We’re staying with the defensive line but making sure we focus on the actual free agents from now on. This edition will focus on DE Ziggy Hood.
Hood was drafted by the Steelers in the 2009 draft at the 32nd pick out of Mizzou. In his five seasons with the Steelers he has totaled 90 tackles and 11.5 sacks. He started every game on the defensive line in 2012 but lost his starting job in 2013 to Cameron Heyward.
Ziggy Hood has never really broke out on the line as a defensive force, maybe either he wasn’t put in the right spot to start with or he just hasn’t excelled in the system, but there’s just not much to write home about when it comes to Hood’s career so far. Doesn’t mean he can’t improve in the future, but when it comes to Steelers defensive lineman, Hood’s name doesn’t come up as one that has left any kind of impression. The NT is really the anchor of a 3-4 defense but the other lineman must be able to control run gaps as well as occupy the offensive lineman so that the OLB’s can get to the quarterback. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the Steelers’ sack numbers and run defense has been, shall we say, lackluster, since Hood became a starter on the line.
From now until March 11th the team will need to evaluate Hood’s performance thus far and weigh the options available as far as what would be worth doing in terms of re-signing him. If Heyward can outplay him out of his starting job, that might tell you all you need to know right there about whether or not it’s worth it for the Steelers to sign Hood to another contract. On the other hand, it’s not like he’s going to command a large contract or probably garner much interest on the free agent market. It might be beneficial for both the Steelers and Hood to remain together in order to see if he can contribute to the team. I’m not saying it’s a good idea to keep Hood because he’ll come cheap, but if they can determine that he can contribute something to the line, even if its depth, he might be worth a low-cost, low-risk contract.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you see Ziggy Hood in the Black & Gold going forward?