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Ansah wisely avoids making any predictions for his rookie year

Ezekiel Ansah AP

The Lions spent the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft on Ziggy Ansah with the idea that he’d make an immediate impact as a pass rusher. But Ansah doesn’t want to make any predictions about exactly how big an impact he’ll make.

Ansah says fans and members of the media are asking him to state a specific goal for a specific number of sacks he plans to record this season, but he’s declining to get into that.

“I’m not trying to put [out any] numbers,” Ansah told the Detroit Free Press. “If I tell you I’m going to get 10 and I get nine, what are you going to say?”

That’s a smart answer: Sack totals are dependent on all sorts of things that any individual player has very little control over, such as whether the Lions are leading most of the time and playing against opposing teams that have to pass a lot, or whether they’re losing most of the time and playing against teams that are running out the clock. Claiming to have a specific number of sacks in mind before the season ignores the reality that no player can predict the exact circumstances of the season ahead.

It’s also worth remembering that while the Lions are counting on Ansah to be a starter as a rookie (especially considering that both of last year’s starting defensive ends, Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch, are gone), they also realize that he’s a long-term project who had never even played football when he enrolled at BYU. We won’t have a full picture of how good a pick Ansah was for the Lions for three or four years.

So there’s no reason to put a specific number on Ansah’s sack total. Suffice to say, however, that when Ansah mentioned nine or 10, he was in the right range: Avril led the Lions with 9.5 sacks last year.

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10 Responses to “Ansah wisely avoids making any predictions for his rookie year”
  1. nyninerfan says: Jun 21, 2013 9:23 AM

    He’s wise for his age. Which appears to be about 32 or so.

  2. annodomini90 says: Jun 21, 2013 9:28 AM

    But unlike Avril, Ansah is playing RDE. If he can beat LT’s with his athleticism and speed then he’ll put up good stats, but I think he’ll struggle for at least half the season before finding some good footing.

  3. faulkn22 says: Jun 21, 2013 9:46 AM

    I’ve watched him practice and the leverage he is getting is impressive. He may boom or bust, but the potential is noticeable to anyone that is watching.

  4. purpleguy says: Jun 21, 2013 10:13 AM

    Very good, measured response — he must not be getting advice from the Lions veteran players.

  5. scottieplongballs says: Jun 21, 2013 10:13 AM

    This guy didnt play in college? And he was the 5th pick?!

  6. jimmylions says: Jun 21, 2013 10:28 AM

    What this answer shows is that he listens when he’s coached. He’s a very smart kid.

  7. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 21, 2013 10:58 AM

    purpleguy is still mad about how much Nate Burleson talks to the media. It’s time to let it go.

  8. lks311 says: Jun 21, 2013 11:14 AM

    Sounds like a smart kid. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions rebound to make the post season. With the exception of a back-up, low-drafted DE (Ronnell Lewis), Detroit’s players have had no negative press and have stayed far from the bright lights this off-season.

    Translate: They’re doing the work.

  9. doe22us says: Jun 21, 2013 3:40 PM

    Ghana stand up.. Lions, you guys got yourself a good kid who definately has a good head on his shoulders, of course i cant forgive him for his 3D glasses smdh.

  10. funktron2x says: Jun 22, 2013 4:38 AM

    @faulkn22: Thanks for the first-hand report. Ive seen every clip to be find on the internet, and he jumps right off he tape. But it is nice to hear someone confirm it from seeing it live and while practicing with an NFL team.

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