Wayne Hunter may be losing his grip on the starting right tackle spot for the New York Jets. Head coach Rex Ryan told media Monday that he won't commit right now to Hunter or current backup Austin Howard being the starter with three weeks to go until the start of the 2012 NFL season.
"I'm going to say this. We're committing to putting a good football team on the field," Ryan said. "Competition not just at the right tackle spot, but there's competition throughout... We're loaded in some spots and the competition is elevating peoples' play... But to sit back and say this guy's definitely the starter, I'm not ready to do that... I like to see guys compete and earn their jobs out there."
Hunter was abused badly during the Jets' preseason loss to the New York Giants on Saturday night. He gave up four sacks on the night, including 2.5 to talented pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul. Howard, meanwhile, has reportedly impressed during camp. Ryan said that he could earn snaps with the first-team offense when the Jets take on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night.
"Yeah, well see," Ryan said. "He's had his moments in camp where we're really impressed with him. Then, there's other things where he's got to pick his game up as well. But we'll see how it goes later this week."
For more on Hunter and the Jets, check out Gang Green Nation and SB Nation New York.