Kris Jenkins' calf injury has given backup tackles Sione Pouha and Howard Green extra chances to impress the staff.
The slimmed-down 6’2", 320-pound Green walked off the field along with the 6’3", 325-pound Pouha a little bit later on Sunday morning and it wasn’t because they were signing autographs. They’ve been putting in extra work along with defensive assistant Jeff Weeks learning new techniques.
"Different coaches call for different schemes. They are going to be different in terms of X’s and O’s. But the way you approach it is the same way," said Pouha. "You go at it and give it all you’ve got, practice hard, play hard and those things stay constant."
Green, who played as a 4-3 DT with Seattle last season, is also becoming more familiarized with Ryan’s and Mike Pettine’s 3-4 scheme as camp wears on.
"There are a lot of differences, like getting used to playing over of the center a lot. More head-up, zero-type techniques. In Seattle we just slid right and left, played the shade most of the time. There are different concepts and different language. It may mean the same thing but it’s worded differently, so you have to relearn new terminology."
Ryan uses a defensive system in which he mixes personnel up by putting players in positions to be effective. Green likes how alternating players allows them to give 100 percent each play.
These extra opportunities during practice are big. Neither guy is going to replace a healthy Jenkins in the lineup, but there is a void at one of the end spots. Marques Douglas is slated as the starter, but he is probably a rotational player. Mike Devito showed flashes a year ago, but nobody knows how much he really can contribute. Green and Pouha will have chances to see the field if they impress the coaches either at end or on the nose, which would allow Jenkins to slide to end at times to create mismatches.
I tend to think it's critical for Pouha to make a good impression. Green was brought in to unseat him as Jenkins' primary backup. I get the feeling the staff wasn't too thrilled with what Sione showed on film a year ago (and a lot of it wasn't good) and signed Green to beef up the depth.