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Hunter feels heat

Wayne Hunter usually gives himself a day to digest a bad game. The Jets' right tackle, in his first season as a starter after several years as the team’s most reliable backup, counts three games this season that he wished he could have back, and most recently it was against the Eagles when he gave up two sacks.

This week however, with the Giants game on Christmas Eve with a chance at the wild card possibly at stake, Hunter had to cut short the reflection and start to prepare for Giants defensive linemen like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.

“I’m already over it,” Hunter told ESPNNewYork.com. “Usually whenever I have a bad game I give myself 24 hours to let it sink in and try to learn from it, but it’s been such a short week. You’ve got no choice. You’ve got to move on it doesn’t get any easier for me.”

Even Tuck, who has done a little talking this week saying Jets QB Mark Sanchez gets “rattled,” gave Hunter some respect when asked about him on Thursday.

“All of us have our ups and downs,” Tuck said, “but he wouldn’t be in the position that he’s in without being pretty good at what he does.”

Hunter has not been perfect this season as he transitions from backup to starter. He has given up nine sacks this season, unofficially since the league does not keep official stats in that category, and taken heat from analysts and the fan base. He said he wished he played like Walter Jones or Anthony Munoz from the start, but is learning on the job.

“Everything is in perspective,” Hunter said. “The way I see it I have good games and I have bad games and the same thing goes for everybody.”

Jets coach Rex Ryan gave a candid assessment of the situation Hunter can expect on that part of the football field.

“Two great pass rushers, two big guys, long guys, they can both move,” Ryan said. “No matter who you have over there, Pierre-Paul normally is on the right side, I think that’s where his game is and then Tuck is usually on the left. So it’ll generally be Tuck, and we all remember what he did in the Super Bowl and all that kind of stuff. I thought he should have been the MVP of the game that day. It’s going to be a tough matchup, but I like Wayne, I think Wayne can get it done, he’s blocked some great pass rushers in the past, and this is going to be a big challenge, but I think he’s up to it.”

Hunter said that he’s remained consistent in the way he prepares this week.

“Same way I prepare every week, nothing changes,” Hunter said. “You look at game film and you try to adjust your technique to what they’re doing, but for the most part my routine still remains the same.”

No question Hunter has struggled, but Ryan has referenced that few work harder or care more than the right tackle when it comes to becoming the airtight piece that they would like.

“The coaches still have me in,” Hunter said, “so obviously they still have confidence in me.”