Ziggy Ansah made only nine starts in college after picking up the game of football just three seasons ago but Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz sees him as an instinctual defender?
Schwartz explains, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, that Ansah understands plays like screens, reverses, and some trap blocks that are designed as misdirection plays, gadgets to confuse defensive linemen.
“It’s all new to him,” Schwartz said, per Birkett. “We did talk about how Ziggy was an inexperienced player, but he was very instinctive playing things like screens and reverses and some trap blocks and draws and things like that that you would think an inexperienced player would struggle on. He did well on all those things.
“But our scheme is a lot different. It helped that we had him a week at the Senior Bowl. He got introduced to some of the techniques that we play. But all our rookies, their heads are spinning right now. A lot’s being asked of them.”
The Lions used the fifth overall pick on Ansah and the plan is to start him at right defensive end on a reconstructed line as Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril are no longer there. It helps the team has some savvy, skilled players on the inside in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, but Ansah will have to shine on his own on the outside at times. That means a crash course on the NFL for him with a few weeks remaining in the club’s offseason program and training camp ahead.
“I do think that’s a constant process,” Schwartz said. “I think if you asked veteran players along our defensive line, they’d always say they’re working on their technique. But, I mean, he doesn’t have a lot of time. None of our rookies have a lot of time.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune