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

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ 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