The Lions brought in a new coaching staff this offseason after firing Jim Schwartz, including defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Austin inherits a defensive line that has been the strength of the Detroit defense for several years, but his tweaks to the unit will not leave that group alone. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said that the group “will have some fun” in 2014 and one of the big changes appears to be the way that players will line up. Austin is planning to move players around to create mismatches and boost a sack total that has dropped in each of the last three seasons. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah is one of the players who will be lining up in a variety of places.
“I like the changes we have now,” Ansah said, via the team’s website. “I don’t always have to be on the right side. I can get up and move around and drop into coverage. I think [Austin] is a great coach and going to bring a lot to the team.”
The Lions’ defensive line has not always played up to the level their talent would suggest, so it makes sense to find ways to maximize their output. That may be especially true of Ansah, who had eight sacks as a rookie while lining up in the same spot pretty much every time he stepped on the field and could see even better results when offenses have a harder time planning for him.