2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions DE Ansah bouncing back from mistakes in camp

    2013-07-29 16:45

(Eds: Eds: Updates with details, quotes, notes. With AP Photos.)
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel ``Ziggy'' Ansah got into his stance, ready to fire off the line for a pass-rushing drill.

Not so fast.

Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek put his hands on the raw rookie during Monday's practice, shifting his hips and moving his left foot to adjust an awkward stance.

Detroit drafted Ansah fifth overall in the draft, counting on the former Brigham Young standout to develop into a star despite limited experience. He grew up in Ghana, playing soccer and basketball, before playing football for the first time in 2010.

Ansah, though, is more than ready to move on from the previous storylines about him struggling to put pads on and making a remarkable journey to the NFL.

``It's about the future now,'' he said softly. ``And the future for me is making plays to help this team win.''

Ansah has learned a lesson early in his NFL career. If you make a mistake, move on and don't repeat the miscue.

``Ziggy is really good that way,'' coach Jim Schwartz said. ``He has a lot to learn, that's well-documented. We have talked about that for a long time, but he is eager, quick to learn.''

While Ansah has shown flashes of promise, it's also clear he has work to do.

In his first full-pad practice, a third- or fourth-string offensive tackle, LaAdrian Waddle, easily got Ansah on the ground. The next snap, Ansah put himself in a position to make a tackle on running back Theo Riddick. Then he jumped offside, only to later use his speed to get close enough to tackle receiver Matt Willis near the sideline had it been a full-contact drill.

The 6-foot-5, 271-pound Ansah is clearly fast and strong enough to make plays in the league.

``Ziggy is a freak,'' teammate Stephen Tulloch said. ``He's a raw player, but very instinctive. He can read screens very well, runs to the ball very well. He's just a real, good athlete. He reminds me of a young Jevon Kearse. ... You can tell he needs a little more work, but he's definitely a good pickup for us.''

Ansah quietly believes that he will prove the Lions knew what they were doing when they drafted such an inexperienced player so high in the draft.

He moved to the United States in 2008 after some missionaries he befriended suggested he attend BYU and play basketball. He fell short in hoops, getting cut twice, and ran for the school's track team before eventually taking the advice of friends and asking Cougars football coach Bronco Mendenhall for a tryout in 2010.

Ansah's path to the league isn't conventional, but that hasn't dashed his confidence.

``I know I can do it,'' he said. ``The Lions have a lot of faith in me, and I have a lot of faith in them. I just have to learn in the classroom every day and take what I've learned on the field and pack a punch.''

Ansah acknowledges he is fortunate to play next to defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, both of whom may occupy as many as four blockers to free him up to beat an offensive tackle by himself.

``It's a privilege to play with those two guys,'' Ansah said. ``I don't hesitate to say they're the best in the league. To know I'm on their side is great. We're going to make it easier on each other.''

Willie Young, one of the defensive ends competing against him for playing time, said Ansah is ``a good rookie.''

``He'll definitely play a role for us,'' Young said. ``There are six defensive ends on the roster, so no one knows what's going to happen in terms of who's going to start and who's going to come off the bench. Ziggy is pretty good, but he's got a lot to learn, too.''

NOTES: The Lions took OG Leroy Harris off the physically unable to perform list and kept WR Devin Thomas on the active PUP list and DE Ronnell Lewis remains on the active, non-football injury list. ... DE Jason Jones (knee), CB Ron Bartell (right shoulder), CB Jonte Green (right hamstring), S Louis Delmas (left knee), CB Chris Greenwood (hamstring) and LB Carmen Messina (hamstring) didn't practice Monday.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 30 10:43a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be out at least another week, although tests on his hamstring came back negative Tuesday, July 29. The [ More ]

Marquis FlowersJul 30 10:33a

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring) were activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

David WilsonJul 30 10:13a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) will sit out of practice the rest of the week and won't play in the first preseason game. He underwent tests Tuesday, [ More ]

Lardarius WebbJul 30 08:33a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) had recent examinations reveal no structural damage to his back. It's believed to be a muscular problem that will require rest and rehabilitation. [ More ]

Chris RaineyJul 30 02:13a

LB Darrin Kitchens (Bills), OT Chris Faulk (Browns), PK Jake Rogers (Browns), OT Aslam Sterling (Broncos), RB Chris Rainey (Colts), WR Gerald Ford (Dolphins), OT DeMarcus Love (Giants) and [ More ]

Ricky SappJul 30 02:03a

The Houston Texans released LB Ricky Sapp (undisclosed) from their Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, July 29. Sapp is free to sign with any team.

