Wayne Hunter Traded, Jets Acquire Jason Smith

After a tumultuous run as the Jets habitually criticized and scrutinized starting Right Tackle, Wayne Hunter has seen his last days in New York. The Jets have agreed to send the struggling Tackle to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for fellow Tackle, Jason Smith.

Smith, the 2nd overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, was heavily touted coming out of Baylor, but has failed to live up to expectations, and has since been deemed a draft bust. However, the Jets are hoping they can duplicate the revival of Aaron Maybin with Smith. A fresh start and new coaching staff can be beneficial to a young player who has struggled early in his career.

Regardless of how Smith turns out, the focal point of the story here is the departure of Wayne Hunter. Hunter has been under heavy criticism after a very troubling 2011, a year where he was recognized as the clear weak link in the Jets offensive line. New York opted not to release Hunter after the season, guaranteeing his salary for this year, insisting that a new offensive coaching staff would help the athletically gifted tackle reach his potential.

However, in his first action this preseason Hunter looked anything but improved and was embarrassed throughout national media after getting overly exposed by the Giants ferocious pass rush. Hunter finally seemed emotionally checked out after asking to be excused from practice on Jets family night last week, a notion further indicated by his benching to Austin Howard, announced prior to the Carolina game. Whether or not a fresh start will help his play, Hunter was mentally worn out by New York, and had no future of improving here.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Preseason Week 3 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the Jets third pre-season game against the Carolina Panthers

For this week’s edition of New York Jets Fact Or False, we examine the most pressing issues facing Gang Green heading into their third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

Austin Howard will prove he is the answer at Right Tackle. False. While many people are getting caught up in today’s news that Austin Howard has replaced Wayne Hunter as the Jets starting RT, there is still no reason to believe that Howard is the savior. Will he play better than Hunter? Probably. But unfortunately for Wayne, the Jets could have likely put Tony Sparano himself in there, and he wouldn’t have looked much worse than Hunter did last week. Hunter’s contract should have never been guaranteed after his abysmal 2011 and now Mike Tannenbaum is in one of the worst positions he has ever been in as the Jets GM. Howard will get the start tomorrow by default, but the Jets will likely remain active in their hunt to bring in a tackle from the outside. Don’t expect Howard to be the long term solution here.

The Offense will score a touchdown. Fact. I mean, they have to…right? The Jets offense remains without a touchdown over two preseason games thus far. Although the game plans have been very vanilla as they are implementing a new system, it is now time to spice things up. The basics of this new offensive scheme should be more than engraved into every offensive players head at this point in the preseason, so it is time for Sparano to mix it up a bit. It is extremely difficult to take shots down the field when there is virtually no time to properly execute a 5 or 7 step drop, however, look for the Jets to take advantage of a very average defense. With the likely return of Jeremy Kerley this weekend, Sanchez gets back with a familiar target that he can rely on to help move the chains. Regardless of how poor they have looked, there is simply too much talent on this offense to go another game without crossing the goal line.

We will finally see some of the wildcat. False. For everyone waiting to see the marvelous Wildcat formation, it looks as if you will have to wait until, at the earliest, September 9th in the season opener against Buffalo. At Rex Ryan’s press conference today, the fourth year head coach stated that he did not expect to see any Wildcat during this preseason. Of course, this could be Rex throwing a smokescreen at fellow defensive mind Ron Rivera, however, Ryan is likely being honest here. There is no reason to unveil this formation and give the Bills a series of plays to watch on film and prepare for. Tebow enthusiasts, keep on waiting.

The Jets starting defense will have its best test against the run. Fact. While Cincinnati and the Giants certainly have established running offenses, neither of them quite compare to the four headed monster of DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Cam Newton, and Mike Tolbert. This will be a great test for the Jets as they will face a very unique combination of size, speed, agility, and athleticism, that they have yet to see this preseason. If they can hold the Panthers to less than 100 combined rushing yards through the first 2-3 quarters, it will be a very good sign of things to come for the defense this season.

