Ziggy

Posted: March 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 51 Comments »

In the past I mainly focused on Ziggy Ansah as a potential SAM for the Eagles.  He is huge for that spot at 6-5, 274, but has the athletic ability to handle that role.  I also think the Eagles could have interest in him as a 5-tech DE.  Ziggy would need to add 10 pounds over time to ideally fit the spot, but he can play it.

Let’s take a look at a YouTube video of Ansah in action.  You want to watch for a few things here:

* Versatility … he lines up at DE, DT, and NT.  Ansah rushes like an upright LB at times.

* Physicality … some guys with a soccer/track background are finesse athletes. Ansah is tough and physical.  He’s not afraid to mix it up.

* Athleticism … BYU didn’t have Ansah fly off the edge. You want to look for lateral agility, change of direction ability, and speed/quickness.

* Instincts … watch the INT play. He picks that off because he’s active and aware. Consistently shows a good motor. Chases plays. Runs well.

* Shedding blocks … this ties in to physicality, but Ansah is able to shed blocks. Some DL struggle to get off blocks. Ansah is good at it.

The Eagles would use Ansah as the 5-tech DE in the base 4-3 Under.  His role would be to play the run first and foremost.  He wouldn’t necessarily have to 2-gap, but he would be setting the edge and playing under control.  Once he read the play was a pass, he could then attack upfield.  The Eagles could play him at DE or DT in the Nickel.  Interestingly, they could use him as a NT in the Nickel if they wanted, leaving Fletcher Cox as the 3-tech.  Ansah played NT for BYU in some passing situations and did a solid job.

I could see Chip Kelly liking Ansah because of his athleticism and versatility.  Ansah could literally play all over the front seven in the 4-3 or 3-4.  Think of him as the modern day Karl Mecklenburg or Howie Long.  The flip side is that I’m not sure there is a perfect role for Ansah and you are projecting him because of his limited football background.  Is that smart to do with the #4 pick?

* * * * *

Here is a PE.com video on Ziggy with a great line of his from a Combine interview at the end.  Very funny.

* * * * *

A quick refresher on the DL spots/jobs.

5-technique is a DE that is across from the OT.  This is how most 3-4 DEs line up.

3-technique DT is the Cullen Jenkins role.  This DL is on the outside shoulder of the OG and rushes upfield.  His job is to make plays.

The NT lines up across from the C.  In a 1-gap system, the NT will “shade” to one side or the other and attack upfield.  In most pure 3-4 systems, the NT is a big guy that 2-gaps and occupies blockers so that the LBs are clean.

* * * * *

Couple of draft nuggets here.

_


  • ICDogg

    I’m on board with it…

  • TommyLawlor

    Would be ironic to fire Andy and then spend a Top 5 pick on a BYU player.

    • A_T_G

      I thought the same thing. I wonder if Andy is considering him.

  • ICDogg

    Needs to add a couple of moves to his repertoire. A few of those plays would have been assisted by a good swim move, for example

  • Flyin

    Is my understanding correct here…?

    Odd technique (1,3,5,…) lines up shoulder to shoulder and has 1-gap responsibility..

    Even technique (0,2,4,…) lines up helmet to helmet and has 2-gap responsibility.

    • TommyLawlor

      5-tech is often used for 2-gapping.

      • Anders

        Thats because some use a different tech chart and there the 5 tech is where the 4 tech normally is.

  • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

    If we’re to take at face value some of what Chip’s said so far in terms of the attributes he likes in players, Ziggy seems to fit the profile pretty darn well.

    He’s big. He’s crazy athletic. He’s fast and not only does he time fast, he plays fast, unlike some of the other top guys (I’m looking at you, Dee Milliner). He’s super versatile, looking just as comfortable playing NT as he does standing up, though I doubt if he’ll ever offer too much in terms of coverage. And more than anything, dude is violent. Like, super violent. You can tell watching him play that he enjoys beating up on people.

    He’s raw of course, but I think that only adds to his value. If he’s this beastly now, imagine what some NFL coaching and an NFL nutrition program could do for him.

