Great post, right on the money. This is why I like having the Pats fans around. Every once in awhile you get something like this.Since Ray has told me my job is to be negative, I won't disappoint. Here are some points that would lead me to believe that the regression of the the Jets OL is going to continue. It was a top 3 OL in 2009, a top 5 OL in 2010, and the 12th best OL in 2011.
1. Wayne Hunter is what he is. Somehow some people think that going into his NINTH year in the league, he's somehow going to reinvent himself into a quality RT. He's a career back up who never started more than 1 game in a season until Woody got hurt in 2010.
2. Yes he might have played well in the 4 games he started that year, but clearly over the course of 16 games he was exposed in 2011.
3. Ducasse WAS drafted with the idea he'd be a G. That's what the scouting reports said before the draft. Most liked his size and strength at G, but felt he didn't have the feet to play T in the NFL. NOTHING in his brief forays at RT would make anyone believe that those reports were wrong.
4. But unlike Hunter, Duccasse DOES at least have the "potential" to improve, but he'd probably be better served going back to G. He also MIGHT be one of those who would be better served playing in a man blocking system
5. While Hunter became a scapegoat, not all the problems on the OL can be pinned to him alone. D'Brick had a horrible year. He was never a great run blocker, but he HAD the reputation of being an elite pass blocker. Not last season. But until he proves it was only a hiccup and NOT a trend, for the first time in a long time the Jets have a question mark at LT.
6. There are some here who are hoping that the move from a "zone blocking" system to a "man blocking" system will help Wayne Hunter....and it may. at almost 350 lbs, he is a big physical presence. HOWEVER, it may have the opposite effect on D'Brick. His is a smaller (relatively), more athletic T, who was well suited for a zone blocking system. Never known for his physicality, D'brick might not thrive as well in a new system.
7. Slauson is truly "just a guy". He's a serviceable starter, but would be a better back up. He's a guy good enough to start, but one you're always looking to upgrade. Also he's played all his football life in Callahan's blocking system at Nebraska and with the Jets. It will be interesting to see if the "new blocking system" will help or hurt him.
8. Brandon Moore HAS been a great asset to the Jet OL, but he showed some wear and tear last season as well, and will be 32 camp opens. That's not ancient for an OLman, but you have to worry about if his recent injuries have slowed him down.
9. And here is the most critical issue. Your depth. None of your current back ups have ever started an NFL game. Few have played anything more than token snaps in a real NFL game. The Jets have been extraordinarily lucky with OL injuries. Not just last season, but the last 3 seasons. Last season the Jets OL starters only missed 3 games. Compare that to the 32 games lost by the Pats OL starters
Imagine losing D'Brick for any length of time. Who is HIS back up. Look at what happened to the OL when Mangold went down for JUST 2 games. So while the biggest concern among Jet fans seems to be RT (and justly so), almost none of you seem to care that the FO did NOTHING to address the utter lack of experienced depth along the entire OL. Maybe the anonymous group that get mentioned with glowing praise, can do the job. I don't know, and neither do you, or the Jets FO. If the injury pendulum ever starts to swing back to what the rest of the league has to deal with, you are going to have to find out.
Picture that OL if the Jets have to deal with 32 games lost to starters, or what the Bills had to go through, or the Steelers. It could be ugly.
BTW-part of that lack of experienced depth is due to the cap restraints the Jets are currently under.
ONE POSITIVE NOTE - Its still early and as I've mentioned before, you never know if some anonymous signing between now and September might prove to be golden. 5 days before the season started the Pats signed Brian Waters, and Pats fans universally yawned. By January he was a first team All Pro, and the team would have be screwed without him. He was the only starter to play all 16 games.
So while the situation may look bleak, help COULD be on its way.