Jenny Vrentas caught up with Ropati Pitoitua as well as some of his linemates at the defensive linemen workouts and reports about his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon.
"He’s moving around like nothing happened," (Mike) DeVito said. "Another guy we’re glad to have on our side. He’s a great player, and to come back from that adversity and what’s happened, he’s looking really good."
...Pitoitua said he hopes he has a future with the team. "I really can’t say, but I hope so," he said. "I believe I do. But we’ll see what happens."
I would imagine Devito is being a bit optimistic. Ropati is coming off a very serious injury. He probably does not have everything back at the moment. He plays a good position for his recovery, though. I am not going to say explosiveness is totally unimportant for a 3-4 defensive end, but a guy can make up for a lack of it with brute strength because the biggest job at the position is to hold the point of attack and tie up offensive linemen.
Although the Jets took a pair of defensive linemen early in the NFL Draft, Pitoitua still likely has a future with the team as long as he keeps developing. A team can never have too much depth anywhere but especially on the lines, where much physical play takes place. Shaun Ellis' and Trevor Pryce's statuses are anything but certain. While Ropati is not guaranteed a roster spot, I think Jarron Gilbert and Martin Tevaseu who were not as far along as Ropati was before his injury should probably be a bit more concerned.