Jaguars add DEs Clemons, Hood to defense

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars added a pair of defensive ends on Thursday, agreeing to terms with Ziggy Hood and Chris Clemons.
The team announced the Hood agreement while NFL Network’s reported that Clemons, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, had agreed to sign with the Jaguars.
Clemons played for Jaguars coach Gus Bradley during Bradley’s tenure as Seattle’s defensive coordinator. The Jaguars signed former Seattle defensive end Red Bryant last Saturday.
Hood, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first-round draft pick in 2009, gets a new start after never quite fitting into the team’s 3-4 defense. Hood proved to be durable — he has never missed an NFL game — and at times productive in five seasons with the Steelers but the team will look at other options opposite the emerging Cameron Heyward at right defensive end.
The question Hood will have to answer is whether he can be more than serviceable after the Steelers converted him from a gap-shooting defensive tackle in college to a hold-the-point-of-attack end. Hood was one of the strongest players on the team, but the 6-foot-3, 300-pounder never developed into the kind of force the Steelers envisioned when they drafted him as a successor to Aaron Smith.
Hood had a career-high 40 tackles in 2013 and also tied his career high with three sacks. But the former Missouri standout also lost his starting job at left defensive end to Heyward after the fourth game of the season. Hood started four games after that and played extensively at right defensive end due to a nagging foot injury that hampered Brett Keisel.
He started 43 of 80 career games with the Steelers and recorded 113 tackles and 11.5 sacks.
Clemons’ release by the Seahawks had been expected for weeks. The 32-year-old suffered a torn ACL during the 2012 playoffs but returned to play in 14 games last season. However, he was clearly still affected by the injury. He had just 4.5 sacks last season after compiling 33.5 in the previous three seasons.
Clemons has 58 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his nine-year career with Washington, Oakland and Seattle. He bolsters a Jaguars pass rush that has totaled just 51 sacks the past two seasons, including 20 in 2012. Steelers reporter Scott Brown contributed to this report.Covered University of Florida for 13 seasons for and Florida Times-Union
Graduate of Jacksonville University
Multiple APSE award winner

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