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Thread: Jets right tackle Hunter hopes to shed goat label in 2012

  1. #1
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    Jets right tackle Hunter hopes to shed goat label in 2012

    By BRIAN COSTELLO

    Wayne Hunter can still see the play in his mind.

    First-and-10 on the Jets’ 22, a national TV audience watching as the NFL season kicked off on the anniversary of 9/11. Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware rushing from the outside straight at him, forcing him on his heels, then pushing him to his right and charging inside toward quarterback Mark Sanchez.

    “And down goes Sanchez,” Al Michaels said on TV, sounding like Howard Cosell calling Foreman-Frazier.

    It was the first offensive play of the Jets season. It was the first play of Hunter’s new job as starting right tackle of the New York jets. It was the play that cemented his place among the media and Jets fans.
    [LEFT][COLOR=#000000]
    I was a pińata,” Hunter said last week in an interview with The Post. “You’ve got to look for someone to take the crap. I’m the new guy filling in for one of the better right tackles that had been playing here in a long time. It makes sense why it was me. That doesn’t mean I like it. “Hunter never recovered from that first play.

    Fans and media focused on No. 78’s mistakes for the rest of the season – and he would be the first one to admit there were plenty of mistakes (11 sacks allowed, according to ProFootballFocus.com). But there were good games, too, and that got overlooked because Hunter became a punching bag.

    Hunter admits the pressure got to him in 2011. A career backup before last season, he stepped in for the popular Damien Woody. Suddenly, he was no longer a spot starter or an extra lineman used a few plays a game. Now, he was expected to be consistent on every play – something he admits he wasn’t.

    The 30-year-old heard the criticism. He would try to ignore the TV and newspapers, but every once in a while he would check the Internet to see what was being said about him and the words would sting.

    Hunter said after another poor performance against Jacksonville in Week 2, he began to worry about his job.

    “That was the low point,” Hunter said. “I was like, ‘If I don’t perform they’re going to pull me out and put Vlad [Ducasse] in or bring someone else in to play the position.“

    Hunter leaned on some of his teammates, who could identify with the scrutiny. Left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, quarterback Mark Sanchez and backup quarterback Mark Brunell all gave Hunter advice. The trio, who have all faced their own criticism, told Hunter to shut out the outside voices and put bad plays behind him and move on.

    He took the advice and he began to play better, running off a streak of good games in late September and through October. But the team was struggling at the beginning of the streak and no one seemed to notice Hunter’s improved play. When he suffered poor games again later in the year, the critics circled.

    [LEFT][COLOR=#000000]“The first two games were rough and then I snapped out of it,” Hunter said.

    “But then every bad game I had after that was looked down upon and heavily criticized, whatever bad play I had.”

    There was speculation that Hunter might be released or traded after the season. Instead, the Jets decided to stick with him. They had been impressed enough with his performance at the end of the 2010 season when he filled in for an injured Woody to give him a four-year, $15 million deal last year. The Jets leadership felt he could bounce back.

    Hunter says he has put 2011 behind him. He’s hoping the fans can do the same.

    [LEFT][COLOR=#000000]“I don’t think the fans will ever forget,” Hunter said. “I’m hoping they’ll eventually hop on the bandwagon. [B]There’s no sense dwelling on the past. If they’re dwelling on the past, then they’re the ones with the problems.”[/B]

    The Jets believe Hunter will improve in new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s system. Brian Schottenheimer, last year’s offensive coordinator, did not believe in helping the tackles with chip blocks from the tight ends and running backs as much as Sparano.

    The Jets also intend to return to emphasizing the run more this season, creating a simple equation. The less the Jets pass, the less chances there are for any lineman to allow a sack.

    Sparano and new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo both took a long look at Hunter when they were coaching the Dolphins and he was a free agent.

    They have been effusive in their praise of him this spring.

    “I’m telling you, this guy has skills,” DeGuglielmo said. “If you find one out there better than that playing that position, bring him to me.”

    At 6-foot-5, 318 pounds, Hunter cuts an imposing figure. Teammates say he is one of the strongest players on the team. He is also one of the most respected. That level of respect only increased in the final game of last season when he stood up to wide receiver Santonio Holmes at the end of the game, calling him out for moping and telling him to get off the field.

    The incident put a punctuation mark on a wild first season as a starter for Hunter. Entering Year Two, Jets fans are not the only ones pulling for Hunter to play better. Current and former teammates say they believe in Hunter.

    “He’s one of those guys that you just want him to do well,” Brunell, who is no longer with the Jets, said this week. “He’s just a great guy in the locker room. When he’s on his game, he’s very, very good. I expect him this season to erase the mistakes of last year and have a solid season.”