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      “Did someone just say: ‘super violent’?” – Jerry Azzinaro

  • livingonapear

    I see what you mean on some plays (specifically the lateral movement, and how he moves down the line when locked up), but then on others he looks very awkward. It seems like there are more than a few plays where he gets stood up by linemen, possibly due to his size. If you look at the interception play, he’s getting ragdolled, and is balancing on one foot before he’s able to take advantage of the tipped ball. On the next play, however, he looks just like the guy you described above.

    Is that something that can be coached? I think it might be a case of him not setting his base. I also noticed that his rush moves, specifically his spin move, feel off balance. That seems like it could be coached if he’s taught to properly plant his feet once engaged, and how to use leverage against opponents. As is, it feels like he’s just approximating what a spin move is.

    One question I do have, somewhat related, is how many linemen take martial arts? It seems like a martial art such as Aikido would be invaluable for teaching leverage and using your opponent’s weight against him, but I could also see coaches not wanting some guy they don’t know messing with their player’s balance.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.mccarthy.1042 Matthew McCarthy

      Good point about martial arts. Some players look for alternative conditioning methods like swimming, boxing, ballroom dancing (?). Aikido and judo have a lot of helpful concepts like u said… I know some NFL players train in MMA in the off season. Jay Glazer trains a few of them.

      • livingonapear

        I think Herschel Walker did ballet. I remember reading “Sports Illustrated: For Kids” and since they took it upon themselves to knock down gender stereotypes, they always made a big deal anytime a football player took ballet. It really was like “ZOMG! A FOOTBALL PLAYER? Doing…BALLET! Bet you didn’t think it was possible!”

  • livingonapear

    Also, if we take Ziggy this year, we have to take Van Noy next year. Reuniting these two would be awesome.

    • TommyLawlor

      That would be fine by me.

  • A_T_G

    At first I was a little disappointed he wasn’t getting more of a push, then I noticed he was regularly triple teamed. I believe on one of the last few plays he was actually quadruple teamed.

    • livingonapear

      Yeah, I almost feel silly with my comment below. I went back and watched, and on the plays where it seem liked he was getting handled, there was usually a chip or a double team to take him off balance. Still some rawness or rough angles, but let Jerry “How violent can you be?” Azzinaro work with him and he’ll be fine.

      I’m sold honestly. I went and watched some of Kyle Van Noy’s stuff (#3, usually cleaning up what Ziggy doesn’t get) and this BYU D has some real talent.

  • Baloophi

    Perhaps I’m in the minority here but I don’t think I want Ansah… and certainly not at #4.

    From watching the clip (and from various scouting reports I read before and after the Senior Bowl (where I admit he did flash)), I get the sense that he doesn’t know what to do with his athletic talents. He sort of does what I do when I embody Reggie White on Madden – run around like an idiot blowing up guys but with no idea where I’m going.

    [Also of note - I believe Ansah gets doubled and tripled in the late second half, but was getting handled 1 on 1 for most of the game.]

    I’m certainly out of my element in terms of knowing what’s teachable and what isn’t, but I’d feel more comfortable taking Floyd and not having to wonder if Ansah ever puts it together.

    • Baloophi

      I guess Ziggy joined the blog to vote my comment down?

      Sorry I tried to add to the discussion…

      • ICDogg

        Lol… wasn’t me…

      • A_T_G

        How dare you present and justify an opinion that differs from that of another reader in a logical, conversational manner?

      • Mac

        It’s just the ghost of Morton’s past

      • Cliff

        Who cares about votes though? I always just sort by “oldest,” so I can follow the convo… You sir, get another down-vote for the whining.

  • D-von

    I’ve been on the Ansah train for awhile so I have nothing to add

  • Adam

    If I recall… Did he chose to study rather than prep for combine? Does that raise any flags?

