Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 6/12/13
ALLEN PARK, Mich. The Detroit Lions defense was in need of a makeover, and it got one. The Lions ranked 27th in the NFL in points allowed last season, 13th in total defense, 16th in run defense and 14th in pass defense. Defensive ends Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch are gone. So is linebacker Justin Durant. The secondary will also have a new look. With the team currently in the middle of a mandatory minicamp, here are defensive coordinator Gunther Cunninghams early impressions of some of the key additions to his unit: On first-round draft pick Ziggy Ansah, who grew up in Africa and has only three years of football experience: They (Brigham Youngs coaching staff) asked him to do more things than any college player Ive ever seen at that position. He played every position up front. I dont know how he learned all those things that quickly. Hes got a good feel for the game. He has good eyes. He sees the game. He has unique ability to slip gaps. The upside of Ziggy Ansah is his character. Theres no doubt in my mind about that. Those kids that come over like he did, theyre on a mission. Its not just Well, Ive got a chance to play in the NFL. He made a path to go to the NFL. He worked hard to get here. He has tremendous physical talent. On second-round pick Darius Slay, who will compete for a starting job at cornerback: I dont know if he knows hes in the NFL or not. That is a good thing, trust me. He has no conscious. That may be the No. 1 criteria for any corner you want on your team. He doesnt let things bother him. Hes very sharp. He was really well-coached in college (at Mississippi State). Hes touched the ball a lot. Hes had about three interceptions since hes come out (after missing several off-season practices following arthroscopic knee surgery), maybe four, and hes knocked a couple balls down. On safety Glover Quin, who played four seasons with the Houston Texans before signing a free-agent contract with Detroit: He is something. We had a meeting the other day and I turned to (Lions vice president of pro personnel) Sheldon White, Quin? He goes Professional. Thats the best description Ive ever heard. Thats him. He doesnt talk very much. Its all business. Hes doing a great job in the deep middle of the field. He didnt have a great background in that. Whatever the issues are, he works at them. On highly-respected veteran coach Jim Washburn, who was added to the staff and is working closely with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek: He makes me smile every day that I see him. I think Jims one of the greatest coaches that Ive ever been around. Hes personable. Hes tough. Hes consistent. Those linemen will respond. Jim coached him (Kocurek). He recruited him, spent a lot of time on that farm in Texas. They know each other real well. So the camaraderie between the two is kind of going through the group. I see a much more cohesive unit. BROYLES RETURN Receiver Ryan Broyles, coming off knee surgery about six months ago for a torn anterior cruciate ligament, is making a quicker than expected recovery. Broyles, who missed the final four games last season, was impressive while participating in full practices the last two days. He had done very little during most of the previous off-season workouts. No complaints, Broyles said after Wednesdays practice. You dont really know what your body is going to feel like until you go out there. I felt good going into yesterdays practice and then I felt good after. Today, I feel good as well so Im just going to continue to ride it out. BUSH SCARE Reggie Bush, who is being counted on to provide a big-play threat at running back, tweaked his ankle while trying to make a cut during an 11-on-11 drill. There were a few moments of uncertainty while Bush limped around, but he came back to finish practice. I just planted wrong, Bush said. Nothing I havent been through. Im good.
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