We’re going to do a quick series of posts on the top areas of concern for the team … of course … topping the list? Right Tackle.
Situation: Wayne Hunter had a rough time last year and for whatever reason, the Jets so far have chosen not to directly address the Right Tackle spot this spring. The spot was an issue the majority of last season and it’s only going to get more difficult for the team’s RT this fall facing off against Mario Williams twice during the course of the season. Will the Jets open the competition during camp? Offensive Linemen are creatures of habit, and crave consistency and chemistry with their fellow starters. With this in mind, most Offensive Lines prefer to know who the starting unit is as early as possible in training camp to properly prepare for the coming season.
Factors: The team’s lack of an experienced blocking Tight End could play into this decision. They might feel like they need to go with whoever provides the best productivity at present, no matter how bad that productivity might be. Also, time is going to be of the essence. Unless it’s announced before or at the start of camp that there will be a competition for the Right Tackle spot … I doubt the Jets will then open up the matter later down the road.
Questions: Did Sparano indicate he thinks he can work with Hunter? Could Vlad actually contend for the job this summer? Might Austin Howard or either of the veterans (Stephon Heyer, Ray Willis) the team brought in this spring contend?