Jesus ****ing Christ, DWC. At least TRY to blend in...I'm not confident in Hunter's ability to become a solid pass protector myself, but who's to say that our entire coaching staff doesn't know/see somethig in regards to Hunter, that we as posters, have no knowledge to? Who are we to sit here and say that, due to Hunter's season last year, that 2011's performance will define the rest of his career? There is a such thing as a learning curve, especially for offensive lineman as first year starters.
Offensive lineman learn the hard way once they reach the NFL level, and they learn from mistakes. Ferguson was horrendous at times as a first year starter during his rookie season of 2006. The Aaron Schobel's of the world were taking Ferguson to school on a consistent basis, beating him to the quarterback like a red headed step child. But you know what? Ferguson had a chance to learn from those mistakes. He corrected his mistakes during offseasons to follow, and has now became/developed into an all-pro type of franchise LT in regards to his ability in pass protection. He's even improved in regards to run blocking, which is something that plenty of critics/naysayers said would never be possible. Now, we all know that Ferguson was a blue chip prospect coming out of college, but we're not asking for Hunter to become a blue chip type of RT, now are we? No, we're only asking for him to become a productive/serviceable pass protector. That he can become. All of those mistakes that Hunter made last year, some were even unexplainable/atrocious mistakes, but those clueless mistakes could end up becoming a blessing in disguise heading into our up coming season.
Hunter was thrown into the fire as a first year starter at the RT position. He attempted to learn on the fly, failed, and committed a lot of bone headed penalties/mistakes while doing so. But who's to say (other than the coaching staff) that he hasn't had a chance to learn from those mistakes by watching film over the offseason, studying, working out, while mentally preparing himself (for the grind) as a starter heading into the season? Who's to say that he hasn't corrected some of those flaws? Who's to say that last years version of Hunter, as a first year starter, is the finished product?
As a 2nd year starter heading into the season, he hasn't been thrown into the fire this year. He knows exactly what to expect. Chances are (if he wants to become successful), he's physically and mentally prepared himself for the grind of an NFL season (as a starter). Who's to say that last year wasn't an experience to build off of for Hunter? Who are we to say that there's no such thing as a learning curve?
He'll never become an all-pro tackle. But he did gain plenty of experience last season. And as football fans, we can never take experience with a grain of salt. It means something, and if our coaching staff, heading into the season feels that Hunter can man the RT position? That's good enough for me until proven otherwise. We've (as a franchise) invested a lot of money into a potential franchise quarterback in Mark Sanchez. We've upgraded over an aging Burress with a 6'5 speed burning Hill during the 2nd round. We've replaced a used up L.T with a dynamic/developing athlete in McKnight as our backup RB. We started to re-vamp our defensive line last year with the additions of Wilkerson/Ellis and just solidified our defensive front with the addition of Coples during the first round. We knew we had a safety problem in Leonhard/Smith so we went out and signed Yeremiah Bell along with a low risk/high reward type of athlete in LaRon Landry. We needed an increase in speed in regards to our linebackers, so dating back to last season we've added Aaron Maybin, followed by a drafting of Demario Davis during the 3rd round. Now, speaking of an MLB such as Demario Davis, don't you believe that our coaching staff would have went after the highest ranked offensive lineman/tackle during the 3rd round, instead of going after a backup LB, especially if they thought that Wayne Hunter was a finished product?
We've attempted to improve each and every position during the offseason with either A.) Our own talents, B.) Through Free Agency or C.) During the draft. The fact that our owner, GM and coaching staff have all left the RT position alone, despite the fact that we've invested a lot of money into Mark Sanchez speaks volumes in itself. They must believe in Hunter's ability to improve upon last season. It's either that, or, they feel we already have someone on the roster capable of filling his shoes.