Ezekiel Ansah in Rookie of the Year conversation as he closes on Detroit Lions' rookie sack mark
By Justin Rogers | firstname.lastname@example.org
on December 04, 2013 at 12:55 PM,
updated December 04, 2013 at 12:56 PM
ALLEN PARK -- With four sacks in the past two games, Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has thrust himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation.
There's some stiff competition for the honors, primarily from defensive tackles Sheldon Richardson and Star Lotulelei and linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Ansah admits it would be nice to be recognized for his individual accomplishments, but only if it's a byproduct of the team's success.
"It would be fun to win it, but I wouldn't say that's my main focus right now," Ansah said. "I'm doing whatever I can just to help my team win. I just make plays on the field, and if I'm Rookie of the Year, that's great. "
Ansah leads all rookies with seven sacks through 12 games. He's a half-sack short of Tracy Scroggins' team record for a first-year defensive end and has a legitimate shot to catch Ndamukong Suh for the most by a rookie at any position.
Suh tallied 10 sacks and was named Rookie of the Year in 2010.
Ansah said there's been no particular reason for his recent burst, other than an increased comfort level with each passing week. He also admitted an ankle injury, which cost him two games, allowed the rest of his body to heal.
"My (position) coach always told me, it's a blessing in disguise," Ansah said. "I take it as a positive."
Coach Jim Schwartz rejected the notion that Ansah is suddenly coming on strong.
Schwartz is quick to point out that the rookie had three sacks, all of which caused fumbles, negated by penalties earlier in the season.
"He just has those instincts," Schwartz said. "He's around the football and he's very comfortable in our defensive scheme. ...there is an adjustment period sometimes where rookies or young players go through where they are sort of thinking about the call or something like that. I think it's pretty automatic with him."
This week, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Ansah will match up with five-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters.
"I hear he's pretty good," Ansah said. "I'm trying to devise my own plan for him."http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... ansah.html