The Steelers shook up their depth chart yesterday when they promoted the currently improving Cameron Heyward to first-string at the left defensive end position.
Heyward’s rise to the first team defense in turn forced Pittsburgh’s coaching staff to demote Ziggy Hood. Although Hood is still a part of the Steelers’ defensive-end rotation, the drop to second-string probably had to sting for the former starter and 2009 first round draft pick.
As disheartening as the loss of his starting job might be, the former Missouri Tiger is reportedly taking the demotion in stride according to a couple of recent tweets by ESPN.com’s Scott Brown:
I give credit to Hood for handling the current situation in a professional manner, especially since this turn of events has occurred in the middle of the final year of his rookie contract.
Of course, I am sure that Hood is also well aware that he is one play away from being back in the starting lineup. Moreover, as I alluded to above, the fifth-year defensive end will still be a significant part of the team’s defensive line rotation during the team’s final 12 regular season games.
Hopefully this demotion will inspire Hood to step-up and realize the potential which the Steelers’ brass saw in him back in April 2009. As added incentive, Hood will also need to show signs of improvement over the coming months if he wishes to cash in on the UFA market next March.
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