Source: Jets to bench OL Vlad Ducasse
A day after Rex Ryan promised he and his coaching staff would take "a hard look" at themselves, a shakeup in the offensive line appears to be on the horizon,
A source told Newsday on Tuesday morning that the Jets have decided to sit left guard Vladimir Ducasse in favor of rookie Brian Winters.
The move isn't surprising, considering Ducasse has been a project -- and an even bigger disappointment -- since he was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft. And with Ryan desperate for answers to their penalty and turnover woes, change was sure to come.
Ducasse played particularly well against Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork in Week 2. But since then, the fourth-year offensive lineman has struggled mightily. He was flagged for four penalties in the Jets' Week 3 win over the Bills and was flagged twice for a false start and holding penalty in Sunday's 38-13 loss in Tennessee. (The holding penalty was declined).
Ducasse has a -12.4 grade over the past two games, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith also was pressured on 52.4 percent of his dropbacks Sunday, according to the statistical site. As a result, Smith's completion percentage dropped from 88 percent to 43.8 percent.
Winters, a third-round pick out of Kent State, was hobbled in training camp by an ankle injury. And he hasn't had any significant playing time on offense during the regular season. Winters has played 15 special-teams snaps, but just one offensive snap against the Bills.
But with Ryan searching for answers, the rookie will have to be an immediate upgrade on the offensive line.
"We've got to fix a lot of different things," the Jets coach said on a Monday conference call. "Penalties are obviously one. We have to take care of the football better. We've got to really look at what we're doing, and are we putting our players in the best situation?
"We've got to take a hard look. Not just with the players, but the coaches as well and that's exactly what we're going to do."
The team replaced former Hofstra running back Kareem Huggins with linebacker Troy Davis on the practice squad . . . The Jets, ranked 31st in the NFL in kickoff return average, reportedly worked out former Browns KR/WR Josh Cribbs.