    • D-von

      I depends on your perspective. On the hand, his freakish athleticism is enticing but you ask yourself if he’s dedicated to the sport. Also what do they mean when they say he did not train for the combine? Do they mean he did not hire a trainer to get him ready for it and instead did his normal routine in preparation, or did not at all train for several weeks after the season ended (which I don’t believe)

      • D3FB

        He almost assuredly just meant that he stayed on campus and followed a relatively normal routine rather than leaving school and going to one of these full time gyms for two months. If his agent let him completely lay around and do nothing for two months then he should be fired.

        • ICDogg

          Yeah… I can imagine him graduating school was important to his family, even if it may not be important ultimately to his career.

          • D3FB

            Exactly you don’t leave your family and go to a strange place (BYU would probably be a strange place for most Americans let alone a kid from Ghana) and not finish what you came to do.

          • Lukekelly65

            i agree completely if anything its a good sign that the guy has a goal and refuses to give up on it just to work out he has his head on straight and he has his priorities in order. Im not saying he will be a great player because of these things but at least if you bring him in and it doesnt work out its not because hes some lazy idiot

          • Cliff

            Agreed. It’s sort of that stereotypical “immigrant mentality.” He came here to get his education, he’s going to get it come hell or high water.

    • ICDogg

      other side of that coin… it means that his results were not phonied up Mike Mamula results.

      • Adam

        It just worries me a bit that he’s not 100% dedicated to this. I have no arguments that education is very important, but ultimately he needs to decide if football is just something he does until he starts his career or is football that career. You can work on/finish your degree in the offseasons as lots of players have done.

        I want my 4th overall pick to eat, sleep and breath football. I don’t want another Watkins, who has all the gifts but lacks the passion.

        • Cliff

          Meh, if this were “chose to study instead of prep for the Bowl” or something I’d agree, but it’s the Combine and he’s already projected to be a high pick. Lots of guys sit out drills at the Combine for actual “football reasons” anyway.

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      He came to BYU to be a track athlete. I’d guess that mean’s he’d done things like run out of a track stance before.

      When you hear about guys “training” for the combine, it’s not really in reference to weight lifting and the like, though of course they’re still doing things like that. It really means they’re trying to master each of the individual tests so that they can do as well as possible; i.e. learning how to run out of a track stance, working on form to maximize output in things like broad jump and vert, and doing the actual combine drills day in and day out. It’s kind of a cheat if you really stop and think about it because for most of them you’re not getting a legit read on their measurable’s, you’re getting a read based on training specific to that testing. Training they’ll never again do in their lives.

      Which is exactly why every year there are guys like Vernon Gholston who are athletic and test really well, but can’t do anything on the field. Or guys like Terrell Suggs who, despite awesome college tape, don’t test particularly well.

      Ziggy has good production, but he’s raw enough that you’ll be drafting him based mostly on projection. But not training for the draft so he can finish up at school is not, and should not, be a concern. He just happen’s to be so athletic and have the right kind of background, that he didn’t need that “training” in order to do well.

      • Adam

        I disagree completely. Scoring well on your tests on the combine can make the difference between a top 5 projection or a late 1st round. Literally millions of dollars on the line.

        I have no doubt he’s a great track athlete and all that but there is always room for improvement, shaving seconds off times, getting more reps etc.. And I don’t believe for a second that these things could not be improved upon with professional training.

        Like I’ve said on other blogs, everyone in the NFL is talented. He’s not going to be beating up on a college kids anymore. The difference between the good and the average is the work you put in, and it all starts at the combine. If he doesn’t have the combine as his number 1 priority, what makes you think the Eagles will be tops?

        • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

          I’m sorry, but I think your perspective on this is kind of screwed up.

          The worry over millions of dollars equates to “loving” football and making it a top priority? Because to me, it’s the exact opposite. It means the concern is money and not the game.

          And yeah, of course there’s room for improvement. There’s always room for improvement, no matter if you’re Cedric Thornton or Tom Brady…but that’s exactly what makes the job he did at the combine so impressive. Without all the BS “training”, he STILL looked elite. He STILL looked like a surefire top end athlete, which is what you’re hoping to see at the combine.