Demarcus LawrenceJul 30 01:33a

Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) suffered a broken foot Tuesday, July 29, and he will need eight to 10 weeks recovery time, according to a source.

Brandon PettigrewJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew and the other tight ends have split time between working on the offensive line and working with the pass-catching receivers and running backs catching [ More ]

Corey HilliardJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions OTs Corey Hilliard and LaAdrian Waddle appear to be getting an equal shot at the starting right tackle job. Hilliard worked with the first-team offense Monday, July [ More ]

Kevin OgletreeJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions WR Kevin Ogletree has been spent time on the top unit each of the first two days of training camp, working as the No. 3 receiver. He [ More ]

Jason HatcherJul 30 12:13a

Washington Redskins DE Jarvis Jenkins said the team's signing of DE Jason Hatcher this offseason was a wakeup call that has motivated him to become a better player. 'I've [ More ]

Patrick PetersonJul 30 12:03a

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson announced via Twitter Tuesday, July 29, that he has signed a five-year contract extension worth $70 million with $48 million guaranteed.

Robert MeachemJul 29 11:53p

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and OT Tavon Rooks (back) returned to practice Tuesday, July 29.

Greg ScruggsJul 29 11:43p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill, SS Jeron Johnson, DE Greg Scruggs and LB Mike Morgan are four players that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn mentioned when asked what players have [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerJul 29 11:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor worked with the first-team offense in place of RB Andre Ellington (neck) Tuesday, July 29. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com believes the move means that [ More ]

Jake MatthewsJul 29 11:23p

Atlanta Falcons OT Jake Matthews has impressed QB Matt Ryan during training camp. 'I think Jake, his size and he's very strong, very athletic,' Ryan said Tuesday, July [ More ]

Dale MossJul 29 11:03p

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent WR Dale Moss (Panthers) to a one-year deal Tuesday, July 29. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Jerrel JerniganJul 29 10:43p

New York Giants CB Charles James could make the roster as a punt returner as a result of injuries to RB David Wilson (neck) and WR Odell Beckham Jr. [ More ]

Zac StacyJul 29 10:23p

St. Louis Ram RB Tre Mason saw received some snaps with the first-team Tuesday, July 29, with RB Zac Stacy receiving a majority of the work with the first-team.

Ray McDonaldJul 29 09:53p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee), CB Tramaine Brock (knee) and DE Ray McDonald (leg) did not practice Tuesday, July 29.

O'Brien SchofieldJul 29 09:33p

Seattle Seahawks LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (stomach) missed practice Tuesday, July 29, with a stomach injury, and LB O'Brien Schofield was given a scheduled day of rest.

Bryan BulagaJul 29 08:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) performed well in one-on-one pass-blocking drills Monday, July 28, stopping a rush attempt from LB Clay Matthews and two attempts from LB Julius Peppers.

Calvin JohnsonJul 29 08:23p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson is taking part in fewer reps in training camp this year than in years past and said he is trying to be smarter about [ More ]

Giorgio TavecchioJul 29 08:13p

Detroit Lions K Nate Freese and K Giorgio Tavecchio both missed field-goal attempts from nearly 50 yards during practice Tuesday, July 29, and the two remain in a competition for the starting kicking job.

Theo RiddickJul 29 07:53p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick possesses intensity, hustle, desire and toughness, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Riddick added that his versatility enables him to pressure defenses from the backfield.

Ben GardnerJul 29 07:33p

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle), OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) OG Darius Morris (undisclosed), LB William Smith (undisclosed), DE Ben Gardner (shoulder), CB Brandon Carr (personal), DT Amobi Okoye [ More ]

Sean LeeJul 29 06:53p

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (knee) thinks he will return from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee completely healthy. Lee is with the team in California [ More ]

Brian HoyerJul 29 06:43p

Cleveland Browns QBs Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer may not be the team's answer at quarterback, according to NFL Media's Charley Casserly. Casserly said the Browns' answer at the [ More ]

David WilsonJul 29 06:33p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) will undergo tests after suffering a 'burner' in practice Tuesday, July 29. The team 'will be careful' with Wilson.

Bobby WagnerJul 29 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner (calf) and OG James Carpenter (calf) left practice Tuesday, July 29, with calf injuries. Head coach Pete Carroll did not think either injuries were serious.

Steven JacksonJul 29 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson (hamstring) injured his hamstring Monday, July 28, which is why he wasn't practicing Tuesday, July 29. Head coach Mike Smith [ More ]

Michael VickJul 29 05:43p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith may be on a shorter leash this year with QB Michael Vick as his backup. Head coach Rex Ryan said the team's quarterback [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group