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Thread: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

      
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    Default Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    On the Steelers: 'Ziggy' making a name for himself in camp
    Sunday, August 08, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    Not all great NFL players have had nicknames, and not all nicknames seem apt. Certainly, most do not fit as well as "Mean" Joe Greene or "Fats" Holmes or even "Big Snack," which could describe either what Casey Hampton ate just before curfew or the offensive linemen he devoured earlier in the day.

    Then there is Evander "Ziggy" Hood, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound Steelers defensive end who is turning his second training camp into his own 'hood. No one, absolutely no one, calls him Evander. Even the Steelers' media guide (so conservative that for about the 28th time in the past 30 years it has nothing on its plain black cover but a Steelers logo) introduces his bio as Ziggy Hood DE. Few, if any, Steelers ever received that treatment -- not Big Ben, not Fats, not Mean Joe and, for sure, not James "Silverback" Harrison.

    Few nicknames are as unfitting for a player as Ziggy, which was bestowed on Hood by his Spanish-speaking grandmother after the comic strip. The cartoon Ziggy is short, bald and, according to the website gocomics.com, "perpetually one step behind, one nickel short, one lane away from the fast lane."

    Calling Evander Hood "Ziggy" is akin to referring to the bald Stooge as "Curly."
    "He's big, he's strong and he's fast," said Aaron Smith, the Steelers' best defensive end in their 3-4 era who has been singing Ziggy's praises since last summer camp.
    "He understands he has a lot to learn still. He learns it and then he uses it. Not everybody can do that. I think he's going to be a special player."

    Hood has attracted plenty of attention at Saint Vincent for the way he has taken over his position. Unlike last year when they put him only at left end, he has played all three positions on the defensive line, including nose tackle.

    Brentson Buckner spent 12 seasons playing on NFL defensive lines, his first three with the Steelers, and it did not take him long to notice Hood during his first week as a coaching intern.

    "He's explosive, has strong hands, has a feel for the game and he's violent. That's the hardest thing to teach kids coming out of college. At this level, it's the intensity and the violence you have to play for. But he has that edge. He comes out ready to bite.
    "When you have a guy who's 310 pounds, strong, fast and he has the motor, he has a chance to be great."

    The only questions that follow Hood, the team's first-round draft choice in 2009, is where will he play and how much? The answer: Everywhere and often, yet he may not start unless there is an injury. Smith has been the starter at left end since 2000 and Brett Keisel at right end since 2006. The way the Steelers look at it, they have three starting ends now. Hood can play either side and give the ends rest periods during games.

    "I don't have a problem with coming out of the game as long as there's no drop-off with the guy coming in," Keisel said. "I think that's when we've been at our best, when we've had a rotation of guys who can come in and play. It keeps us all fresh during the game and at the end of the season. The more guys we can have ready to play the better."

    Whether he starts or not is not an issue for Hood. "I'd rather win than start. When you have two guys like that, I want to learn as much as I can when they're here. When they're gone, then it's me. It all falls on me."
    More of it will fall on him this season.

    Tough start for Dwyer

    The Steelers were hoping that rookie Jonathan Dwyer would boost the running game, but after the first week of training camp, there has been nothing but disappointment.
    The coaching staff was surprised when Dwyer reported much heavier than what they saw during his workouts in the spring. They list him as 5-11, 229. Then, he injured a hamstring the first day of camp and did not go through a full practice until Friday night.

    Dwyer went up against rookie linebacker Thaddeus Gibson in a renowned blocking drill called backs on 'backers. Dwyer whiffed on his attempt to block Gibson. It was someone else's turn to go next but coach Mike Tomlin called for Dwyer and Gibson to do it again. And then again. And then again. Of the other three times, two were draws and Dwyer neatly guided Gibson to the outside the final time.

    Several minutes later, however, during a soft goal-line drill, running backs coach Kirby Wilson chewed out Dwyer for something else. When Dwyer came off the field after that, he slammed his helmet on the ground in disgust, a feeling likely matched by his coaches.

