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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Po'uha's loss big gain for defensive line

Sione Po'uha has turned some heads this summer. The Jets' defensive lineman redefined his body in the past year, slimming down from 325 pounds to a "stout" 300.

And he feels good. After spending all of last season on injured reserve, the 2005 second-round pick committed himself to getting in shape.

"This is the weight I feel good at. I feel like I move well at this weight," Po'uha said. "Some guys are bigger, yeah, but I think that it's all about technique at this point."

And the Jets' coaches, looking for some one to help clog gaps up front, have liked the technique and the new physique they have seen out of Po'uha.

The 28-year-old out of Utah played in 14 games his rookie season and was credited with nine tackles. During the first week of training camp last year, Po'uha tore the ACL in his right knee. He spent the frustrating season trying to remain part of the team.

"I went to every meeting, I answered questions," Po'uha said. "I took my mental reps."

Said Eric Mangini: "He's got good size and good strength at the point of attack, and he's improved his hand placement, which is so important for that position. When you combine his strength, his leverage and his size with good hand placement, he's a tough guy to move."

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