The Jets will have ease running the football. False. This is certainly not to say that the Jets will not run the ball effectively in this game, because they very well just may. However, Carolina has a daunting young pair of linebackers in two time All-Pro Jon Beason, who returns after missing last season with a tear in his Achilles tendon, as well as rookie Luke Kuechly, the 9th overall selection in this year’s draft out of Boston College. This will be yet another great test for Greene, Tebow, and the rest of the running attack to get themselves on track and finally show some of that ground and pound that has been preached so frequently since the hiring of Sparano.

This is the best opportunity for Quinton Coples to prove his worth thus far. Fact. Coples faced an excellent offensive line last week against the Giants, but this week he has the opportunity to play against All-Pro Jordan Gross, along with Matt Kalil, and Bruce Campbell. With these three, Carolina has one of the most respected offensive lines in the league. If Coples can duplicate what he has been doing through the first two games against this unit, it will be an excellent sign of progress. A sack, a QB knockdown, or a tackle for loss will all be indications of further improvement and more good things to come.

New York Jets Bench Wayne Hunter

The New York Jets have benched right tackle Wayne Hunter

In a move that was long overdue…as in it should have done after the first play of the 2011 regular season, New York Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter has been benched. His replacement for the time being will be Austin Howard, who started the Jets first pre-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Howard was an undrafted free agent in 2010 who has spent time on the Eagles and Ravens practice squad. The best thing to say about Howard is that he cannot be worse than Wayne Hunter, it is physically impossible.

ESPN’s Rich CImini is reporting that the Jets remain in the trade market for a starting right tackle despite Howard’s promotion. The team will likely evaluate how he performs against Carolina on Sunday with the starters before deciding to pull the trigger on any move. At this point, it will not be easy to acquire a capable starting lineman.

Ultimately guaranteeing Hunter’s contract this off-season will go down as one of the worst moves in Mike Tannenbaum’s career as the Jets GM. It was indefensible considering his play last season and the plethora of options on the free agent market at right tackle this off-season. The Jets cannot cut Hunter at this point without taking a substantial hit to their cap and are desperately still looking for a starter with the season only a couple of weeks away.

You hate to have this type of instability on the offensive side of the football so close to the season.

I hope offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo is avoiding his office in the coming days…

List Of Things More Productive Than The New York Jets Offense

A list of things more productive than the New York Jets offense

To say the New York Jets offense has been bad this pre-season is an insult to the word bad. It actually might also be an insult to the word “offense” because whatever the hell they have been doing these past two weeks certainly isn’t NFL offensive football. The production has looked something like this –

– 0 touchdowns

– 9 total points

– 12 sacks allowed

– Longest run by a running back – 8 yards

– Starting running back Shonn Greene – 16 carries, 47 yards

– Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez’s longest completion – 12 yards

– Starting quarterback completions to projected top three wide receivers (Holmes, Hill, Kerley) – 0

What are a few things more productive than the New York Jets offense?

      • Isaiah Thomas as a NBA General Manager
      • Mike Francesa’s diet regimen
      • Every DMV in North Jersey
      • Bobby Valentine’s ability to bond with his players
      • Time Warner’s negotiations with the NFL Network
      • Chris Berman’s temper control in the 90s

It is very simple. The Jets offense isn’t going anywhere with a player like Wayne Hunter playing every snap. One offensive lineman can have that big of a trickle down, particularly when you are paper-thin at running back and wide receiver. Hunter’s struggles will prevent Mark Sanchez from ever being comfortable in the pocket and getting the ball down the field. The more Sanchez is battered, the more likely a quarterback controversy erupts. The more likely a quarterback controversy erupts, the more likely this season goes down in flames.

There is no glass half full perspective about the Jets offense until Hunter is replaced. I wrote it in March and I write it again now. You can talk me into the wide receiver situation improving with a healthy Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley coupled with a growing Stephen Hill. You can talk me into Shonn Greene being okay if he is supported by Tim Tebow breaking off a few runs every week. You can’t talk me into Hunter getting magically better, particularly when the Jets don’t have a blocking tight end on their roster to help support him when necessary.

Somebody please explain to me why Chad Clifton, Kareem McKenzie and Vernon Carey all weren’t flown in for workouts today?

No Huddle – New York Jets Struggles Continue

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets offensive problems

TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage here at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle, looking at the struggles of the past weekend and how the Jets can improve heading into their third pre-season game. 

