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Wayne Hunter's demotion: 'It's a blow to the pride'

New York Jets tackle Wayne Hunter #78 talks

New York Jets tackle Wayne Hunter #78 talks with a teammate during a break at during practice at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (June 6, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Joe Epstein

Wayne Hunter admitted Friday that his shift from starting right tackle to jumbo tight end - a position where he excelled in 2010 - has hardly been a natural one.

"I'm waiting for this to sink in," he said at his locker after practice Friday, a day after his demotion. "I'd like to say [playing tight end] is like riding a bike, but it's still sinking in."

Thursday, Hunter, who had a catastrophic 2011, was stripped of his starting role and replaced with Austin Howard. As the sixth man off the bench, Hunter, who allowed 2 1/2 sacks in a pre-season game against the Giants Sunday, will return to his spot as an extra blocking tight end.

Rex Ryan told him of the change Thursday morning, something that the heavily-criticized Hunter said didn't come as a surprise.

"It's a blow to the pride because you know you're a better player than that," he said. "You know you can perform, but it's not clicking."

New York Sports