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Ansah could be the key to the Lions’ defense in 2014

Ansah Getty Images

If the Lions hope to make good on high internal expectations (at this point, it’s easier to list the players who haven’t declared that the team can win a Super Bowl), they’ll need to get a strong season from one of the most currently overlooked players on the team’s defensive line.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

As explained by Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News, the Lions need a big impact from Ansah in his second season.  The fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, regarded as a project when selected, managed to rack up eight sacks in 14 games last year.  If he can make a major jump in 2014, the defense — and in turn the entire team — will be much better for it.

Ansah will definitely get the opportunity to have an impact on the defense by making an impact on opposing quarterbacks.  Along with other things, apparently.

“He’ll do what we’re asking our rush ends to do,” new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said during offseason workouts.  “He’s going to rush. He’s going to drop. He’s going to move to different positions. He’s going to do some different things.”

With defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley entering contract years, they both have strong financial incentives to play better than ever.  Which will, if it happens, resulting in greater attention being paid to them.  Which will, if that happens, result in more opportunities for Ansah to face only one blocker as he gets more comfortable, and in turn possibly much more productive, at the NFL level.

While the team’s ultimate success will be driven in large part by whether it can get the most out of Joe Lombardi’s Saints-style offense, a postseason berth could result in a one-and-out showing if the defense isn’t significantly better.  For that to happen, Ansah will have to be significantly better.

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22 Responses to “Ansah could be the key to the Lions’ defense in 2014”
  1. thepftpoet says: Jul 14, 2014 11:12 AM

    The Lions have a solid defensive line, but no secondary whatsoever.

    If they want a successful defense, they need to emulate the Minnesota Vikings Mike Zimmer way.

    Which will be a top 10 defense last year.

    With Starting Cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes (One of the best cover CB’s in the NFL) Captain Munnerlyn – One of the best slot CB’s in the NFL. Harrison Smith – One of the best Safeties in the NFL.

    We have a better Secondary than the Legion of PEDS.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 14, 2014 11:13 AM

    I’m just happy that the Dolphins foolishly traded up for Dion Jordan and that there was never any risk for us to take Jordan. If they took Ansah themselves, then Detroit would have taken Jordan or a number of other silly picks. Ansah was a better prospect and we got him at a lower pick, thanks Miami!

  3. thevikingsarewherecareersend says: Jul 14, 2014 11:15 AM

    He could be starting for the joke of a franchise we have come to known the Minnesota Vikings. The NFL’s version of shaqtin a fool. Their team is full of Javale Mcgees and of course the only stud AP

  4. hansenbrothers says: Jul 14, 2014 11:16 AM

    That defensive front is gonna need 10 sacks a game to cover for that Swiss cheese secondary. But hey, at least they got Ebron, right?!

  5. putitintheair85 says: Jul 14, 2014 11:20 AM

    ThePFTPoet says Xavier Rhodes is a top cover corner….. that’s hilarious man. He was a rookie last year and started on the worst defense in the league…how is he a top cover corner? (That being said, he is really good at chasing receivers with the ball from behind into the end zone)

  6. vikesr4reel says: Jul 14, 2014 11:24 AM

    Lions defense!!
    Lol
    Two words that don’t sound right together!!
    Lol
    Skol

  7. boredfootball says: Jul 14, 2014 11:40 AM

    Lions have the best defense in the division… They did last year and they will again this year.

  8. 4yardstogo says: Jul 14, 2014 11:48 AM

    Lions don’t have the strongest secondary but I believe they will surprise people. Out with the old and in with the new coaches that have proven to be successful. If you look at the last few game for Detroit last year it was not their defense that was the issue. Their offense couldn’t put up crucial points when they needed to give the defense a hand.

  9. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jul 14, 2014 12:08 PM

    “He’s going to rush. He’s going to drop. He’s going to move to different positions. He’s going to do some different things.”

    For a 2nd year rookie that was considered a project when he was drafted, this sounds like a TERRIBLE IDEA. Having him move to different positions and dropping? Reminds me of Mario Williams early career, they had him moving all over the defensive line. Eventually they stopped doing that and let him play in his spot most of the time.

  10. spyder9669 says: Jul 14, 2014 12:08 PM

    My paycheck could be the key to my grocery list this week.

  11. bassplucker says: Jul 14, 2014 12:09 PM

    Yes, I think the 30-year-old 2nd year player will do a nice job for them this year.

  12. lionsdraftguy says: Jul 14, 2014 12:18 PM

    Lions wouldnt have taken Dion Jordan I can assure you of that.

  13. floratiotime says: Jul 14, 2014 12:39 PM

    The Lions are doing so much bragging I’m getting them confused with the Eagles.

  14. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jul 14, 2014 1:13 PM

    I will never forgive the Lions for choking away the division last year and allowing the Packers to win it again.

  15. purpleguy says: Jul 14, 2014 1:40 PM

    If Fairley gets his act together and Ansah develops, the Lions will have the best D-line in the NFCN, maybe the NFC.

  16. calvinthegreat82 says: Jul 14, 2014 1:40 PM

    I wish my Lions could get a better defense, we have so much talent and we are just terrible.

    Jay Cutler, Teddy Bridgewater and Aaron Rodgers are all better than Stafford. We need a QB, badly!

  17. bassslaper says: Jul 14, 2014 1:45 PM

    Matt Stafford isn’t better than Cutler. Not even close!

    Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are better combined than Calvin Johnson alone.

    The Vikings have a better defense than the Lions.

    Lions finish 3rd or 4th in the NFCN.

    Enough with the bragging, the Lions choke every year. Time to walk the walk or shut up!

  18. reeggss says: Jul 14, 2014 1:53 PM

    Real question is: who is stafford’s backup?

  19. weaselpuppy says: Jul 14, 2014 2:02 PM

    Ansah is 25. Which will be the number of career sacks in 2 years at the end of the season ;)

  20. adolfoliverbush says: Jul 14, 2014 2:42 PM

    Lions defense is not that bad. They were 16th in total defense and 6th against the run. I think they’ll be even better this year

  21. calvinthegreat81 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:39 PM

    Ziggy is the man. He will be one of the top DE this year in NFC.

    By the way. Book it- bears 5-11

  22. twelsh36446 says: Jul 16, 2014 10:15 AM

    For the guy that said Ziggy was a project last year; you are a fool to think that. He was the best defensive player taken last year. Van Noy will be the next best defensive player taken. Warford was one of the best guards last year and the foolish team that wasted draft picks on all those talented (haha) DEs last year when Detroit got a great one that was even drafted. Waddles played a talented DE last year, and didn’t even cost us a draft pick.

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