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Thread: Cam Heyward or Ziggy Hood as your starter?

          
   
   
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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Question Cam Heyward or Ziggy Hood as your starter?

    Now that the great Aaron Smith has officially hung up his cleats, his spot is open. For the last few seasons it's been basically Ziggy Hood's place with all the injuries ath #91 faced.

    Now it's a full on competition though this offseason and training camp coming up to see who wants it the most. Hood would definitely have the inside track with all the experience he's gotten so early in his career but it's not a done deal.

    Cam Heyward would have to have an amazing camp to beat out Hood but again I wouldn't say it's a done deal either way just yet.

    Who's your choice?

    The PG had an article about this scenario. Excerpt below:

    Now Keisel finds himself in the role of the bearded sage at the position with Hood and Heyward vying to replace Smith -- and the crater-sized vacuum of leadership and skill he leaves behind. Hood has the inside track, having seen significant starting time in the past two seasons in place of the oft-injured Smith. Keisel believes Hood is ready.

    "Ziggy's been fortunate because since the day he got here he's been basically forced into playing," Keisel said. "When Aaron went down his rookie year, he had to come in and play right away so he has those mental reps, those physical reps, those game reps that you can't get any other way.

    "You can go out here and practice all you want, but until you take it out and do it at game speed -- it's a whole other level. Luckily for him, he's been doing that now for three years, so stepping into this role as the starter from the get-go I don't think will be a big transition at all for him."

    An affable West Texan with an 'aw-shucks' Amarillo twang, Hood embraces the challenge.

    "Every guy wants the opportunity to start," he said. "What better chance than to get my opportunity right now? I've been working hard all offseason. I had a great offseason. I stayed around here. No need to go home. Pretty much just family and football for me.

    "Now all you can focus on is the small things -- taking the right step, hand placement, getting your hips by -- all the little things that make you a better player.

    "I feel ready. I've never been a vocal leader, but I try to do my best to lead by example," he said, a point that hasn't been lost on Heyward, who called Hood an "animal" in the weight room.
    "All we do is just attack it hard," Hood said.

    "If we're going to get up early and spend our time in the weight room, we might as well enjoy it and get big. There's no point in coming early and not doing anything, so you might as well just enjoy it and have fun with it."

    Heyward downplayed that idea, or even a discussion of an increased role in the defense.
    "I haven't even worried about that, I'm just trying to get better out here. I'll let my play show it off and continue to improve," he said, adding that he was simply glad to be taking advantage of his first OTAs (last year's were canceled because of league labor strife).

    "I think it's vital. For me to take in the playbook a lot more and learn from my mistakes and take time to shine up and oil up and learn my technique and get better at it ... I'm not a senior guy at all. I have a lot to learn from Keisel and [Casey Hampton]. They'll bring me along, and Zig, if he's put in charge, he'll take care of us."

    Keisel is bullish on Heyward's ability and knows that sooner or later, he'll be succeeded by him.
    "I believe in him, I do. I feel like he's the type of guy that has the type of character that's going to come in and keep the ship rolling in the right direction," Keisel said. "I have all the confidence in the world in Cam, and when the day comes when I hang up the old No. 99, he'll do a great job.

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    Veteran jpele's Avatar
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    It's only a matter of time before Heyward becomes a starter but for the start of the season Hood will start with Cam spelling Keisel and hood a lot.
    It's no fun when the rabbit has the gun

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    its going to be hood but id much rather see heyward get reps. Really heyward is suited for LDE to replace smith and hood is better suited for keisels spot (by better suited i mean marginally)

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    Heyward

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    Chuck's Place ChucktownSteeler's Avatar
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    Heyward played a similar position and scheme at OSU than Hood did in college. Heyward has the shorter learning curve no doubt, but Ziggy needs to step it up, he has had ample time!

    C-town

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    Heyward is practically a rookie with the few reps he got last year so it's Hoods job to lose at this point.

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    Assistant Coach Real Deal Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    its going to be hood but id much rather see heyward get reps. Really heyward is suited for LDE to replace smith and hood is better suited for keisels spot (by better suited i mean marginally)

    I agree with this.

    But let's say that Heyward has a decent enough camp, then I wouldn't be against Heyward just being given the DE position because then Hood could be in a more natural position of splitting time with Keisel.
    The Steeler way...is the only way.

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    K Train's Avatar
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    yeah, RDE is asked to pass rush more and while keisel is great at it, thats definitely where hood would excel compared to heyward. the LDE is asked to stack and shed a bit more, and if you watch the highlights of heyward (i think connecticutsteel posted it) hes vicious at the point of attack, very reminiscent of aaron smith and richard seymour

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    Veteran connecticutsteel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    yeah, RDE is asked to pass rush more and while keisel is great at it, thats definitely where hood would excel compared to heyward. the LDE is asked to stack and shed a bit more, and if you watch the highlights of heyward (i think connecticutsteel posted it) hes vicious at the point of attack, very reminiscent of aaron smith and richard seymour
    http://vimeo.com/28186865 here is the evidence that Ktrain speaks over it is really a tremendous highlight cut-up for arookie

    Keisel is starting to break down i see Cam rotating in for both hood and DA beard I would love to see hood TaAmu heyward by the end of the season
    Last edited by connecticutsteel; 06-04-2012 at 04:49 PM.

  10. #10
    K Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by connecticutsteel View Post
    http://vimeo.com/28186865 here is the evidence that Ktrain speaks over it is really a tremendous highlight cut-up for arookie

    Keisel is starting to break down i see Cam rotating in for both hood and DA beard I would love to see hood TaAmu heyward by the end of the season
    keisel has some calf muscle issues but dont let that fool you he has taken over aaron smiths role of being a master of that position. the team is better when he is on the field.

    that clip is entirely preseason i believe, and with the lockout thats even more impressive. He had 11 tackles, a sack, and a FF during the season....at least 5 of those tackles were dragging the RB down in traffic by one arm, just beastly

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