By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
The Jets can no longer deny the massive hole they now have at the right side of the line. The Jets gave up a sack on nearly quarter of their snaps when Tebow or Sanchez was under center. Even worse, other teams are getting pressure so quickly without even blitzing, because all they have to do is line up a decent edge rusher against Wayne Hunter in order to kill any third-and-long.
However, the good news is that the games don’t count for another couple of weeks and there is still time to rectify the situation. Here are the remains options the Jets have at right tackle, other than continuing to start Wayne Hunter.
Start Austin Howard: Howard saw some time with the first team against the Bengals as Hunter was out with a back injury. He did not exactly light the world on fire, but he held his own and was not a liability.
It is important to remember that there is no rusher on the Bengals’ roster of the caliber of Justin Tuck or Jason Pierre-Paul, but he can’t be worse than Wayne Hunter at this point.
Start Stephon Heyer: Heyer is a solid veteran who started 16 games for the Redskins back in 2009. He may not have the kind of upside that Howard has, but he has a lot more experience.
Start Vladimir Ducasse: Speaking of the failures of GM Mike Tannenbaum, why not give Ducasse a try at tackle? Rather than have a fake competition with Matt Slauson just to gain leverage in contract negotiations, why not give the athletic Ducasse, who played tackle at UMass, a change to show that he can match-up physically with these edge rushers?
Move Matt Slauson: Before he won the “battle” for the starting right guard job, Slauson was getting some work at right tackle to increase his versatility. While he does not have the ideal athleticism for the position, he at least won’t get pushed around by some of the stronger players.
Free Agents: The tackle market is not exactly back-ordered with talent in the middle of August, but there are still some player available who can do a better job that Hunter. Kareem McKenzie, who was with the Giants last year, is still available, mostly because he is coming off his worst season of his career.
Vernon Carey and Marcus McNeil are all but retired at this point. The Jets are going to have to keep a close eye on the waiver wire to see if someone slips through the cracks. The problem is, right tackles are so hard to find that teams tend to do everything they can to keep the good ones around with depth being such a premium.