Most Intriguing Seahawks, No. 2: Defense needs Ziggy Ansah to produce

Jul 23, 2019, 4:30 PM
Seahawks DE Ziggy Ansah...
Ziggy Ansah signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Seahawks in May. (Getty)

The Seahawks kick off training camp on July 25, and until then, Brock and Salk will count down the top 25 most intriguing Seahawks every weekday at 8:30 a.m. Their list continues with No. 2: Defensive end Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah.

Listen to the full segment here, and check out the highlights below:

Quick look

• Signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Seahawks in May.
• Will be limited in training camp at the very least while recovering from a shoulder injury.
• Had four sacks in seven games in 2018 and 12 sacks in 14 games the year before for Detroit.

What Brock Huard says

When the Seahawks traded leading pass-rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for a massive haul just before April’s NFL Draft, they were quick to turn to Ansah as their next top defensive end. Ansah was still available into the second wave of free agency due to concerns about his shoulder, but just like the Seahawks were betting on him, he bet on himself by signing a one-year contract with Seattle.

“He’s put together the kind of film that says yeah, you are worthy of making $20 million a year like Frank Clark. He has that same explosion and speed and quickness for a guy that’s even longer than Frank,” Huard said. “Maybe not quite as powerful and impactful as Frank could be blowing the run game up, but when it comes to getting to the quarterback, when he is healthy this is a franchise tag-level D-end.”

What makes him so intriguing?

“Man, does this defense ever need him,” Huard said.

That was true on the day Ansah signed with Seattle, but it became even more critical on Monday when defensive tackle Jarran Reed, the Seahawks’ top returning player in their pass rush, was suspended by the NFL for the first six games.

Clayton: What Jarran Reed’s suspension means for the Seahawks

Clark led Seattle with 13 sacks last season, and Reed added 10.5. That amounted to over half of the 43 total sacks the Seahawks’ defense had in 2018. So who’s going to make up that production?

Ansah’s certainly going to get his opportunities.

“He is a beast when healthy,” Mike Salk said. “He replaced Frank Clark and fills their top need. That was their top need even before anything happened with Jarran Reed – they needed to replace Frank Clark. Quite frankly, (defensive end) was their biggest need before they even traded Frank Clark. He should be a no-brainer except for two things: He’s often hurt and he’s hurt right now, and there’s some questions (whether) he loves football in the same way that some of the best players of this era of Seahawks football have.”

Brock and Salk’s 25 Most Intriguing Seahawks

No. 25: G Phil Haynes
No. 24: LB Shaquem Griffin
No. 23: T/TE George Fant
No. 22: WR David Moore
No. 21: RB/WR J.D. McKissic
No. 20: RB Travis Homer
No. 19: G Mike Iupati
No. 18: S Marquise Blair
No 17: LB Mychal Kendricks
No. 16: S Bradley McDougald
No. 15: CB Tre Flowers
No. 14: S Lano Hill
No. 13: LB/DE Jacob Martin
No. 12: CB Shaquill Griffin
No. 11: DL Rasheem Green
No. 10: TE Will Dissly
No. 9: DE L.J. Collier
No. 8: RB Chris Carson
No. 7: DT Jarran Reed
No. 6: RB Rashaad Penny
No. 5: LB Bobby Wagner
No. 4: QB Russell Wilson
No. 3: WR Tyler Lockett

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Most Intriguing Seahawks, No. 2: Defense needs Ziggy Ansah to produce