With each passing day, Vladimir Ducasse – the 61st overall selection in the 2010 draft – is inching closer and closer to the dreaded “bust” label. And he knows it.
“It’s now or never,” said the Haitian-born guard. “I’ve talked to coach Rex about it. It's pretty much the year for me to do what I was drafted to do.”
Shortly after his selection, the Jets parted ways with veteran and locker room leader Alan Faneca. But Ducasse has yet to live up to expectations. Matt Slauson emerged as the starter last year, despite a left guard training-camp “competition” that offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo admitted was ordered by someone “high above me.”
Ducasse remains confident that he can get the job done. But he’ll have more competition this offseason than ever before. The Jets, who signed free-agent tackle/guard Willie Colon in March, drafted Brian Winters (third round), Oday Aboushi (fifth round), William Campbell (sixth round) and also signed free-agent guard Stephen Peterman.
“This year’s the year to do it,” said Ducasse. “I’m not looking at it like, ‘I was a second-round pick.’ That was like, three years ago. I’m looking at it now like, ‘I need to go in there and get the job done so I can be in that starting lineup.”
He later added: "As soon as I came in, they said there was going to be competition all over the place. I knew it. