A rib injury kept defensive end Sean Lissemore from getting in all of his work in minicamp and OTAs.
But it doesn’t mean he’ll be behind when training camp starts.
At least right now, he’s got a productive season behind him. And his coaches know his name.
“Shoot, I started training camp last year not even knowing who Sean Lissemore was, other than he was some guy on our team,” defensive line coach Brian Baker said last week after a practice at Valley Ranch. “I didn’t do him in college. I didn’t have a familiarity with him. I saw him so little in the season because he was hurt. And we didn’t have an OTA.
“But it didn’t take long for me to get to know him in training camp.”
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan remembers thinking the same thing.
“When I first got here, I watched the tape, and he wasn’t that impressive the year before,” Ryan said. “Then he clearly, in my opinion, beat out the incumbent, Olshansky, so we went in that direction. Might have turned some heads doing that. He’s improved. Done an excellent job. And he’s a real player.”
Lissemore had 28 tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss last year, playing both nose tackle and defensive end. The former seventh-round pick (2010) out of William & Mary finished last year with tackles in 11 consecutive games, including sacks at Arizona and Tampa Bay.
In training camp, Lissemore is expected to play both nose tackle and defensive end, but he’ll get most of his work at defensive end, where he will push Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears.
“Is he going to be behind for where he wanted to be in training camp? Yes,” Baker said. “But is he going to be too far behind to compete to get one of those solid rotation roles, which is what I expect of him? No.”
Ryan doesn’t believe Lissemore will be too far behind, either.
“He’s been through an incredible offseason with Mike Woicik,” Ryan said. “This guy, his body’s changing, everything about him. He’s so fast for the game now. He knows his assignments. He’s doing a great job. The nice thing is, if we ever get in a situation where, God forbid, somebody gets hurt, Sean Lissemore can jump in in any spot and be an effective starter.”