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Jets search for solidity at tackle

Wayne Hunter walks off the field after practice

Wayne Hunter walks off the field after practice at the Jets' practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. Credit: Getty Images, 2011

Rex Ryan may be hunting for a new right tackle.

The Jets' head coach told reporters Monday that current starter Wayne Hunter is not a lock to start the regular season after he gave up 2.5 sacks in the Jets' Saturday loss to the Giants.

"To sit back and say, 'This guy is going to be the starter,' I'm not ready to do that," Ryan said. "Maybe with Darrelle Revis, Brandon Moore and Nick Mangold, yes. But is it a slam dunk, 100% [with Hunter]? I like to see guys compete and earn a job."

It would be no surprise for Hunter, 31, who admitted after Saturday's game that he needed to be better to keep his job. But he's not the only one who has performed poorly on the Jets' offensive line, which has given up 12 sacks in the preseason.

Third-year pro Austin Howard is Hunter's backup, and would stand to gain the most if Ryan does decide to make a change - though Ryan refused to commit to starting either player when the season begins.

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