    Right tackle is one of those positions in football where the mistakes are magnified and the positives are sometimes hard to spot. If Hunter does his job, he shouldn’t be noticed. If he doesn’t, Sanchez will be on his back.

    He knows you’re watching. He knows what you think of him. He’s ready to prove you wrong.

    “I think more eyes are going to be on me this season,” Hunter said. “The spotlight is going to be a little brighter on me simply because of what happened and all the criticism from the fans and media. I think people are still going to be as critical of me as last year. I’m going to have bad plays. There’s no doubt about it. I’m going to give up sacks. I’m going to give up pressures. The thing is they’re going to pounce on me whenever they can.

    I’m going to try my best to limit it.”
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    Read more: [URL]http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/jets_right_tackle_hunter_hopes_to_hiFbxJImcKueOls8stF3NN#ixzz1y3KyuQ2k[/URL]
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    Last edited by C Mart; 06-17-2012 at 08:31 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm ok with giving hunter another chance, especially with sparano giving him help at times. I think he will be fine this year (hopefully:D)

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    [QUOTE=C Mart;4493672]“I’m telling you, this guy has skills,” DeGuglielmo said. “If you find one out there better than that playing that position, bring him to me.”[/quote]

    DeGuglielmo then added, "PLEEEEZE!!!!!!!!!!"

    [IMG]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRtUXanUyvs5Xubh9OHowElGtlcnYZKAomjPvdA4KuSLv6rL3DbPA[/IMG]

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    Reposting this from another thread as I hadn't seen this one yet:

    I'm not defending Hunter's screw ups in 2011, but I am rebelling against the "great or sucks" mentality. Hunter is in a no-win situation with the fans this year.... When he's good he'll be ignored, while the doomsayers will be waiting to pounce when, inevitibly, someone gets by him. On top of that he will have double the pressure of a normal RT as teams will target him like Rob Ryan and others did last year.

    He has the talent and the mentality to improve, and lots of evidence he can do it. Unlike Ducasse who just doesn't seem to have the brain power. I'm rooting for the guy, and trusting that the coaches see things the naysayers don't.


    [URL="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/05/11/green-lantern-its-time-for-jets-fans-to-cut-wayne-hunter-some-slack/"]http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/05/...er-some-slack/[/URL]
    "It’s easy to treat Hunter like a pin cushion because he was that bad in 2011, but the Jets as a whole were pretty terrible. To single him out as the whipping boy [URL="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/08/green-lantern-jets-need-an-identity-that-lasts-test-of-time-not-peyton-manning/"]was always and remains a failure to grasp the bigger picture[/URL]."

    "What people tend to forget about Hunter is despite him never being a starter during his five NFL seasons prior to 2010, he stepped into precisely that role during the season that ended with the Jets losing for the second consecutive year in the AFC Championship game and was every bit as good as any of the team’s other offensive lineman, some of whom have become perennial Pro Bowlers."

    "[B]The old adage about linemen is very true: when you don’t hear about them they are doing their jobs.[/B] Hunter quietly did his job and then some two seasons ago and the only time you really heard about him was in the title game loss to Pittsburgh, which, to be fair, featured a first-half breakdown by the entire team, not just Hunter"


    [URL]http://www.fbgratings.com/members/profile.php?pyid=880[/URL]
    [B]"Oct 24 2011[/B] - RT [SIZE=2][B]Wayne Hunter[/B] struggled in the first two games of the season, but has been playing well ever since. His improvement is a big part of the Jets' improved running game. The Jets like to run behind right guard Brandon Moore.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=2][B]Oct 13 2011[/B] - RT [B]Wayne Hunter[/B] played poorly in the first two games of the season, but has played much better since. Hunter, a career backup, started on opening day for the first time in 2011 after the retirement of former Jet Damien Woody."[/SIZE]


    [URL="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/null/2011/11/4051943/high-school-scrapper-and-late-blooming-pro-wayne-hunter-begins-put-it-a"][SIZE=2]http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/null/2011/11/4051943/high-school-scrapper-and-late-blooming-pro-wayne-hunter-begins-put-it-a[/SIZE][/URL]
    "But quietly, Hunter shook off his poor start. According to Pro Football Focus, each of the four games he played going into Sunday since those ghastly first three were above average. He even had his redemption in a nationally televised game when he stonewalled the Dolphins' Pro Bowler Cameron Wake in one-on-one protection, earning praise from the television analysts."

    " If you watched Hunter carefully, though, you would have seen that he executed his job an overwhelmingly high percentage of the time and played outstandingly, both in run-blocking and pass-protection. He was part of a Jets effort that controlled the line of scrimmage so thoroughly that it’s surprising the Jets didn’t blow the game open much earlier than they did."

