- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The Sione Pouha situation is becoming a bit of a mystery. The nose tackle hasn't practiced since Aug. 1, when he required stitches for a gash on his forehead, but now his issue is an ailing back.
Pouha hasn't been seen in recent days. Rex Ryan revealed that Pouha was in Manhattan for "treatment" on his back, although he didn't say when that visit occurred. Ryan didn't provide any details, except to say Pouha hasn't undergone any type of procedures.
New York Jets
Ryan said he expects Pouha to be ready for the season opener, but he didn't sound overly convincing.
"I think Sione is going to be fun, but I'm not a doctor," he said. "That's my understanding."
The Jets can't afford to lose Pouha, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason. His backup is second-year NT Kenrick Ellis, who has very little game experience.
Other notes from Ryan:
HANDS-ON COACHING: Ryan helped out the offense Tuesday, teaching a tackling drill to the offensive players. Evidently, they could use some help in that area because they allowed seven return TDs last season -- three on interceptions, four on fumbles.
"I hope we don't major in tackling over there," Ryan said.
On Wednesday, some of the offensive coaches will give a lesson to the defense, teaching ball security, pursuit angles and blocking.
HILL UPDATE: Ryan said he didn't have a diagnosis on WR Stephen Hill's finger injury, adding: "I don't believe it's going to be that serious."
CRO THE DIVA: Ryan enjoyed a few laughs at Antonio Cromartie's expense. By now, you probably know that the veteran cornerback is moonlighting as a wide receiver and that he caught a TD pass in practice. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Ryan said, "I think he could be a diva."
To which one incredulous reporter replied, "Could be?"
"As a wideout, I'm talking about," Ryan said. "I see him hanging his head if he doesn't get the football."
NICK THE VERSATILE: Cromartie isn't the only two-way player on the team. Say hello to second-year LB Nick Bellore, who practiced at fullback. Hey, the more you can do ...
RINGING THE BELL: The Jets were so hot for former Dolphins S Yeremiah Bell that Ryan flew to Miami after the draft to recruit him.
On the subject of safeties, LaRon Landry has changed his practice schedule. Coming off an Achilles-tendon problem, Landry is practicing more and resting less. Tuesday was supposed to be a rest and rehab day, but he ended up practicing.
TEBOW TURNS 25: Ryan doesn't expect the players to do anything special for Tim Tebow's birthday. He said maybe the rookies will sing to him, but that's about it.
BLUE WITH ENVY: The Jets face the Giants this week in their annual preseason game. There hasn't been much Giants chatter in camp, probably because there's so much other stuff going on. On Saturday night, they play the MetLife Bowl, the winner receiving the Snoopy trophy.
"I know there's that Snoopy trophy, but I'd much rather have that other trophy they won," said Ryan, referring to the Lombardi. "We'll trade the Snoopy for it."
THAT'S MY BOY: Ryan welcomed former Jets QB Chad Pennington to camp, praising him for the message he delivered after practice to the team. He declined to reveal the essence of the message, but added, "Everybody understood his passion."