Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jets stuck with embattled tackle Hunter... Uh-O(ta)h


Well, at least they can say they tried.

The Jets, who traded for Panthers right tackle Jeff Otah last week in seeking competition for incumbent starter Wayne Hunter, sent Otah back to Carolina Tuesday after Otah failed to meet terms of the trade.

Gang Green failed to address their weakness at right tackle during the draft or throughout almost all of the offseason before bringing in Otah.

So the right tackle job is again in the hands of Hunter, who was arguably the worst starting offensive tackle in the NFL last season. Hunter called himself the team's "weak link" earlier in the offseason.

"For a guy to come out and say that, you have to respect his humility," Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters Tuesday. "He was in some tough spots last year. We all remember the first play of the game against DeMarcus Ware, and he was 1-on-1. He missed, yes, he did. That probably wasn’t a great situation for him, but he accepted it. He moved on."

His shortcomings against Ware Week 1 were only the beginning. He went on to commit 11 penalties, a team-high, and gave up 11 sacks, 11 hits and 32 pressures on his quarterback in 2011, according to Pro Football Focus.

Still, Ryan is standing behind his starter.

"He is trying to get better and you definitely see it in him," Ryan said. "I certainly see it in him. I love the way he is finishing. I think he is grasping the system. He really seems to be.

"He hangs on every word that Guge [OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo] says, which sometimes is colorful, but he definitely hangs on it and is trying to get better."

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