    Asked after Friday night's practice why Dwyer went four consecutive times in the backs on 'backers drill, Tomlin replied, "That's makeup reps. He still has a ways to go."

    For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10220...#ixzz0w2pAXCoY
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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    I'm really hoping Dwyer works out. Better get his **** together though.

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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Dwyer has good upside...we'll see what he can do with it.
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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Yeah, I read this the other day.

    Nice to see Aaron Smith tutoring the guy, getting weened by a guy like Smith will only make Zig that much more of an effective player.

    I'm guessing we'll be seeing a lot more of this guy this year and I can't wait to see how he does.

    Hopefully we're that much closer to getting some pressure on the ****ing QB this year.

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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    Yeah, I read this the other day.

    Nice to see Aaron Smith tutoring the guy, getting weened by a guy like Smith will only make Zig that much more of an effective player.

    I'm guessing we'll be seeing a lot more of this guy this year and I can't wait to see how he does.

    Hopefully we're that much closer to getting some pressure on the ****ing QB this year.
    Yeah, I mean he looked good when he got a chance to play last year and a season only makes a guy better. We're gonna see Hood more than we think. The Steelers are going to have a hard time keeping him off the field. Where the guys we have on the line are solid rocks, Hood is a player maker IMO
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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Yeah, I mean he looked good when he got a chance to play last year and a season only makes a guy better. We're gonna see Hood more than we think. The Steelers are going to have a hard time keeping him off the field. Where the guys we have on the line are solid rocks, Hood is a player maker IMO
    There was a reason our secondary self destructed last year. A couple of them. One is Gay, the player that is. The other was the inability of our line to put consistent pressure on the QB.

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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    There was a reason our secondary self destructed last year. A couple of them. One is Gay, the player that is. The other was the inability of our line to put consistent pressure on the QB.
    Our line has never really pressured the QB. The line in this 3-4 is built more to stop the run and to open lanes for LB's. What happened last year was we saw more double teams on the OLB's.

    Don't ever expect pressure from this line it's never been a QB pressuring line.

    Besides Gay, Our safeties got exposed and Farrior was getting beaten by a half to a full step in coverage last year. Without Troy, Clark was getting exposed and Troy's backups are really nothing special. Clark was relied on to pick up some of Troy's duties but Troy does too much. Defense is designed so much around Troy. He's the ONE guy this defense can't lose.
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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Our line has never really pressured the QB. The line in this 3-4 is built more to stop the run and to open lanes for LB's. What happened last year was we saw more double teams on the OLB's.

    Don't ever expect pressure from this line it's never been a QB pressuring line.

    Besides Gay, Our safeties got exposed and Farrior was getting beaten by a half to a full step in coverage last year. Without Troy, Clark was getting exposed and Troy's backups are really nothing special. Clark was relied on to pick up some of Troy's duties but Troy does too much. Defense is designed so much around Troy. He's the ONE guy this defense can't lose.
    By "line", I'm including the LB's.

    Woodley and Timmons are huge in the mix but Farrior is the big question mark.

    Not having Smith on the line last year put a lot of pressure on the LB squad. Getting him back will help. Getting Zig into the mix will improve assuming the guy's worth his salt and I expect he will be.

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    Default Re: Ziggy Hood Making A Name For Himself In Camp

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    By "line", I'm including the LB's.

    Woodley and Timmons are huge in the mix but Farrior is the big question mark.

    Not having Smith on the line last year put a lot of pressure on the LB squad. Getting him back will help. Getting Zig into the mix will improve assuming the guy's worth his salt and I expect he will be.
    Smith might have helped Woodley out some but all in all I thought they did better in Smith's absence last year than in 2007. The run defense completely collapsed in 2007 and didn't last season. Also you have to think that in 2008 there were a lot more coverage sacks or sacks caused solely by Troy creating confusion. Those things didn't happen last year. Troy was injured and then with the safeties lacking and William Gay... Easier to get rid of the ball before the pressure shows up. Actually Woodley had more sacks last season than in 2008. It's the Brett Kiesel/James Harrison side that saw the sacks go down by 6
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