Could Wayne Hunter Be Injured?
By Alan Schechter
Dec 04, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Wayne Hunter (78) along the sidelines during the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. the Jets defeated the Redskins 34-19. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
OK, Jets fans, the dust has settled on what was a disaster of a Saturday night. Specifically, the disaster that was Wayne Hunter’s performance. He was dreadful. Heck, I was one of the first people on Saturday night tweeting out the #CutWayneHunter hashtag. I was irate.
But, cooler heads have started to prevail, at least with me. The Jets have guaranteed Wayne Hunter is salary, which is over $2 million. The Jets cannot cut him, unless they want to take the salary cap hit, so they will have this guy on the team. He doesn’t have to start, but he likely will be on the team.
Also, you have to remember, Hunter did a good job in 2010 filling in for Damien Woody. Nobody at the time was this worried about Wayne Hunter starting, when we began 2011. Were you? I wasn’t.
But yet, we now have this. Not a lot to be said other than, this. Wayne Hunter can’t block anybody these days. The Giants abused him on Saturday night, and it didn’t appear to take much effort. So, I have been thinking. A guy doesn’t just lose all his talent over night. I mean, obviously he isn’t at as good as he was expected to be, but you don’t go from everything to nothing overnight.
Unless you are injured. Wayne Hunter must be more injured than we thought. Turn the page to talk about it further.
Look at the tape from Saturday night, and watch Hunter on each of the sacks that he allowed. He isn’t faked out by these guys. Watch, there are no spin moves, so special techniques, nothing. Hunter is overpowered by his opponent. On at least one of the sacks, he is pushed out of the way like a rag doll. The technique used is brute force, and it is used over and over again.
Go back to last year, and you see the same thing. Look at the tape of Von Miller’s sack on Sanchez, and you see Hunter tossed out of the way like a napkin.
My point? Wayne Hunter is barely giving any resistance to these guys. Being tossed aside is a sign of a guy not giving anything back as far as fight.
I believe his back is bothering him more than he is letting on.
If you have a bad back, you can relate to this. When your back is in pain, you can barely get out of bed. We can function, go through our days, but it’s very difficult to move. When my back is out, I find myself holding it the entire day until the pain subsides.
Imagine having to push against a guy that is over 250 pounds, running towards you, when you have a bad back. Think of the aches that we have in our backs, and if someone makes contact with us, what we do? We move out of the way quickly, don’t we? So imagine going against a pass rusher, with a bad back. You would get pushed out of the way, and you would get pushed every time.
Wayne Hunter must be injured more than we think. It’s the only thing that makes sense.
Wayne Hunter cannot start for this football team. That has been made abundantly clear. But, my point with this is, we have to be realistic. He is not likely to be cut, due to the salary cap. He has been valuable as a backup in the past.
And finally, he must be injured. It’s the only reason that makes sense, for him not to be able to block anyone anymore.