Alright so we can all agree, THAT was ugly. The Snoopy Bowl rematch was way too much reality for us. The Giants are in the Penthouse. Defending Champs and all that. The Jets aren’t. Worse, Big Blue doesn’t need Hakeem Nicks to throw downfield  but the Jets are dying for Santonio Holmes to return to regain a license to. The Giants don’t need a blitz to get sacks. The Jets would love to say that about themselves one day soon, but can’t just yet.

Hey, the best way to swallow being outplayed by the crosstown team Gang Green ignited on Christmas is to just shrug it all off, right?

Wrong.

Which leads us to the first “No Huddle” point in our latest installment.

1 -It Is Only The Preseason 

We know it’s only August but folks, let’s not forget the way 2011 crumbled late in the year: Primarily from a lack of protection for Mark Sanchez.

If you can’t stretch the field, you can’t run. Play action, a weapon Mark Sanchez needs, won’t be respected either. Ground and Pound? How, with eleven defenders waiting for it? Over these first two prsesson games we’ve seen nothing from the first team
but much of the same. Little pass protection, rare separation from WRs, and modest runs from backs at best.

When push came to shove Saturday, the Jets run game got stuffed on 3rd and short and 4th down.

Not good.

The Jets have implemented a new OC a new system, remained adamantly against adding skill position vets and linemen up front, sure that things would change without the need to add more dynamic players. Sorry. we expected to see more already. Some sign, even one sign, that things will be different. A RB breaking loose, a solid string of throws downfield aided by a pocket created up front.

A glimmer from the first team.

Instead we bring you Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 GOP convention speech regarding Obama’s leadership record, to describe what’s taken place so far on offense. “Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.”

Don’t be shocked if ” it’s only August” turns to it’s only September soon if nobody else is brought in, and Holmes or the Wildcat don’t alter things dramatically.

We’re concerned.Can you tell?

2 – Landry Lays A Lick On The Salsa Dancer

Victor Cruz called it legit, as the NFL looks into it. We on the other hand,  are celebrating a Jets safety who for the first team seemingly since the days of Victor Green, made his presence felt physically. Landry’s hit on Victor Cruz, provided that we can assume it was legal, is hopefully a sign of things to come for the Jets. A unit that needs to become a mean shutdown machine.

Especially if you’re one of those who can’t see the offense elevating to great heights this year.

Cough cough.

3 – Veteran Help, Why Not?

Call us ignorant when it comes to the salary cap and it’s restrictions. We’re no gurus like Mike T is in this field. Far from it.
However, we dont see why names like Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant, Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Bureess were never seriously explored.

Add Terrell Owens to the list too. What media circus would TO bring that isn’t already here?

Maybe Plax did himself in by dissing Sanchez publicly during the offseason. Perhaps Edwards knee scared off Jets brass. We can live with those reasons. We have a harder time though, accepting the fact the Jets may have been comfortable with a skill position crew that aside from Tone and Shonn Greene, bring no resume at all to the table.

The Jets can’t go 2-4 or 1-5 while their young players grow and gain experience. It will be too late. The AFC East won’t allow for it. Yet patience with the younghans will be key early on now, as so many get their feet wet in regular season duty.

Was this scenario necessary?

4 – Hiding the Wildcat

What are the Jets really hiding with this formation that won’t be put on tape the minute it’s unveiled?

Instead of being so wrapped up in keeping this “back to the future” formation secretive, why not run a few basic vanilla Wildcat plays in games just to practice rotating QBs and other personnel? The mechanical parts of the operation that must run seamlessly, before week one features 12 men in the huddle, and time outs wasted due to communication breakdowns.

Imagine the offense needing five more penalty yards for a first down right now… The marker would feel as far
away as NYC feels, while stuck in Jersey traffic near the toll, trying to cross over the GW Bridge.

5 – What Next Week Means

The Jets and Sanchez have to show up for a brief period on offense. One solid drive. Period.

C’mon, that’s not exactly reaching for the stars here.

It would help if the defense didn’t  make them sit for long as they wither drives down to FG attempts.
Give the offense the ball right back. We know it’s gonna be the dynamic Cam Newton on the other side of the line, but look at the Jets first half schedule. Alot of quality QBs are on the way.

It’s the last dress rehearsal for the starters. We want a healthy night, with the offense making a cameo, and the defense turning up the heat a few times.

