After a terrible game against the Giants on Saturday, Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter may be in danger of losing his starting job — if the Jets can find anyone better to take his place.
Although Jets’ offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo has defended Hunter this offseason as capable of manning the right tackle spot again, head coach Rex Ryan refused to commit to Hunter as a starter when asked about him today.
“I’m going to say this. We’re committing to putting a good football team on the field,” Ryan said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “Competition not just at the right tackle spot, but there’s competition throughout. . . . We’re loaded in some spots and the competition is elevating peoples’ play. . . . But to sit back and say this guy’s definitely the starter, I’m not ready to do that.”
At some positions — notably quarterback — Ryan insists that the guy he has installed as the starter will remain the starter. At right tackle, however, the Jets obviously realize that they would have a serious credibility problem if they publicly proclaimed Hunter the man.
But Hunter isn’t the only problem. The other problem is that the Jets have no one better to replace him. The Jets tried to trade for Jeff Otah, but he failed his physical. And they reached out to free agent Vernon Carey, who started 15 games for the Dolphins last year, but Carey is content coaching in high school and doesn’t plan to return to the NFL.
So even if Ryan won’t commit, Hunter will probably be the starting right tackle against the Bills in Week One. Which is very good news for Bills defensive end Mario Williams.