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=C Mart;4493672][COLOR=#000000]

    [LEFT]

    [COLOR=#000000][LEFT][COLOR=#000000]“I don’t think the fans will ever forget,” Hunter said. “I’m hoping they’ll eventually hop on the bandwagon. [B]There’s no sense dwelling on the past. If they’re dwelling on the past, then they’re the ones with the problems.”[/B][/COLOR]

    [/COLOR][/LEFT]
    [/COLOR][/LEFT]
    [COLOR=#000000]
    [/COLOR][/QUOTE]

    I'm not thrilled or impressed with that comment right there.

    Show us first. Then turn it around to the fans.

  6. #6
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    I know this is going to sound crazy, and I promise I haven't been drinking yet...but I really have little doubt about the RT position. Whether Vlad improves, Hunter reverts back to his backup/fill-in form, or one of the other guys steps it up in preseason...I think the position will be fine.

    And to add about the Sporano factor...he won't leave his RT on an island against a superior pass rusher, a la Schotty, which will only help the situation.

  7. #7
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    F-u Hunter. :mad:

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    Best case scenario, Hunter and Vlad headbutt each other in training camp, miss some time and the Jets are forced to try someone else at RT and that player does well.

    LOL @ Hunter's semi-criticism of the fans. [QUOTE]If they’re dwelling on the past, then they’re the ones with the problems.”[/QUOTE]Message to Hunter: YOU SUCK. SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND BLOCK. Every time he wants to talk, he should just put on the tape of Miller embarrassing him. Oh wait . . . that was b.c he was lifting his leg too high :rolleyes:

    And Googs has written a lot of checks with his mouth. Talking up Hunter and knocking "the best OL coach in the NFL", Callahan.

    Which begs the question, If Callahan was the best OL coach in the NFL, then shouldn't we expect a decrease in performance? Or is Googs now the best OL coach in the NFL? Rex really has a knack for finding the best coaches for every position.
    Last edited by DDNYjets; 06-17-2012 at 01:01 PM.

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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4493775]Best case scenario, Hunter and Vlad headbutt each other in training camp, miss some time and the Jets are forced to try someone else at RT and that player does well.

    LOL @ Hunter's semi-criticism of the fans. Message to Hunter: YOU SUCK. SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND BLOCK. Every time he wants to talk, he should just put on the tape of Miller embarrassing him. Oh wait . . . that was b.c he was lifting his leg too high :rolleyes:

    And Googs has written a lot of checks with his mouth. Talking up Hunter and knocking "the best OL coach in the NFL", Callahan.

    Which begs the question, If Callahan was the best OL coach in the NFL, then shouldn't we expect a decrease in performance? Or is Googs now the best OL coach in the NFL? Rex really has a knack for finding the best coaches for every position.[/QUOTE]


    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLpimht0tUM[/url]


    Wayne Hunter just needs to shut his mouth and play better (if he's capable of doing so).

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=JB1089;4493848][url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLpimht0tUM[/url]


    Wayne Hunter just needs to shut his mouth and play better (if he's capable of doing so).[/QUOTE]
    agreed, STFU Hunter

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=JB1089;4493848]

    Wayne Hunter just needs to shut his mouth and play better (if he's capable of doing so).[/QUOTE]

    Hunter needs to be seen and not heard. But in fairness to him, he was asked the question about the fans. But he needs to learn how to answer certain questions. This is not how you answer a question:
    [QUOTE]
    "If they’re dwelling on the past, then they’re the ones with the problems.”[/QUOTE]

    What do we have to judge a player on other than his past performances?

    Hunter needs to thank his lucky stars that he still has a job and use all of this criticism as motivation. And he needs to do so quietly. Hunter becoming vocal is not going to be taken well by the fans. I think he thinks he is a leader b.c he stuck up for Sanchez. What he needs to do is block for Sanchez.

  12. #12
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    I know it's easier to bash a guy than actually pay attention to what he said, but his point was he's expecting to have a better year and he's hoping that will erase the failure of the past. If that's not enough, then that IS the fans' problem.

    Pretty sure the same can be said for Tebow. The guy could win three games in a row and we'll still hear how he's just some trick player and must've said a bunch of prayers before each play . . .:rolleyes:

  13. #13
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    ... sorry wayne, you seem like a nice enough guy ... but -

    ... RT was our biggest weakness at the end of last season ... it remains so now ...


    ... i truly hope you are able to pick your game up significantly this season ...

