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New York Jets: Another Potentially Rough Season After Jets Fail to Find Tackle

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Defensive lineman Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos fights against the block of offensive tackle Wayne Hunter #78 of the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Jets 17-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Daniel BudickCorrespondent IMay 9, 2012

A major reason for the New York Jets disappointing season in 2011 was the fact Mark Sanchez wasn't protected the way he has been in past seasons.  An offensive line that was praised before 2011 was the laughing stock of the league.

When Damien Woody was lost for the season in 2010, Rex Ryan claimed that the Jets had the best "backup" right tackle in football with Wayne Hunter.

The key word is backup, someone who can come in and fill a need for a short period of time.  

Coming into this past season, the Jets elected to stay in house at the vacant right tackle position and give the starting role to Hunter. He did a decent job filling in during the 2010 playoffs. Though, as we all saw, Hunter just didn't cut it as a starter.

He allowed more than 20 sacks on quarterback Mark Sanchez. Game in and game out, Hunter was over-matched and manhandled upfront. At times, he looked like he completely forgot his footwork and positioning needed to be successful.  

So one would think, coming into this offseason, the Jets first priority would be to find an adequate right tackle.

So far, Mike Tannenbaum and the front office have not addressed this concern at all. In fact, the way their roster looks right now, Wayne Hunter will be competing with Vladimir Ducasse for the starting job.

Ducasse was a second-round draft choice two seasons ago, and he came from the University Of Massachusetts. He has done anything but impress.

Most notably, he came in as a replacement in Week 4 in 2011, and he got picked apart by the Ravens.

Not only did Wayne Hunter hurt the Jets in 2011, but he also hurt the development of Sanchez as a quarterback. Sanchez was forced to rush his plays because he didn't have the time to let them develop.

The bottom line: If the Jets want to be back to where they were two years ago, they must take care of a hole that was arguably the reason for the Jets' mediocre 8-8 season. 

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