NEW YORK (AP) – The Jets’ defensive linemen have been lifting weights and running while the NFL’s labor dispute drags on. Well, now they’re ready to hit something.
Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito told The Associated Press on Saturday they plan to gather in New Jersey sometime next week with the team’s other defensive linemen, including Ropati Pitoitua and possibly first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson and third-rounder Kenrick Ellis.
“We were talking and it was like, ‘Dude, we’ve got to put something together,'” Pouha said. “All of us have been lifting and running and working out. That’s one thing. Doing actual drills, making blocking reads and punching sled bags, well, that’s another thing.”
The players have made arrangements to bring in blocking sleds and add the physical element they’ve been missing in the absence of organized team activities because of the lockout. They also might review defensive plays from last season and reacquaint themselves with one another.
“It’s great to get together as a unit,” DeVito said, “so that we can start working together, getting our rhythm and timing right and to work that unity that is so important to have if you want a great defensive line.”
Quarterback Mark Sanchez gathered several offensive players in Southern California earlier this month for his “Jets West” camp, and recently said the entire team expects to work out together in June if the lockout continues.
Pouha said no specific plans had been made yet in terms of gathering the entire team.
“I’m sure Mark will let all of us know,” he said. “But in terms of the D-line, that’s our plan, to get together. Nothing like an OTA, but to work on drills and get that fusion as a unit.”