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Monday, August 20, 2012
Three things we learned on Day 26

By Rich Cimini



FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Observations from Monday:

1. Austin Howard isn't a serious threat to Wayne Hunter: If he was, he'd have received more than four or five reps Monday with the starters. Obviously, that could change as the week goes on -- still four practices before Sunday night's game against the Panthers -- but the vibe I get is that the organization still thinks Hunter is the best right tackle on the roster. That, of course, doesn't preclude them from importing a right tackle.

2. Tony Sparano is a patient man. It belies his on-the-field demeanor -- i.e. barking at players -- but the new offensive boss actually seemed rather calm when questioned about the brutal start by his unit. He certainly was a lot calmer than than call-in yahoos who already have decided the Jets have no chance in 2012. It's a smart approach by Sparano. If he's too critical and starts getting hot and bothered, it conveys a bad message to his players and the public -- panic. Remember, they're learning a new system and there will be growing pains. Sparano must be mindful of that while maintaining a sense of accountability.

3. Tone Time is approaching. Injured WR Santonio Holmes (ribs) wore a red jersey and participated in positional drills, running full speed and catching passes. That's a positive development for the offense. Rex Ryan didn't rule out Holmes for Sunday night, but I'd be surprised if he plays. Why risk it? As much as they'd like to see him out there, stabilizing the Kiddie Corps of receivers, the Jets have to realize the most important thing is opening day.