Sunday, August 19, 2012
Are Jets stuck with Wayne Hunter?
By James Walker
It was another awful night for New York Jets starting right tackle Wayne Hunter. He officially allowed two sacks. But Hunter also was involved in another team sack and had one called back via a penalty on the Giants.
Saturday marked Hunter’s first preseason game, but it looked much like last season. His pass protection was horrific and it’s scary to think how things would’ve turned out if the starting offense played an entire game.
Hunter later told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, “Either you perform or you don’t perform. If I don’t, they’re going to find someone to bring in and compete and get the job done.”
The problem is the Jets may not have a viable replacement.
Backup tackle Austin Howard is the next best option, but he’s also struggling. Former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse was a draft bust at offensive tackle, so he’s moved to guard. Is Howard or Ducasse a better option? It seems either choice puts Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez at risk.
We've been writing for months in the AFC East blog that New York needs to draft or sign a starting-caliber right tackle. It is baffling that the Jets didn't do enough to replace Hunter this offseason. It should have been one of New York's biggest priorities.
Instead, the Jets surprisingly showed a lot of confidence in Hunter. It could be a decision that haunts the Jets this season.