LIONS INSIDER

Zettel hopes to make bigger impact in second season

Posted Jun 15, 2017

Defensive end Anthony Zettel has worked hard this offseason in hopes of making a bigger impact in his second year.

Anthony Zettel made headlines this past weekend when teammate Haloti Ngata tweeted out a video of Zettel throwing a 94 mph fastball as the two prepared for Saturday’s charity softball game hosted by the Sam Martin Foundation.

The video was impressive, but Zettel is hoping to make different kinds of headlines in the coming months.

The second year defensive end out of Penn State was a rotational player for the Lions last season. He played in 25 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, and recorded 13 tackles, five quarterback hurries and a sack in 13 games.

He’s hoping to have more of an impact in 2017.

Zettel was among the names general manager Bob Quinn listed after the draft, when asked if he was comfortable with where the Lions were from a pass-rushing personnel perspective.

“They have a lot more confidence in me,” Zettel said before Saturday’s softball game. “I worked my butt off in the offseason with a bunch of guys and I came back in shape and I’m ready to go. I’m excited.”

Ziggy Ansah, Kerry Hyder and Armonty Bryant all showed promise as pass rushers for the Lions in 2016, but the team could be looking for some of its younger rushers – Zettel among them – to step up and be more productive players in their rotation.

“A lot more comfortable,” Zettel said of his role in the defense heading into his second season. “Everybody has a lot more trust in me.

“I know the scheme better. The game has slowed down for me. I’ve gotten a lot more athletic in the offseason. I’m stronger. So, it’s just all coming together for me right now. I have a lot to improve on, though, and a lot of individual goals I want this year. I’m excited.”

The tremendously athletic Zettel said his biggest goal for this upcoming season is to be more of a playmaker.

A team can always use more playmakers. If Zettel can prove himself early on, he can potentially have a much bigger role in his second season.