— Ziggy Ansah is back from the PUP list — and has little to say about his contract situation.
The Lions removed the defensive end from the active/physically unable to perform list Monday [url=http://www.49erscheapstore.com/jerick-mckinnon-jersey-cheap]Jerick McKinnon Jersey[/url] , and he spoke to reporters for a bit. But Ansah didn’t shed much light on how negotiations went with the team. Detroit ended up bringing him back this season on the franchise tag .
“I’m just excited that I get to play here again in Detroit for this year. The future will just take care of itself,” Ansah said. “Right now, I’m just focused on this year.”
The Lions have not said what injury caused Ansah to go on the PUP list. He hasn’t played a full 16 games since the 2015 season.
Ansah played in 14 games last season and finished with 12 sacks, including three each against the Giants, Bengals and Packers. Detroit drafted him in the first round in 2013.
The Lions begin joint workouts in California on Tuesday with the Oakland Raiders. Ansah said it will be up to the coaches how much he does this week.
Detroit plays its preseason opener at Oakland on Friday.
“Real good opportunity for us to go out and just see somebody else. Different scheme, different players, different strengths and weaknesses from that standpoint,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said. “Getting a good evaluation of our guys, and also as you go through the course of the preseason, the preseason games are good and you’re trying to evaluate the talent and the ability.”
Patricia is entering his first season as Detroit’s coach [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/kendell-beckwith-jersey-cheap]Kendell Beckwith Jersey[/url] , but Ansah didn’t sound too concerned about changes in the defensive system.
“Every coach has his system. As a player, you’ve just got to be able to adapt,” Ansah said. “I think we are doing a pretty good job.”
Ansah has 44 sacks through five seasons. He had a career-high 14 1/2 in 2015 before slipping to only two sacks the following season. He then rebounded with a dozen sacks in 2017.
Detroit drafted Ansah No. 5 overall in 2013 out of BYU. It remains to be seen how much longer he’ll be with the Lions, and he wouldn’t say how close the sides were to reaching a long-term deal.
“This is, like, over with. I’m just happy to be here. That’s what’s most important,” he said.
The old and new will be crossing paths at MetLife Stadium when the Jacksonville Jaguars open the season against the New York Giants.
The game will be the first for Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin against the Giants, the team he led to two Super Bowl titles before resigning in January 2016 after a dozen seasons as coach.
It also will be Pat Shurmur's first regular-season NFL game as coach of the Giants, a team that has made the playoffs once (2016) since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012.
"Those who are around know the history," said Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/chris-conte-jersey-cheap]Chris Conte Jersey[/url] , who was a member of both Super Bowl teams. "We know Coughlin will have them fired up. It is the first game and everyone wants to get off on the right foot. I can't say it will be an extra motivator, but it's something we are aware of, and it doesn't chance our approach."
The Giants are just looking to play a lot better than last season. They went 3-13 and saw coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese get fired in early December.
Shurmur and new general manager Dave Gettleman have turned around much of the roster and they will get their first true peek at the new product this weekend in a very tough matchup.
The Jaguars (12-7) blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the New England Patriots in the AFC title game in January. A trip to the Super Bowl was within their grasp.
"I think we've taking a good approach as a team, and as a group in the locker room of everybody that was a part of what happened last year so badly wants to get back to that AFC championship game and change that outcome," quarterback Blake Bortles said.
Bortles said the Jaguars aren't taking anything for granted.
"We've got to take every day, every week, every meeting of preparation as seriously as possible, and the rest will take care of itself and we'll end up back there again," he said.
Coughlin did not talk to the media in Jacksonville this week, but coach Doug Marrone said Coughlin has not changed his approach with the return to New York.
"We know we've got a tough road ahead of us and we know we've got a tough game on the road opening day up in New York [url=http://www.billscheapstore.com/russell-bodine-jersey-cheap]Russell Bodine Jersey[/url] ," Marrone said. "They'll be fired up and ready to go."
Here are some other things to watch:
BARKLEY-BECKHAM: There are no two players the Giants' faithful wants to see more than running back Saquon Barkley and three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Barkley was the second overall pick in the draft and has the talent and explosiveness to give the Giants a strong running game for the first time since 2011. Beckham missed most of last season after breaking his left ankle in early October. He did not play in the preseason, but has looked good with Eli Manning in practice and owns the richest contract for a wide receiver in NFL history.
JAGS DEFENSE: Jacksonville is loaded on defense with six returning Pro Bowlers: cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, linemen Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and Yannick Ngakoue, and linebacker Telvin Smith Sr. The Jaguars were ranked No. 2 in the league last season, with Ramsey and Campbell making the All-Pro Team.
"When you have the kind of confidence we have, when you believe that we can be as good as we can, you can't wait to get there and just try to show it play after play," Campbell said.
SECONDARY WOES: New York has three veteran starters in the secondary, cornerbacks Eli Apple and newcomer Janoris Jenkins [url=http://www.chiefscheapstore.com/reggie-ragland-jersey-cheap]Reggie Ragland Jersey[/url] , and star safety Landon Collins. Untested Curtis Riley is the free safety. There is uncertainty about the nickel and dime backs with Donte Deayon, B.W. Webb and Michael Thomas in the mix. Depth is an issue. The team signed Antonio Hamilton, Mike Jordan and Kamrin Moore this week.
ON THE WIDE SIDE: Bortles has to find a new go-to receiver with Marqise Lee out for the year with a knee injury. Keelan Cole, second on the team last season with 42 catches for 748 yards and three touchdowns, is starting along with veteran Donte Moncrief, who was signed as a free agent. Dede Westbrook is the third receiver for a team ranked No. 1 in rushing. The problem is the Giants are good against the run and that puts pressure on the wide receivers to step up.
O-LINE: The Giants spent almost $80 million to rebuild their line. Left tackle Nate Solder and right guard Patrick Omameh signed as free agents. Left guard Will Hernandez was drafted. Ereck Flowers was moved to right tackle from the left side, and Jon Halapio took over at center. The line protected well in the preseason. There were not a lot of holes for the running backs.
ELI-RAMSEY: Watch to see if Manning throws at Ramsey. The Jags cornerback slighted the two-time Super Bowl MVP in the offseason, refusing to say Manning is good while adding Beckham is the one who really makes the Giants go.
AP Sports Writer Mark Long contributed to this story.
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