Rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah had quite the NFL debut a couple weeks ago in the preseason opener vs. the Jets.
Ansah intercepted Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez on the fourth play of his NFL career and returned it for a touchdown. He also recorded a tackle for a loss in the Detroit Lions victory.
Ansah didn't have the same flash plays in his encore performance last week vs. the Browns, but head coach Jim Schwartz said his athletic young rookie actually played a better game in Cleveland than he did in his debut.
"He had a couple flash plays in the first game, intercepted a ball and made a tackle for the loss ... he wasn't as consistent as he needed to be," Schwartz said.
"He didn't show up in the stat sheet (in Cleveland), but he played a lot more consistent and was much more effective within our defense. I thought that was a bright spot."
Ansah recorded two tackles vs. the Browns, but rushed the passer much more consistently through the course of his 22 snaps than he did the week prior.
That's the kind of progression coaches want to see with their No. 1 pick. He can't just flash a play here or there and then disappear. The Lions are expecting him to be consistently disruptive coming off the right edge for 60 minutes.
"He's got a long way to go,” Schwartz said. "As a football team we have a long way to go. As individuals there is still a lot more work and things that need to be accomplished.
"I think the bright spot about that is physically he has done well and that you have to say that the best is yet to come with a guy like Ziggy. He is not tapped out yet."
It's a process for Ansah, but the fact that he's learning how to play within the scheme and is more effective from week-to-week, with not a lot of football in his background, is a good sign for the Lions.
"Everybody comes from a little different spot. It really doesn't matter," Schwartz said. "I probably started football when I was seven and that didn't do me a whole lot of good.
"I didn't take to it the same way that Ziggy did. I don't know that there is such thing as being a natural, but he has natural aptitude. He applies things pretty quickly and figures things out pretty quickly."