Wonderful for the dunder heads to realize you need to teach multiple players to play center. The Baxter debacle of last year still leaves me shaking my head.
=So right about BAXTER. We almost had to send for the ambulance for Mark Sanchez. Don't think he was ever the same after that game.
BTW- Some posters were hoping to land Cordy Glenn for our O- line in the draft. Looks like our rivals got a good one. see below... www.msn.com
"...In particular, the first-team offense is off to a shaky start. The Bills have driven for one touchdown in seven possessions against the first-team defenses of Washington and Minnesota. On the positive side entering Saturday night’s game against Pittsburgh, David Nelson has emerged as a solid complement to No. 1 wide receiver Stevie Johnson, and rookie left tackle Cordy Glenn earned a starting spot like general manager Buddy Nix had hoped."
So let me get this straight......the Jets replace Wayne Hunter, who everyone has been clamoring to trade/cut/dump, with an unknown Tackle with some upside.....and most Jets fans are still unhappy because the new Tackle isn't good enough either? All before seeing him play against real competition?
All eyes are on Howard...
Last edited by Broadway Joe; 08-23-2012 at 03:56 PM.
Eight months after he told teammate Santonio Holmes to "Get the bleep" out of the huddle on that fateful day in Miami, Wayne Hunter received the same treatment Thursday morning from his bosses.
They didn't use those words, of course, but Hunter -- the most vilified offensive lineman in recent memory -- is out at right tackle for the New York Jets. Journeyman Austin Howard will start Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers, and it's his job to lose.
This was a move that had to be made. Clearly, they couldn't go forward with Hunter.
Hunter was awful last week against the New York Giants, allowing 2 ½ sacks in one half, and he exacerbated the situation by the way he responded. There was concern about his confidence, his ability to tune out the unprecedented criticism. We're talking about a player who has suffered from confidence issues in the past.
So Howard is the guy (for now), but this story goes beyond this week. Look at the big picture, and you have to wonder: How did it get to this point?
The Jets botched the right-tackle situation, and now they're counting on a former practice-squad player to bail them out.
Rex Ryan, at his spin-control best, said Hunter is better suited as the sixth linemen (in his old jumbo-tight end role) and that Howard has played well enough to earn a shot. Yes, Howard has flashed some promise, especially when he started for the then-injured Hunter in the preseason opener, but this has all come as a pleasant surprise to the Jets. Howard was a disappointment in the offseason, gaining more than 20 pounds and nearly eating himself off the team. To his credit, he dropped the weight and played himself back into the picture, but he was a non-factor when general manager Mike Tannenbaum decided in the offseason to stand pat at right tackle.
They didn't import any right tackles because they wanted to give Hunter another chance after last season's mess. Tannenbaum put his faith in new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and new line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who told reporters in May: "Until they ship [Hunter] out of this building or until they shoot me dead in my office, that son of a gun's going to be the starting right tackle, and he's going to play well."
No word on whether DeGuglielmo was wearing a bullet-proof vest around the facility Thursday.
The point is, the Jets felt Hunter could re-invent himself in Sparano's system, where the scheme is more simplistic than the previous system.
They made a calculated decision to stick with the devil they knew, and it's not looking too good right now.
They could've addressed it in the offseason, but they passed up chances.
They liked Riley Reiff as a possible first-round pick, but they felt defensive end Quinton Coples -- the eighth-rated player on their board -- was a better value at No. 16. Reiff went 23rd to the Detroit Lions.
They liked Jeff Allen as a possible second-round choice, but they traded up for wide receiver Stephen Hill, ecstatic he still was available at No. 43. Allen went on the Kansas City Chiefs on the very next pick.
Tannenbaum still is exploring the right-tackle market, according to sources, but the odds of him trading for a starting-caliber tackle are slim. But he's looking, you can bet on that.
"This, to me, is more of an indictment on what's available out in the market," an AFC personnel executive said, referring to the Jets' lineup change. "I'm sure they're thinking, 'Let's take a long look at what we have and find out so we can compare to what could become available at the 53-man [cutdown]."
This was one scout's take on Howard, who had cups of coffee with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles: Very good size (6-foot-7, 333), not a quick-twitch athlete, more of a mauler. Has some strength, but limited explosiveness. Has a feel for pass protection, but has average lateral quickness and recovery speed.
It's funny, but the Jets' right-tackle soap opera has become a national story, but take a look around. They're not the only team with major question marks on the offensive line.
The Houston Texans, a Super Bowl contender, are prepared to start Rashad Butler at right tackle. In six years, he's had a grand total of four starts. The Giants, the defending champs, could end up starting retread Sean Locklear, for crying out loud.
Maybe Howard will work out for the Jets. Maybe their lack of aggressiveness in the offseason won't come back to haunt them. In that case, they'd be lucky because right now they're wishing on a long shot.
