"I definitely think we are making progressions chemistry wise," Hood said. "When we switched to the 3-3-5, it was more of a learning experience for all of us.
"We played more base defenses, but we are integrating more blitzes and different packages and Kirlav is allowing us to kind of do our own thing inside, which allows for us to have higher production levels."
One of the biggest progressions the defensive line has made is that it is working together more as opposed to how it played last season.
"We have a lot of work to do, but we have come together as a unit chemistry wise and everything," Hood said. "We are starting to trust each other more.
"Instead of playing individual assignments, we are learning all three assignments so we know where to go. I think we have made strides there. We have a lot of work to do, but we have come a long way also."
Defensive tackle is considered to be one of the toughest positions on the field and Hood has no intention of disagreeing with that assessment.
"It is definitely physically demanding," he said. "It is two or three on one every play and the knowledge it incorporates is a lot.
"You have to know what all the linebackers are doing and what all the ends are doing so you don't get in their way and then you have to know the protection in the back so you can drop or back out on the screen, so I would say it is physically and mentally demanding."
Hood admits that the demand makes the defensive line tired, but Kirelawich stresses that the team must play through it.
"We get tired in practice, but I think during the season it is going to pay off because we are learning how to play through the pain," Hood said. "Kirlav always tell me you have to be too tough to be tired and I think that is starting to really take hold."
Is that philosophy something that can be learned?
"Some people learn it and some people can't, but I do think it is something that you can develop," Hood said.