Hood says he added 20 pounds of muscle

There was speculation that Ziggy Hood could be a candidate to play nose tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers if Casey Hampton wasn't fully recovered from a knee injury. Hood might be better suited to take over for James Farrior at inside linebacker if he keeps up his training regimen.

Hood plans to report to training camp at the end of July looking more like a linebacker than a defensive end. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Hood lowered his body fat from 24 percent to 18 percent in a four-week span in March. He also lost 18 pounds of fat and gained 20 pounds of muscle. His current weight is 307 pounds.

If you have any doubts about Hood's shape, you should take at look at the YouTube video of him jumping on top of a 50-inch box from a seated position.

“I felt a big difference and feel great right now,” Hood told the Tribune-Review. “You feel good, you play good. You can always improve, and that was one area I would like to improve on, and that’s what I have been doing.”

Hood has never began a season as a starter, but he's made 23 starts the past two seasons because of injuries to Aaron Smith. Judging by his work ethic this offseason, Hood doesn't expect to be handed the starting job this season. He seems prepared to win the competition with Cameron Heyward.

The impressive part is Hood says his training is far from over. He will start back at the end of the month and continue through the start of camp.

"All that big and looking sloppy, that’s out the window,” Hood said. “We are sexy now.”