The Redskins' defensive end took advantage of a starting opportunity Friday night against the Bills, looking solid against the pass and run.
Most of the starting spots on the Redskins defense had already been solidified prior to the team's 21-16 victory over the Bills Friday night at FedExField. Not the case along the defensive line, which still had a couple of roles up for grabs entering the third preseason game.
Withdefensive end Chris Baker out for injury, and with the opportunity to play the majority of the first half, defensive Ziggy Hood took advantage. He finished with three tackles, including a sack and quarterback pressure, further solidifying his place along the line.
"It feels good. I wish I could have had more, but like I said, I can be happy with it," Hood said. "But not satisfied because there's a couple plays I left out there. But not only that, with the guys around we all play as a collective group. One may not get there, but if we all swarm, we all can produce at the same time."
That last sentiment helped set up Hood's first sack in nearly two years.
During the first drive, nose tackle Kedric Golston and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who would exit the game shortly afterward, compressed the pocket on Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, forcing him to move to his right and, consequently, into Hood's waiting arms.
"Coach [Joe Barry] put us in the right call and it just so happened I let my technique take over and things just happened," Hood said of the play. "So right then and there, I was just in the right place at the right time."
Halfway through the second quarter, Hood made his presence felt again in the backfield, this time against running back Daniel "Boom" Herron. Hood burst through the line on a run play outside and took Herron down for a loss of four yards.
"The more reps in practice I get, the more comfortable I feel and it shows out there on the field," hood said. "I'm surrounded by guys that want the best from you. Not only that, we push each other on the practice field."
Hood has certainly been one of the biggest surprises since joining the Redskins back in January. Brought in originally to provide depth after an injury-marred season with the Bears last year, he performed better than most of his peers at defensive end throughout training camp.
Against the Bills, Hood continued his impressive momentum, helping create a pass rush that hadn't been there in the two previous preseason games.
"Ziggy brings it every day. Ziggy brings lunch pail every day," said defensive end Ricky Jean Francois, who recorded his own sack on Friday. "He knew [we] were going to have a long day, and he did a great job out there…Everybody is clicking together, everyone is giving it their all, making it hard for the coaches to make a decision, and that's what we tell them to do each and every week. Go out there, execute everything, do your job, and make sure it is hard decision for the coaches."