SLR Hot Routes: Detroit Lions Roster Edition
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2. The Lions defense obviously lost Ndamukong Suh last year. Who has to step up in his absence and why?
Ackerman – Ziggy Ansah. This defense is predicated on the edge rushers getting to the QB, and it didn’t happen enough last season. The absence of Suh will likely result in less pressure up the middle, making pressure off the edge an even greater necessity.
Platte – Darius Slay took tremendous strides last season, becoming one of the better young cover corners in the NFL. His attitude and swagger will be needed to not only maintain this defensive strength, but to give it its own identity.
DeMara – It’s easy to say Ngata one for one, but the responsibility lies at defensive end. Ziggy Ansah can’t see his production tail off, nor can Jason Jones. Those two will be key in trying to replicate some of the statistical production that was lost from the departure of Suh. Both will have to win plenty more one-on-one battles on the edges as well.
DeGain – Ngata will need to step up and show he has more gas in the tank left than most people think. He is coming off of one of his best career seasons last year in Baltimore. I would like to see him go even bigger now he is in Detroit. I feel he can step in, plug those gaps, and has the speed to get in the backfield on occasion.
Payton – This is Ansah’s line now. He must embrace that. I believe he will have another great season.
Williams – I’ve got to go with the consensus on this and say Ziggy Ansah. I spoke about this briefly on Lions Central Radio last week — he has to step up and become the leader of this group. Ngata needs to play well, but at 26-years-old, Ziggy needs to lead this group.
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