          The only thing you’re absolutely right about is that the difference between good and average is the work you put in. The problem is that it sure as heck doesn’t “start at the combine”. That’s such a narrow viewpoint. It start’s at who you are as a person. And if you look at his choice to finish his studies, and still kick ass at the combine, instead of over worrying about money/draft slotting and going to some “sports academy” to practice running the 40, then I’m glad you’re not making any decisions for our team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

    I think this diagram might be useful (it’s from Alabama’s D)

    http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/685225/Alabama_34_Base_Under_O_medium.PNG

    • ICDogg

      J=Jack Linebacker= Predator

  • NoDecaf

    …played guitar, jammin’ good with Weird and Gilly, and the Spiders from Mars.
    (Had to do it.)

  • http://twitter.com/BugeHalls Buge Halls

    Maybe I saw a different guy in the youtube clip (were they highlighting the right guy), but here’s what I saw of #47:

    a) he misses a lot of tackles in space

    b) he seems to get blocked out of the play on almost every down – many of the plays he’s pushed a couple yards back off of the LOS!

    c) he’s on the ground a LOT – hard to make a play when you’re on the ground!

    d) he’s behind the play a lot too – always running to catch up to the ball – goes back to being blocked out of the play

    e) on the one play he blatantly slid like a runner going to 2nd base (at 1:37) and
    tried to trip the receiver (he didn’t make contact so no flag) – playing catch up again!

    And the interception was a pure gift – it looked to me like he was turned around in circles on the play and just happened to run into the ball. If the receiver would have caught the ball, he would have once again been behind the play racing to catch up.

    I will say, when they run right at him he can at least make a tackle – that will be an improvement from last year anyway.

    There has got to be a better player at #4. From this this clip alone, he shouldn’t even be in the 1st round!

  • GGeagle21

    I like Ziggy..not more than Dion…but if KC or Jax take DIon off the board, I would immediately turn to Sharrif or Ziggy. I do like Ziggy better as an OLB than 5tec…but U guess he could probably turn himself into a Justin smith type

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Eh, not a big fan of Ziggy as a 5 Tech. With how inexperienced he is, I don’t think you’d want to overload him with the responsiblities of playing SAM. There were reports he didn’t even understand the 5 Tech / 7 Tech terminology at the Senior Bowl.

    I think Ansah is a guy that will excel if put in a simplified role where he gets after the QB, either from a 2 point, or 3 point stance. Ironically, I think he’d be a great Wide 9 DE, and would provide Detroit with the edge rush they’re looking for. As an edge controller, stacking the OL keeping his vision in the backfield and shedding towards the ballcarrier…eh. I don’t know. I think that role is really well suited for a guy that understands a little more about how the defense is working, and what it’s supposed to be doing.

  • ACViking

    “. . . the modern day Karl Mecklenburg”

    A Karl Mecklenburg reference.

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lukekelly65

    Any thoughts on the new punter? he cant be worse then last year

  • xlGmanlx

    How nice would it be for him to be this year’s Vinny Curry?

    • Anders

      He wont drop that far

  • BreakinAnklez

    Am I the only one who wasn’t super impressed with the video? Granted he made some plays (INT, Knockdown, some pressure)…great motor and hussle…but I want more impact. Top 5 pick I expect to dominate. Didn’t see it. No idea how good the SDSU RT or RG are, but even when they were 1v1 I thought they more than held their own.

    • Anders

      Thats the problem with this draft, there is no Von Miller or Suh on defense.
      Also if you draft Ziggy, Jordan or Star, its on potential.

    • A_T_G

      Also, although it felt like one, this wasn’t a season highlights cut up. It was one game.

    • BreakinAnklez

      ATG, yea I know. Still it’s his bowl game. Bigger stage than normal, theoretically against a solid opponent. Was curious if this was a sub par performance this ga,e or more the norm.

  • A_T_G

    How does he compare to JPP from his college tape? I know you can’t lump all the guys together without a life-long football background, but there do seem to be similarities.