Defensive end Anthony Zettel has been using the power he showed in his draft video on the Lions’ defensive line, and it is producing results. In the two preseason games he has recorded three tackles and one tackle assist. He has been able to get off blockers and make plays on the ball, often times behind the line of scrimmage.
He was a couple steps behind Cornelius Washington during his big sack and would have hit Hackenberg had Washington not made it there. Zettel is a prime candidate to play opposite of defensive end Ezekiel Ansah when he comes back to the line from the PUP list.
Zettel finished the game at Ford Field with three tackles.
Cornerback DJ Hayden has been excelling in pass coverage over the last two games, showing improvement for the Detroit Lions in man coverage. In the Colts game, Hayden blanketed receiver Chester Rogers down the sideline for a deep pass that could have been a touchdown had he not stayed with him. The play forced a quarterback scramble on third down to extend the drive.
Hayden was able to break up a pass in the game against the Jets, from his tight coverage. On third and 11 in the third quarter, he broke up a pass from Petty to wide receiver Myles White. Also, Hayden was able to record a tackle in each game.
The tight coverage is something that the Lions were seriously lacking on defense last season. Often receivers were allowed to catch short passes and get immediately tackled in a “bend don’t break” style of play. Hopefully, with the many new and improved players, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will be able to create a more effective defense come the regular season.