Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Ziggy Hood

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Ziggy Hood

Position: Defensive End

Experience: 5 Years

Ziggy Hood has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers for five years, and has never missed a game in his professional career.

Though occasionally playing through nagging injuries that have hindered his performance, he has largely been the picture of durability for a Steelers team that has had its fair share of injuries in recent years.

Hood started 30 games between 2011 and 2012, and entered the 2013 season once again at the starting left defensive end spot that he inherited from Aaron Smith, but he was demoted after Pittsburgh’s 0-4 start, having been outperformed by fellow former first-round draft pick Cameron Heyward.

No doubt this was a difficult pill to swallow for the veteran, but it was his willingness to accept, even embrace his new rotational role that helped lead to the eventual turnaround that saw the Steelers finish 8-4.

Because of lingering injuries to Brett Keisel, Hood found himself back in the starting lineup for four games in the second half of the season, and the vast majority of a fifth game, when Keisel reinjured himself. In all, he played nearly 650 snaps.

Hood is regularly judged harshly, perhaps somewhat unfairly so for having been a former first-round draft pick that has never developed beyond the point of being a solid starter. Surely many would begrudge him even of that designation.

But the Steelers have proven in the past that they could win, and excel on defense, with Hood in the lineup, as they did in 2010 on a defense that achieved one of the best rushing yards per game against stat line in league history. Hood was a big part of that.

The 2013 Steelers gave up nearly double that amount of yards on the ground, however, and Hood was undeniably a big part of that as well. His lack of a strong pass rush, despite generating three sacks last season, has also long been an issue, and was the most significant upgrade from Heyward.

Hood’s short stature for the defensive end position against taller offensive tackles causes him to struggle in the leverage battle despite his excellent strength, and many have long contended that he would be best served as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme.

That may be where he winds up in free agency, as there are rumors that the Steelers will not bring him back at the salary some anticipate that he will command. Scott Brown, writing for ESPN, is among those who believe he will not be back. We may not have much longer to wait before we have an answer.

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G David DeCastro
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G Ramon Foster
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Kelvin Beachum
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Le’Veon Bell
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C Fernando Velasco
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – FB Will Johnson
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Brett Keisel
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – NT Steve McLendon
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Cameron Heyward
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB LaMarr Woodley
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jason Worilds
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Lawrence Timmons
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Vince Williams
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – CB Ike Taylor
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – CB William Gay
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – S Troy Polamalu
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – S Ryan Clark
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Jerricho Cotchery
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Jonathan Dwyer
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Bruce Gradkowski
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C/G Cody Wallace
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Matt Spaeth
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G/T Guy Whimper
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Felix Jones
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – CB Cortez Allen
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – S Will Allen

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • dgh57

    There are things to like about Hood but at the end of the day it’s all about his ceiling and he has reached his or at least with us he has. Looks like he’s being allowed to test FA which tells me their willing to let him walk. Time to see what the next guy up has to offer in maybe Brian a Arnfelt or whoever.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Love Arnfelt. At first he won’t be as consistent as all the other guys, but he will certainly make big plays, and get better with time. Look like a real tough ass Steeler type.

  • Blue

    Just sign Ziggy and get it over with, like really who the F else do we got?

  • dgh57

    I thought he played really good last preseason to make the roster and if Hood and/or Keisel don’t return he shouldn’t have a hard time making the roster this year if all goes right.

  • srdan

    Takes two to tango. I bet ziggy wants to see what 4/3 teams think of him as a DT.

  • sean mcmartin

    Too bad the strongest guy can’t be more of a force. maybe a good parameter for them to seek a replacement is height as well as strength. at least for a 3-4 end. would suck to see him excel with another team ..but serviceable and first round pick are not a good match. If your goal is the Lombardi trophy