Steelers. That is why I am always a big fan of planning ahead and expecting guys to step up in their 2nd year and contribute. That being said, there is no replacement for Hampton.......so I think he gets tagged or extended next season.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by madtowndrunkard View Post
In most cases I'd agree with the premise of this article. There are a few positions on the field though that require less mental effort. The DE in the 3-4 is one of them. You cannot compare playing safety or ILB to playing DE in a 3-4. That's just ridiculous. That's like comparing then center to the QB. The two positions are not the same and one requires alot more mental preparation then the other. Hood has no excuse for not playing. He's a dissapointment to say the least. If he cannot handle the mental aspects of playing DE in the 3-4 then he's brain dead.

If Hood were playing LB I would not care that he can't even beat out a practice squad guy.

There is no excuse for Hood. He's a 1st round pick. He should at least be the #2 back up to Smith..... he's not even the #3 back up. I wonder if he's putting in the work. The fact that he cannot even beat out Eason makes me wonder if DL thinks he's lazy. Maybe he can turn it around next year? Who knows, but as for his rookie year he's a bust. We need Hood to play. We need a capable DE now more then ever...yet our 1st round pick can't even get on the field. There is no way to sugar coat that...and NO it is not the same as Troy P or Timmons.
Were you paying attention AT ALL during the preseason? Everyone to a man, from Tomlin on down, were impressed by how well Hood played and how quickly he picked up the system. And, oh yeah, he was hustling down the field last week on Woodley's fumble return for a TD.

The Steelers do not believe in rushing rookies into the lineup. Period. That is the only reason why he is not starting. It has eff all to do with anything other than that.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

I think that it would be nice to at least see him in every third series or so, yes, he'll make some mistakes, but some game experiences will help speed along his development. If he's sticking out like a sore thumb, then fine, play Nick, but as we saw in the preseason, he has some great natural ability he just needs more experience in this system-which means he needs to play. Not a bust, way too early to think of that kind of talk I agree, but he's also making a lot of money and should earn some of it.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

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Originally Posted by X-Terminator View Post
Were you paying attention AT ALL during the preseason? Everyone to a man, from Tomlin on down, were impressed by how well Hood played and how quickly he picked up the system. And, oh yeah, he was hustling down the field last week on Woodley's fumble return for a TD.

The Steelers do not believe in rushing rookies into the lineup. Period. That is the only reason why he is not starting. It has eff all to do with anything other than that.
Like I said, not all rookies are the same.

I totally understand why most Safeties, DB's, LB's, etc don't play much in our defensive system. Those positions require more mental preparation. I'm sure the plan was to allow Hood to learn this year behind Smith. Well Smith is hurt, his back up is hurt, and still Hood can't get on the field. We NEED Hood right now. If he cant' get on the field now, then there is a problem. You cannot deny that. You are lying to your self if you think the coaches are OK w/ the fact that our first round pick can't even beat out Eason on our dept chart.

Troy P was the #2 back up.....so was Holmes and Timmons in their rookie year. Woodley, Ben, Heath, and Hampton had no problem starting. Gay was on the field most of last season. This belief that rookies don't start for the steelers just isn't accurate. Hood should be starting over Eason - period.

Pre season means nothing...if it did Hood would have been the #2 back up to Smith. Coaches also don't always tell the truth about players. What are the coaches going to say? He can't pick up the play book? If he knows the defense and he still can't play then he's physically or technically flawed. Maybe he's got so many issues DL is rebuilding him technically? Who knows. What ever it is you cannot be happy that our #1 pick is that far down on the depth chart.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer View Post
At least our 3rd rd pick is playing.

I still say we should have taken Rey Maualuga. Can I say that here?
It's only a matter of time until he gives the Bengals off the field trouble like he did for his college team
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by madtowndrunkard View Post
Like I said, not all rookies are the same.

I totally understand why most Safeties, DB's, LB's, etc don't play much in our defensive system. Those positions require more mental preparation. I'm sure the plan was to allow Hood to learn this year behind Smith. Well Smith is hurt, his back up is hurt, and still Hood can't get on the field. We NEED Hood right now. If he cant' get on the field now, then there is a problem. You cannot deny that. You are lying to your self if you think the coaches are OK w/ the fact that our first round pick can't even beat out Eason on our dept chart.

Troy P was the #2 back up.....so was Holmes and Timmons in their rookie year. Woodley, Ben, Heath, and Hampton had no problem starting. Gay was on the field most of last season. This belief that rookies don't start for the steelers just isn't accurate. Hood should be starting over Eason - period.

Pre season means nothing...if it did Hood would have been the #2 back up to Smith. Coaches also don't always tell the truth about players. What are the coaches going to say? He can't pick up the play book? If he knows the defense and he still can't play then he's physically or technically flawed. Maybe he's got so many issues DL is rebuilding him technically? Who knows. What ever it is you cannot be happy that our #1 pick is that far down on the depth chart.
eason is experienced. hood is a rookie making a position change, trying to learn the most complex defense in the world.

plus he is a back up to keisel on the right side. hood is not smiths replacement.

even great college left tackles spend a year on the right side while they develop and learn.

j. ogden comes to mind. theyre even doing the same w/ m. oher.

keep in mind, hood wasnt a need based pick. we dont need him to play right now. he was selected because he was the best player available.

thats why the steelers are so good.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Fans Need to Be Patient with Ziggy Hood

i wonder why mcbean couldn't even make the steelers roster, but yet is starting on the 3rd ranked rush defense ? ...by logic that must mean kirshke, hoke and hood must have some big trade value ....
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