Former BYU defensive end and Detroit Lions fifth overall pick Ziggy Ansah has found an unlikely mentor in fourth year player Ndamukong Suh.
Suh has taken Ansah under his wing during the Lions' preseason camp, and according to Ansah, Suh has not been afraid to correct him when he makes a mistake.
"Yeah, definitely, he's a really great guy," Ansah said in an interview with mlive.com. "When I do something wrong, he's like, 'You've got to do it this way.' He's just helped me overall."
In many ways, Ansah and Suh appear to be opposites.
Ansah, a softspoken religious man from the country of Ghana, is known for his work ethic and his unusually courteous nature toward opponents between plays.
Suh, on the other hand, has had troubles both on and off the field. Suh was named the dirtiest player in the NFL by Sporting News in 2011, and has been fined a total of $42,500 for various violations on the field — including stomping on an opponent during a Thanksgiving game, which resulted in an ejection and a multi-game suspension. He has also been involved in a number of traffic incidents.
With the departure of a number of veteran defenders, Lions coaches had been hoping that Suh would step into the role of mentor for some of the younger players on the team.
For his part, Suh has embraced his role as a leader by helping Ansah understand the ins and outs of the Lions' playbook.
"Ziggy is learning our defense so fast, so quick," Suh said. "He's obviously running with the ones, in and out, and it's about having that good communication. If you see me speak up, we're all just communicating, having a good time, and understanding where we're all supposed to be."
Despite his sometimes rough style of play, Suh has been dominant on defense, having been named Defensive Rookie of the Year, NFL Rookie of the Year, first team All-Pro in 2010 and selected to two Pro Bowls.
"Off the field, he said if I need anything, I should just hit him up and he's going to help me out. He's been a big brother to me," Ansah said.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company