    ... i hope moreso though that we can get an average RT as another teams training camp cut ...




    l_j_r

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    [QUOTE=SyracuseJet;4493752]I know this is going to sound crazy, ...but I really have little doubt about the RT position. [COLOR="Red"][B][SIZE="4"]Whether Vlad improves[/SIZE][/B][/COLOR], ...I think the position will be fine.
    [/QUOTE]


    ... bro ... you lose all credibility there ... as much as hunter has had some ridiculously bad moments ... vlad has lived there since we drafted him ...






    l_j_r

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=OCCH;4493870]I know it's easier to bash a guy than actually pay attention to what he said, but his point was he's expecting to have a better year and he's hoping that will erase the failure of the past. If that's not enough, then that IS the fans' problem.

    [/QUOTE]
    [I]Hunter says he has put 2011 behind him. He’s hoping the fans can do the same.

    [/I][COLOR=#000000][I]“I don’t think the fans will ever forget,” Hunter said. “I’m hoping they’ll eventually hop on the bandwagon. [B]There’s no sense dwelling on the past.[/B] [/I][B][I]If they’re dwelling on the past, then they’re the ones with the problems.”

    [/I][/B]If he's saying: "If after I prove this season that I am a much improved player, and the fans continue to focus on 2011, then the fans have the problem, not me.[/COLOR]

    Then I would agree with you.

    But a lot of us don't get that from what he said.

    It sounds as if he's saying the fans have no right NOW to dwell on 2011.

    Well we do until proven otherwise.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Jordy;4493878][I]Hunter says he has put 2011 behind him. He’s hoping the fans can do the same.

    [/I][COLOR=#000000][I]“I don’t think the fans will ever forget,” Hunter said. “I’m hoping they’ll eventually hop on the bandwagon. [B]There’s no sense dwelling on the past.[/B] [/I][B][I]If they’re dwelling on the past, then they’re the ones with the problems.”

    [/I][/B]If he's saying: "If after I prove this season that I am a much improved player, and the fans continue to focus on 2011, then the fans have the problem, not me.[/COLOR]

    Then I would agree with you.

    But a lot of us don't get that from what he said.

    It sounds as if he's saying the fans have no right NOW to dwell on 2011.

    Well we do until proven otherwise.[/QUOTE]

    "Dwelling on the past" does not simply mean being aware of it -- it implies not being able to let it go, and letting it affect your mindset going forward. He said he's "hoping people get on the bandwagon" -- I'm pretty sure that means he expects to do well, but is afraid some fans just won't let go of what they saw (or at least think they saw) last year.

    In the end, it doesn't matter what he meant. I believe there ARE fans who will always look down on him, regardless of what he does going forward. And as fans, they have that right. But I also don't see the benefit in him worrying about them. He's much better off focusing on the fan who simply wants to see him do well, and is willing to root for him to do so . . .

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=OCCH;4493909]"Dwelling on the past" does not simply mean being aware of it -- it implies not being able to let it go, and letting it affect your mindset going forward. He said he's "hoping people get on the bandwagon" -- I'm pretty sure that means he expects to do well, but is afraid some fans just won't let go of what they saw (or at least think they saw) last year.

    In the end, it doesn't matter what he meant. I believe there ARE fans who will always look down on him, regardless of what he does going forward. And as fans, they have that right. But I also don't see the benefit in him worrying about them. He's much better off focusing on the fan who simply wants to see him do well, and is willing to root for him to do so . . .[/QUOTE]
    Unfortunately, since we don't know him, all we can go on is his words.

    We don't know what was in his mind.

    How can anyone not dwell on the past in June of 2012?

    That's all we have to go on. The rest is up to him to prove.

    He could have been a little more humble IMO and not question the fans right to be critical. It didn't come off right.

  18. #18
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    Sanchez has little confidence with Hunter protecting his strong side. And rightfully so. Hunter is not a starter in this league.
    Jets need to pick up a veteran free agent RT
    Vernon Carey maybe? He knows the system already.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=JetsCrazey;4493914]Sanchez has little confidence with Hunter protecting his strong side. And rightfully so. Hunter is not a starter in this league.
    Jets need to pick up a veteran free agent RT
    Vernon Carey maybe? He knows the system already.[/QUOTE]
    Wayne Hunter believes you have a problem.

    How does that make you feel?

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=lamont_jordan_rules;4493872]... sorry wayne, you seem like a nice enough guy ... but -

    ... RT was our biggest weakness at the end of last season ... it remains so now ...


    ... i truly hope you are able to pick your game up significantly this season ...

    ... i hope moreso though that we can get an average RT as another teams training camp cut ...




    l_j_r[/QUOTE]

    You can add AT LEAST one more victory to the NYJ if Hunter played a little better.

    At least.

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