The Saints took their time with filling their final roster spot on the 90-man training camp roster. After placing UDFA Carl Granderson on the Reserve/DNR list last week, a roster spot opened up. The Saints brought in CB DeShawn Hand on a tryout on Tuesday but ultimately went elsewhere to fill out the roster one day before veterans report to the facility. The Saints are signing 10-year veteran DT Evander “Ziggy” Hood.
Ziggy has spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Washington, and the Miami Dolphins the last two he spent time with in 2018. Last season he appeared in 12 games with no starts, 9 total tackles, and one pass defended. His best season was likely back in 2012 with the Steelers where he totals 3 sacks (tied for career high), 42 total tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, and a pair of fumble recoveries.
It is pretty clear why Hood is intriguing to the Saints coaching staff considering his versatility along the defensive line. Though he’s focused predominantly at 3-tech and nose tackle over his most recent years, he spent a large portion of his early career on the edge – specifically the left side. While Hood’s flexibility definitely warrants some attention, he is likely a longshot to make the 53-man roster.
If’s very likely though that Hood’s value can be as a veteran presence for the young guys on the line throughout training camp and the preseason. The 32 year old Missouri Tiger appeared in each of his first 96 eligible games before losing time to injury throughout the later few years of his career. He’s played more than 5,000 snaps in the NFL and has that knowledge to share with young players like Marcus Davenport, David Onyemata, Porter Gustin, Corbin Kaufusi and others on the defense.
Through his 141 career games Hood has totaled 14 sacks, 235 combined tackles, 25 or a loss, and 42 hits on the QB. His stat line is reflective of his value as a starting prospect – underwhelming. But we will see if he adds value as an important experienced presence ahead of the regular season.
Follow Ross on Twitter for more Saints news, breakdowns, and film study at @RossJacksonASC