Rex Ryan announced that Austin Howard will take Wayne Hunter‘s spot against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night.
“The more I went back and looked at where we’re at as a football team, and getting feedback from coaches, and knowing the history of Wayne’s success that Wayne had basically as a sixth man, I’ve decided that that’s the way we’re gonna go,” Ryan said. “I’m gonna put Wayne in that role, where really he excelled. And that’s being a guy that basically fits at — whether it’s a tackle, guard, tight end, all that kind of stuff. So I’m gonna move Wayne back to that role.”
“We’re gonna give Austin Howard a shot to be with this first group. I thought he earned that right. He played extremely well against Cincinnati, did OK against the Giants, but really played well against Cincinnati, and this is what I wanna do. I’m gonna put him in that situation, and we’ll see how he does this week.”
Hunter who struggled all last season as a starter was subjected to a lot of criticism. He missed time during the preseason due to a back injury and had a hard time against the Giants where he gave up 2½ sacks in the second preseason game of the year.
“I want to help this team any way I can. And right now it’s not at right tackle,” Hunter said. “I’ve had struggles — everyone’s seen them. It’s just moving me back to a position where I excel, and did really well.”
“Everyone knows, all of New York City knows, that I’ve been struggling — last year, and the last game I didn’t do much better. So I wasn’t surprised. I was waiting for it, to be honest with you. I knew I was struggling, I knew everything was kind of going south for me, but at the same time I still wanted to help the team in any way possible. I love the Jets, I love this organization.