We don’t need a 21-0 lead. Just some proof that many of us are hitting the panic button too early

New York Jets: Offensive Pre-Season From Hell Continues

Thoughts on the New York Jets after two pre-season games.

I am going to treat this article like a compliment sandwich, starting and ending with something positive about the New York Jets with all the criticism in-between. So basically everything on this team besides the offense will be the bread and the offense will be the steaming pile of crap in-between those slices of bread.

The New York Jets have a very good defense. It won’t be a great defense until they generate a more consistent pass rush but with the way Quinton Coples is developing, that could happen sooner rather than later. The run defense is rock solid. The secondary is excellent. LaRon Landry looks ready to go and play at the Pro-Bowl level he is capable of, making the Jets completely loaded on the back end of their defense. The overall speed and depth of the unit has improved substantially. If you have a very good defense, you can be competitive on a weekly basis in the NFL.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New York Jets arguably have the worst looking offense in the league right now. Wayne Hunter could be the worst starting offensive player in the league and I am not using a hyperbole to prove a point. It remains inexcusable that Mike Tannenbaum refused to replace him this off-season and it could very well be the decision that ends his career as the Jets General Manager. The Jets need to be on the phone with every team in the league trying to swing a trade for a tackle or looking to get Vernon Carey out of retirement.

Hunter is not supported by a strong blocking end either. The Jets literally have three wide receivers at the tight end position right now in Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland and Josh Baker. This shows when the “Ground and Pound” offense tries to run the football. Last night the Jets had 65 yards on 24 carries for a pathetic 2.7 average. Their longest run of the night was 8 yards. No running back can pop a big play. They can’t even move the chains in short yardage situations, as the Jets were stuffed on a 3rd and 2, 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 last night.

The wide receivers are a mess because of injuries. Mark Sanchez is yet to complete a pass this pre-season to one of his top three projected receivers, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. His longest completion of the pre-season has been 12 yards. What happened to those “chunk plays” Tony Sparano was referring to?

Sanchez deserves the blame for his interception last night, a poor decision and a worse throw. This is what happens when you throw 2 yard crossing patterns on 3rd and 10. The Jets allow defenses to smother their short routes because they don’t press the ball down the field. Part of that is playcalling. Part of that is protection issues. Part of that is on receivers who can’t get open down the field. And part of it is on Sanchez. All of it needs to be corrected.

Something positive to end with? Nah, just this. Get to work Mike T.

New York Jets: Right Tackle Remains Wayne Hunter

After Jeff Otah failed his physical, it appears Wayne Hunter will remain the New York Jets right tackle

After tackle Jeff Otah failed his initial physical a week ago, it was hard not to take a pessimistic view of his future with the New York Jets. The spin control started yesterday as comments were leaked out to the media about Otah not being likely to pass and people doubting he could help the team if he did. Rex Ryan simultaneously praised Wayne Hunter’s performance at camp so far in seeming preparation for Otah being shipped back to Carolina today.

Sure enough, Otah failed his physical and has left the Jets exactly where they started a week ago at right tackle. It is Wayne Hunter and a bunch of players on the roster who aren’t viable competitors to him.

Don’t buy the Mike Tannenbaum line of BS about Austin Howard being a competitor for the spot. If he was, the Jets wouldn’t have traded for Otah in the first place or signed journeyman Stephon Heyer. Vladimir Ducasse has been shifted to guard permanently to compete with Matt Slauson so he isn’t in the mix either. Everything Tannenbaum said today indicates that the Jets will likely now bring in another player to compete with Hunter.

Vernon Carey is a logical assumption, however the Jets could wait a week or so to see if there are any cuts in training camp or trades to be had with teams with depth at the position. With each passing day it does become more likely that Hunter will be the right tackle week one versus Buffalo.

If the Jets weren’t fully confident in Hunter (and the original decision to trade for Otah implies that) it begs the question why they didn’t pursue a player like Eric Winston in the off-season. They are now at the point where they will be putting a band-aid on a position that could remain a problem area in 2012.

