While the Jeff Otah trade-fallout caused the Jets to groan in disappointment, it turned out to be the best thing possible for Austin Howard's young NFL career.
While the incumbent right tackle, Wayne Hunter, was sidelined with a back injury, Howard was given the nod to start the first preseason game at right tackle after a strong start to training camp.
Howard was decent in his debut, but while he did not necessarily knock around defensive ends, he was not a liability in protection either. In other words, he was very un-Wayne Hunter-like, which at this point is all the Jets can ask for.
Since Friday's game, Howard's performance has insinuated a full-blown position battle between him and Hunter, as he rotated with Hunter with the first team the following practice, per Manish Mehta of the Daily News.
It is still a long way to go before the season starts and a lot can change between now and then, but the Jets could possibly have a realistic alternative to Wayne Hunter at right tackle.