Detroit Lions pass-rusher Anthony Zettel hopes to ‘build on’ br

  • Anthony Zettel stood 20 feet away from fellow Penn State letterman and Super Bowl LII champion Stefen Wisniewski,womens Marlon Mack Jersey, reflecting on a breakout sophomore campaign with the Detroit Lions that still felt a bit empty.

    “It was a good season,womens Andrew Luck Jersey, I’d like to end it with a ring,” Zettel said Saturday at Penn State’s Thon Explorers Program. “Preferably,Authentic Myles Jack Jersey, you know?”

    Every team and player’s goal is to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The Lions came close to competing for the title,Authentic Yannick Ngakoue Jersey, finishing 9-7 and second in the NFC North, barely missing out on a playoff berth.

    With former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia taking the reins as head coach, that goal is front and center for Zettel, Zettel hopes his torrid pace continues into this year, a Michigan native. After bursting onto the scene in 2017, pushing Detroit toward becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

    “It was a good building-on season in my second year,” Zettel continued with a slight shrug of the shoulders. “Now I know what works and what doesn’t against starting offensive linemen. I’ll be able to build on that coming up next year.”

    A sixth-round selection by Detroit in 2016 — the 16th defensive end taken off the board — Zettel has outperformed his draft stock significantly. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder played in 13 games as a rookie and tallied a modest 13 tackles and one sack.

    Those stats skyrocketed this past season. Zettel started all 16 games, most importantly, logged 43 tackles and, recorded 6.5 sacks — second-best on the team behind former Pro-Bowl pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah.

    Only three defensive ends drafted ahead of Zettel had more than 6.5 sacks last season: Chargers star Joey Bosa, Jaguars threat Yannick Ngakoue and the Ravens’ Matt Judon,Authentic Tarell Basham Jersey, who now plays outside linebacker in Baltimore’s 3-4 scheme.

    Zettel was undervalued by scouts and executives around the league, and he proved that pretty much from the get-go.

    The former first-team All-Big Ten selection nabbed four sacks in the first four games of 2017 — including a couple sacks,Authentic Marlon Mack Jersey, four quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery in Detroit’s close win over the Minnesota Vikings,womens Zach Banner Jersey, the eventual division champ. His second sack helped the Lions close out Minnesota late in the fourth quarter.

    Zettel’s breakout performance came just two weeks after former Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden compared him to pass-rushing great Jared Allen and dubbed Zettel as his “Gruden Grinder” before Detroit took on the New York Giants.

    “He pops off the screen in his second year,womens T.Y. Hilton Jersey, now the coach of the Oakland Raiders,” Gruden,womens Vontae Davis Jersey, commented at the time. “He’s making his presence felt.”

    Then,womens Myles Jack Jersey, of course, Gruden showed a national audience the viral video of Zettel tackling a tree.

    He received more than a few texts from old teammates and friends after that.

    “That was some fun stuff,womens Yannick Ngakoue Jersey,” Zettel said with a smile.

    instead of taking down inanimate objects,But in 2017, Case Keenum, Zettel tackled Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Brett Hundley and Deshone Kizer.Authentic Vontae Davis Jersey

    Zettel’s hoping that’s just the start of it. The former Nittany Lion believes he can improve upon his 6.5-sack campaign.Authentic T.Y. Hilton Jersey,

    Next season will surely be different than last; Patricia is a new face, and Ansah — Zettel’s sack partner — might be leaving Detroit in free agency.,Authentic Andrew Luck Jersey,

    But Zettel showed in 2017 what he’s capable of, what he can do given the chance.

    but it’s little,“I have certain stuff I want to work on,” Zettel said. “Just keep getting bigger, petty stuff,womens Tarell Basham Jersey,Authentic Zach Banner Jerseystronger, faster is the biggest thing.”

    That is a scary thing for the rest of the NFL.