Much has been made of the Pittsburgh Steelers not drafting particularly well over the course of the past three or four years. Coincidently, that is a main reason why the Steelers currently sit at 0-4 as the overall talent and depth levels simply aren’t there for Mike Tomlin’s team at the moment.
But when you are 0-4, changes have to be made and the likes of defensive end Ziggy Hood and offensive tackle Mike Adams are the victims as Tomlin announced earlier in the week that both would be heading to the bench for this week’s contest against the New York Jets.
If you are scoring at home that’s a first-round pick and a second-round pick being taken out of the lineup.
That’s never a good sign.
But the biggest question to answer is if we can finally call both Hood and Adams busts at this point of their respective careers?
In Hood’s case I feel that answer is yes.
He has had plenty of time to make an impact and to this point in his career, simply hasn’t.
The 2009 first-round pick has had some moments throughout the past three-plus seasons where he looks like a guy who could turn into a competent defensive lineman, but consistency has been a big problem of Hood’s. Until he can become a consistent performer, which looks more and more by the week like something that will never happen, Hood will never likely turn into more than a rotation player that can’t be counted on to make impact plays.
He will be replaced by 2011 first-round pick cam Heyward, who has done enough so far in his third season to warrant the promotion.
“[Heyward] will play more and deservedly so,” Tomlin said, via By Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I think he’s been really solid. Both guys will continue to play. We just want Cam to play more than he’s been playing and to assure that we’re going to put him in the starting lineup.”
Hood has handled the demotion professionally and it looks like he will still get some opportunities. You have to wonder though if he will ever take advantage of them.
When it comes to Adams, who has been demoted to third-string tackle behind both newly acquired Levi Brown and Kelvin Beachum, there may be a little more hope although you rarely see a player struggle as badly as Adams has at this point in his career become an impact player.
But unlike Hood, Adams is only inn his first full season in the league after being injured much of last season.
Even though it doesn’t look like it now, there is still some hope for the second-year pro.
He may not get many more opportunities this season, but Adams will likely be in the plans still going forward, something Tomlin made sure the Ohio State product understood.
“Absolutely I do,” Tomlin said when asked if Adams would have a role in the future. “The most important thing is not what happened to him. It’s how he responds and moves forward. I think it will define his career. It’s time for Mike to roll the sleeves up and go to work.”
So while the future doesn’t look bright for the likes of Hood and Adams at the moment both should be given opportunities again to attempt to prove themselves.
That’s something that Kevin Colbert and company need to start doing again as well.