BUMMED ABOUT THE OTAH TRADE FALLING THROUGH? CHEER YOURSELF UP WITH A NEW JETS SHIRT

New York Jets Trade For Tackle Jeff Otah

The New York Jets have traded an undisclosed draft pick for Carolina Panthers tackle Jeff Otah

The New York Jets have traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Carolina Panthers for tackle Jeff Otah, a former first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He has started 29 games for the Panthers but has been very banged up the past two seasons, with knee and back injuries. Otah has only played in 4 games over the past two seasons but is a “dominant run blocking right tackle” when health.

There have been questions about his conditioning and toughness in the past. However, if he can stay on the field, Otah would be a substantial upgrade over Wayne Hunter. At a minimum, this is the competition that the Jets needed to bring in for Hunter who didn’t deserve to have the job handed to him. The Jets aren’t going to cut Hunter because of the money they owe him but now have a viable threat to his position on the roster. There had been some chatter about potentially adding Vernon Carey but Otah has a much greater upside.

This will likely be an open competition from day one in camp and further proves the Jets have zero faith in players like Vlad Ducasse or Austin Howard to be major contributors.

Otah is 6’6, 330 pounds and attended the University of Pittsburgh.

It is a fair assumption that the compensation will be determined by Otah hitting a certain snap count, look for the pick to slide anywhere from a 4th to 7th rounder. It is a small risk for a player with as much upside as Otah, particularly at a positon of need for the Jets whose depth is looking much better now at tackle, as they also have another former starter Stephon Heyer on the roster.

Do not be surprised if the Jets make another move or two in the coming days. They still need a blocking tight end and depth at running back.

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 20-30

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, continuing today with numbers 20-30

Frustrated and confused after seeing the NFL’s Top 100 player list? TOJ was as well. Due to that, we have decided to rank the current New York Jets on the roster from 50 all the way down to 1. Along the way, we will be classifying the players into the following five categories:

  • Bottom of the Roster (strictly a depth and developmental player)
  • Middle Class (Situational player, spot starter)
  • Quality Starter (Capable starting player or very good role player)
  • Red Chip (Swiping this term from Michael Lombardi, an above average stater/borderline Pro-Bowler)
  • Blue Chip (Another swipe from Lombardi, an elite player at his position)

READ NUMBERS 40-50 HERE

READ NUMBERS 30-40 HERE

(STILL IN MIDDLE CLASS CATEGORY)

29. John Conner, Fullback – The Terminator was average at best last season, his first one as a full time starter. Hopefully, with a more run orientated approach this season he will develop into a more consistent lead blocker and bigger cog in the offense, as Tony Sparano hasn’t been shy in the past about using his fullbacks as runners for short yardage situations. Conner must also work on his hands, so he can be a reliable checkdown option.

28. Wayne Hunter, Tackle – Despite filling in for Damien Woody admirably at the end of the 2010 season, Hunter’s frankly awful 2011 makes it more than fair to question if he is capable starter in the NFL. The Jets are betting that Sparano will help turn into a competent every down player and for the sake of Mark Sanchez’s health, they better have bet right.

27. Stephen Hill, Wide Receiver – The hope is that he will quickly prove to be a capable starter and based on physical attributes, there is no reason he can’t become that immediately. Unless he gets injured, he will start from day one opposite Santonio Holmes and be relied on to prevent teams from double teaming him or Dustin Keller.

26. Kyle Wilson, Cornerback – Wilson bounced back somewhat from a disappointing rookie season in 2011 but still left something to be desired for a first round pick. People forget that when he was selected, he was anticipated to be a big time punt returner and hyped as somebody capable of the holding the fort down if Darrelle Revis missed time from a holdout. He is no longer a factor as a returner and has the looks of a good, not great nickel back that hasn’t proven he can be an every down player yet.

25. Joe McKnight, Running Back –  He proved to be a very good kick returner last season but never really received the chance to flourish into a big part of the offense. Tony Sparano found a way to make Reggie Bush more successful than he ever had been in his NFL career last season in Miami and while McKnight isn’t on the same talent level as him, he does have a comparable skill set. He should be given every opportunity to be the team’s primary third down back and a big part of the passing games, particularly on screens.

