By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – In his first two NFL seasons, Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah has recorded 15.5 sacks, and last season Pro Football Focus ranked him as the fifth-best in the league among defensive ends that play in a 4-3 scheme.READ MORE: Eastern Michigan University Launches Program Exposing High School Girls To Careers In Aviation
Ansah will not admit to having a sack total in mind for the upcoming season, but he does have a grand overall goal.
“I don’t put numbers on what I’m trying to accomplish,” Ansah said Thursday after the team’s OTA practice. “I’m just trying to be the greatest.”
Ansah said he has more specific goals, too, but he declined to share those, only saying he wants to be better at getting off the ball and better at getting to the quarterback.
With Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley gone, Ansah is now one of the most prominent players on the defense along with linebacker DeAndre Levy. Ansah indicated, however, that the departure of Suh and Fairley does not make him feel any more responsible for the success of the defense.READ MORE: 3 People Arrested In Shooting Death Of Ypsilanti Township Man On Facebook Live
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Ansah said. “I just go out there to do what I’m asked to do and just get better every day.”
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell expressed confidence Ansah can do whatever he wants to do.
“It’s up to him,” Caldwell said Thursday. “Ziggy’s a very, very disciplined guy. He’s ambitious. He certainly has the physical capability to be an unusual player in this league. I’m glad that’s his goal because of the fact that we expect a lot from him. He’s capable of delivering, as well.”
Caldwell said Ansah’s increasing comfort level will likely allow him to up his already impressive game to an even higher level this season.MORE NEWS: Carlos Santana 'Doing Well' After Collapsing Onstage At Pine Knob Music Theatre
“Last year was new for him,” Caldwell said. “Often times you can see where players play a little more slowly when they don’t quite understand everything to a tee. You see that pick up over time. He’s one I certainly think you can see he’s not thinking nearly as much. He’s reacting, he’s playing, and I think in the long run we’ll all benefit from that.”