Monday, September 16, 2013
Rookie Report: Ansah making an impact
By Michael Rothstein
Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Detroit Lions' rookies fared in the prior week’s game along with their overall stats and trends for the season.
Ziggy Ansah is continuing to show up.
After missing time in the preseason and leading up to the first game with a concussion, Ansah reclaimed his starting spot and once again made an impact for Detroit in a 25-21 loss to Arizona.
He leads a crop of rookies that have been playing a decent amount through two weeks.
Here’s a look at their performances.
DE Ziggy Ansah (first round, BYU): Ansah played 50 snaps on defense and two on special teams. His 50 snaps were the second-most for a Detroit defensive lineman, just behind Ndamukong Suh. Ansah had one tackle Sunday but pressured the quarterback twice. He now has three quarterback hits this season. His snap percentage jumped from 47 percent facing Minnesota to 70 percent against Arizona.
CB Darius Slay (second round, Mississippi State): Slay struggled for the second straight week, eventually replaced by veteran Rashean Mathis. While Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said after the game he wasn’t sure if there is a competition at right cornerback, Slay’s window before being pulled seems to be shrinking. He played on 39 percent of the snaps Sunday (28 plays), down from the 56 percent of snaps he played (31 snaps) in the opener. Watch his numbers next week to see whether he continues to lose time to Mathis.
RG Larry Warford (third round, Kentucky): He once again played every snap at right guard and was once again part of an offensive line which protected quarterback Matthew Stafford well. The line only allowed one sack. He is becoming one of the Lions’ top rookies.
DE Devin Taylor (fourth round, South Carolina): Taylor was active Sunday but did not play.
P Sam Martin (fifth round, Appalachian State): Martin punted much better than in the opener, averaging a net yardage of 50.2 yards a punt. He did not, though, put any inside the 20-yard line. That number is a drastic improvement from the 36.5 yards net he averaged in the opener.
RB Theo Riddick (sixth round, Notre Dame): Riddick saw his first offensive action Sunday, playing one play and being targeted on it. He played on 59 percent of the special teams plays (19 plays) -- essentially the same number as a week ago. If Reggie Bush is not healthy, he could be a guy to pay attention to this week for an increased role.
TE Joseph Fauria (undrafted, UCLA): A week after being targeted three times and catching his first career touchdown, Fauria was barely used Sunday. He played 10 percent of Detroit’s snaps (6 plays) -- down from 14 percent (11 plays) in the opener. The bigger surprise was Fauria was not targeted once against Arizona.
OT LaAdrian Waddle (undrafted, Texas Tech): Waddle was active Sunday, but did not play.