At that position, weight could work against him. He would generally be dealing with much quicker players at LB or safety.
Most of the best blocking TEs in the NFL are huge (starting at about 270lbs). Many of them are former O-linemen. Gronk is a great blocker that's a little on the light side. He weighs about 270, but he's 6'6" so he's not as stout as a 6'4" 270lbs TE (Hartsock).
That was only because Tanny did the stupid thing and guarantee the $2.45 mil in Feb/March rather than cut Hunter. There was absolutely no reason to guarantee that. He shouldve cut Hunter and then re-sign him for less if he wanted. It wasn't like Hunter was going to have a lot of suiters.
And many of us said the same thing when this was happening!!!!
But memo to Tannenbaum: PLEASE START DRAFTING O-LINEMEN IN ROUNDS 1-3. In the last 5 years, Ducasse is the only offensive lineman drafted in the first 3 rounds (2nd round).
I know, Ducasse didn't work out all that great. But most of the top O-linemen in the league are high draft picks.
Vrentas: Wayne Hunter demoted from Jets starting right tackle
It took until 16 days before the regular season for the Jets to make a change at the right tackle position.
They did not sign a tackle in free agency, or draft one, and their offensive line coach infamously declared this spring that Wayne Hunter is the starting right tackle “until they ship him out of this building or until they shoot me dead in my office.”
But now, with slightly more than two weeks until heralded pass rusher Mario Williams comes to the Meadowlands, the Jets acted.
Coach Rex Ryan told Hunter this morning that he would be demoted to the sixth offensive lineman role he filled well in Ryan’s first two seasons. The next man up? Austin Howard, a former undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa, signed off the Ravens’ practice squad last November.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Hunter said today. “Everyone knows. The whole New York City (area) knows I was struggling. I was waiting for it, to be honest.
Everything is going south for me.”
Ryan pulled off his intended spin well, pointing out how impressive Hunter had been as a jumbo tackle, a role that wasn’t truly filled last season after Hunter took over Damien Woody’s starting job. And he talked up Howard, too, a physically talented young player who is also very raw.
“The more I thought about it, I need to see Austin with this group and going against Carolina’s starters,” Ryan said. “And the fact, I want Wayne in this role. It’s a very valuable role that we have.”
The Jets will test run Howard in the third preseason game against Carolina Sunday, but Ryan did not commit to him as the opening-day starter.
Howard to all first-team snaps at right tackle today in practice; Hunter worked in as a sixth lineman when the team worked on "Jumbo" packages.
Ryan said a few days ago it was not accurate the Jets were in the market for a starting right tackle. He didn’t make the same assertion this time, though he said, “right now, I am thinking that we’re OK.”
In an interview with WFAN today, before Ryan’s announcement, general manager Mike Tannenbaum said the Jets are “encouraged” by Howard but called right tackle “a position we’re going to keep looking at.”
Hunter’s $2.45 million base salary, starter’s pay, is guaranteed, so the Jets cannot cut him. The Jets said they have no intentions of trading Hunter.
Hunter came under fire last season after surrendering 11 sacks, according to football statistics website Pro Football Focus, third-most in the NFL. This offseason, Hunter said he had been the “weakest link” and vowed to play like the nine-year veteran he is.
But he had a rough preseason debut Saturday night, returning from a tight back to give up 2.5 sacks to the Giants, plus another nullified by penalty.
“I want to help this team any way I can,” Hunter said. “And right now, that is not at right tackle.”
The biggest concern with Hunter appeared to be his confidence. He was a frequent goat last season, starting with Week 1 struggles against Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware. The fan scrutiny heated up again after Saturday’s game, to proportions usually reserved for a quarterback or offensive coordinator.
He was excused from Tuesday night’s practice at MetLife Stadium for personal reasons, and Hunter admitted he needed to “get my mind right.”
Ryan did not say what triggered the decision to bench Hunter. The Jets will have to face the question of why they waited until Aug. 23 to make a switch at the position.
“We were excited when we picked up Austin Howard,” Ryan replied. “When he came in, I think he turned some heads, he really did. But to sit back and say we’re going to put all our eggs in that basket, we had to see it first.”
Howard, listed at 6-foot-7 and 333 pounds, has played in just four NFL games but has drawn praise from coaches and teammates for seeking out contact. He lost 27 to 30 pounds since organized team activities in order to report to camp in shape.
“I view it as an opportunity,” Howard said, “and I view it as something I need to take advantage of.”
Hunter’s role will be significantly diminished. According to statistics kept by Pro Football Focus, Hunter averaged around 11 snaps in the games he was used as a jumbo tackle in 2009-10. Asked if some players are just not cut out to be starters, Ryan said, “I just thought he’s better in this role.”
“The Bills are around the corner,” Hunter said. “They’ve got to do something, and right now the best move is to move me to a spot where I was dominant, and I was comfortable and I was confident.”