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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Jets (finally) bench RT Wayne Hunter

By James Walker

The New York Jets finally listened to what plenty of fans and media observers have been calling for: They benched right tackle Wayne Hunter.

New York's former starting right tackle has struggled mightily since last season. Yet, Hunter received a vote of confidence from the Jets this offseason, and the team did nothing to acquire another starting-caliber tackle via the draft or free agency. Hunter made his preseason debut against the New York Giants last week and gave up three sacks in the first half. At that point the Jets had seen enough.

The Jets did the right thing by benching Hunter. But here is the next question: Is Austin Howard any good?

The Jets announced Thursday that Howard is the new starting right tackle. The three-year veteran has one career start, in 2010.

Jets fans should take a glass-half full approach to this benching. Is Howard a great replacement? Probably not. But Howard can't play any worse than Hunter, right?