QUALITY STARTER (CAPABLE STARTER OR VERY GOOD ROLE PLAYER)

24. Jeremy Kerley, Wide Receiver – Flashed a ton of potential in his rookie season and will be the team’s slot receiver in 2012. Davone Bess caught plenty of passes in Miami in this same offensive system and Kerley should do the same. He will also likely be the team’s primary punt returner. Kerley has excellent short area quickness and should be a frequent target on third downs.

23. Quinton Coples, Defensive End – For where the Jets took him in the first round, he better be ready to be a starter out of the gates. Coples has drawn rave reviews for his performance in OTAs and mini-camp, and seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. I was skeptical of the selection at the time but you have heard exactly everything you want to hear about a first round pick since he was taken. Coples has the potential to be a force up front, particularly in the Jets 4-3 alignments alongside Muhammad Wilkerson.

22. Aaron Maybin, Linebacker/Defensive End – The team’s top pass rusher last season, who should improve in 2012 with a full off-season to master Rex Ryan’s defense and work on diversifying his rush techniques. He has bulked up in anticipation of an increase of reps. There is no reason to think he can’t approach double digit sacks in this system.

21. Matt Slauson, Guard – Slauson has been the team’s starting guard the past two seasons and has proven to be competent. He played through a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder last season and is anticipated to be 100% healthy in 2012. Slauson won’t be elected to any Pro-Bowls but won’t hold the Jets offensive back as a starter.

20. Eric Smith, Safety – Defensive backs coach summed up Smith perfectly when he said, “you will love him 300 reps, not at 900 reps.” He was overextended as a starter last season and was also banged up down the stretch run. However, Smith can thrive in Rex Ryan’s defense as a role player like he did in 2009, which will also allow him to focus on being the team’s top special teams player.

Check back tomorrow for players 10-20…

New York Jets: We Talking About Practice?

2 weeks worth of thoughts on the New York Jets after leaving the country

A huge thanks to Chris Gross for running Turn On The Jets, while I spent a couple of weeks aboard in Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany. It is good to be back and getting after it here at TOJ, stay posted throughout the week as myself, Chris, and the rest of our writing staff will be bringing you the high quality content you have come to expect.

1. How could you not laugh at the reaction to Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow’s performance in a 7 on 7 OTA practice? Get used to the meticulous tracking of every throw and movement they make at each practice and the unavoidable overreaction to it. Personally, I think without question Sanchez is the superior quarterback, should start and shouldn’t necessarily have a quick hook. However, I can admit it is crazy to get down on Tebow because he threw a pair of interceptions in his first practice in a new offense. Practice is important but nobody remembers your completion percentage in practices when the bullets start flying in a game. Sanchez is going to start the season under center and the media/certain fans will be screaming for him to be pulled after one bad game, regardless of how much he outperforms Tebow this summer.

2. I am very happy with the decision to sign Yeremiah Bell over Jim Leonhard, which is exactly what it was regardless of what Rex Ryan says. Bell has more size and athleticism than Leonhard and has simply been a more productive player over the past few years. Yes, the Jets are going to have coverage issues with Bell and LaRon Landry starting, along with Eric Smith coming off the bench but Bell provides both needed insurance to Landry at strong safety and more athleticism than Smith would at free safety. His signing hurts the chances of rookie Antonio Allen seeing much playing time this year. On the other hand, rookie Josh Bush should remain a factor in a centerfield type role in certain three safety looks.

3. It is a shame to hear about Kenrick Ellis, as his jail sentence will obviously slow his development. Hopefully, he can get it split so he doesn’t miss any training camp. Regardless, with a crowded depth chart at defensive line, his chances of becoming a major factor this year have only got slimmer.

4. Today, the Jets signed veteran tackles Stephon Heyer and Ray Willis. Both are journeyman but between them have 61 NFL starts. Considering the depth on the offensive line right now, don’t be surprised to see one or maybe both stick on the roster. These signings don’t bode well for Austin Howard.

5. I have no problem with Wayne Hunter and new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo talking tough about the upcoming season. I would hope they would project confidence in Hunter’s ability to handle a starting position. It is more than reasonable to be skeptical about Hunter but it certainly sounds like he will have every chance to prove his critics wrong.

6. Interesting but not surprising to hear Visanthe Shiancoe linked to the Jets in free agent rumors. They still badly need a number two tight end and Shiancoe is a proven veteran, who will give them a ton of versatility in their two tight end sets.