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Shaun Ellis' Suspension Makes Week 1 a Potentially Defining Moment for Sione Pouha

The Shaun Ellis suspension might give Sione Pouha one last chance to make an impact with the Jets. Terry Bradway took Pouha in the third round of the 2005 Draft to help replace departed Jason Ferguson. He made little impact in his rookie season. His second year was spent on injured reserve after Pouha tore his ACL. 2007 appeared to be a breakout campaign. Eric Mangini was hesitant to turn to him with Dewayne Robertson struggling. However, Pouha played himself into the lineup late in the season, appearing to come of age in a Week 16 game at Tennessee in which he dominated the point of attack playing on the nose and registered eight tackles.

This seemed to suggest big things for Pouha in the future. Based on the way he finished the season, it seemed like he had a shot to crack the starting lineup in 2008 or play an integral role in a rotation. The coup of a trade for Kris Jenkins ended that possibility, but it seemed like Sione would be a perfect backup. He would be able to give Jenkins rest. It didn't work out that way. The Jets consistently lost the battle up front with Pouha spelling Jenkins on the nose. The Jets couldn't give Jenkins more rest when he got dinged up late in the season because Pouha could not provide a stable anchor. The new coaching staff brought in a new reserve tackle, Howard Green, to take Sione's role.

Because of his experience, Pouha is likely to make the roster. How much of a role he will play is unknown. He will have a golden opportunity in the first game. Shaun Ellis is suspended. The Jets will be running short on bodies. Nobody else at end is anything more than a rotational player. Pouha will probably get a shot. If he succeeds, perhaps he'll play a role with the 2009 Jets. If not, his time in green and white will probably be that much closer to ending.