Sunday Morning Spotlight: Sione Pouha
By Alan Schechter
Sep 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets nose tackle Sione Pouha (91) warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Oakland defeated New York 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
In this week’s Sunday Morning Spotlight, we take a look at the man in the middle, the middle of the defensive line, that is. He’s been around since the Eric Mangini era, but it has taken time for him to make his way up the depth chart. But once he became the starter, he has been a mainstay ever since, and a team leader. Spotlight on DT, Sione Pouha.
Born and raised in Utah, Sione played his college ball at the University of Utah. First, though, after graduating high school, Pouha spent 3 years as part of a Mormon mission in Pittsburgh. He spent 3 hours every morning studying scripture, followed by bringing his beliefs door to door for the next twelve hours.
As a senior at Utah, Pouha earned first team All-Mountain West conference honors, as well as honorable mention for All American honors.
He was drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft by the Jets, and he has been there ever since.
From 2005-2008, Sione Pouha was a backup tackle. Other than 2006, when he tore his ACL and went on injured reserve, he played in all but 2 games. He recorded 72 tackles over that time period.
In 2009, Pouha cracked the starting lineup after Kris Jenkins was lost for the season with his own ACL injury. Sione recorded 14 starts that season, setting a career high in tackles with 45.
2010 marked the season when Sione Pouha became a starter for good, as Jenkins went down again for the season. In 2010 and 2011, Pouha recorded 59 and 58 tackles respectively, making him a consistent, week in and week out performer on the Jets defensive line.
His play will be huge in 2012, although his numbers won’t necessarily be huge. I’ll explain on the next page.
The Jets will be running more 4 man fronts this season, often even running the “46”, as we have discussed. Sione Pouha will have big responsibilities, although they might not show up in the boxscore.
Pouha will often be locked up one on one with either the center, or one of the guards. There will be several of these types of matchups on the line, which will leave the outside rushers with more room to roam and rush. That being said, there will be a lot of traffic on the inside.
It will be on Pouha to tie up one or two of these guys at a time, in order to leave room for the pass rushers to run free. Therefore, getting clogged up in the middle will not necessarily garner Sione huge numbers, but it will be just as important for the Jets defense to be successful as Coples rushing from the outside.
Spotlight on an important guy, Sione Pouha.