There can be advantages to being a practice squad player. Ben Bass knows.
The second-year defensive end, playing first-team because Anthony Spencer and Tyrone Crawford are hurt, spent most of last season on the practice squad, and that is where he learned some versatility.
“Last year I was Julius Peppers when we played the Chicago Bears. I was Geno Atkins when we played the Bengals,” he said at training camp over the weekend. “They put me in different positions. They asked me to play a nose, a 3-technique, an end, a head-up 5 in a 3-4 defense depending on what team we were facing that week.”
Bass said assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett encouraged him about playing end, and he also credited former assistant defensive line coach Brian Baker with his development last year.
“ ‘Big Cat’ was the one who told me, ‘Yeah, you can play end,’ Bass said. “I knew I could, but it’s kind of nice when somebody reinforces what you believe.”
-- Carlos Mendez