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Wayne Hunter

Wayne Hunter benched, Austin Howard promoted to starting right tackle for Jets

Wayne Hunter saw it coming — just as everyone else did.Rex Ryan announced Thursday that the veteran right tackle was demoted and replaced by Austin Howard as the starter for the New York Jets' exhibition game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night. Hunter, who struggled last year and in the first two games of the preseason, was told of the team's decision when he met with Ryan on Thursday morning."It wasn't a surprise," Hunter said after practice. "Everyone knows. The whole New York City (area) knows that I've been struggling for the last year. The last game, I didn't do much better. So, I wasn't surprised. I was just waiting for it, to be honest with you."Hunter will be used as the sixth offensive lineman — or as a blocking tight end, a role he performed well in during previous seasons."The more I thought about it, I need to see Austin with this group and going against Carolina's starters," Ryan said before practice. "And the fact, I want Wayne in this role. It's a very valuabl...

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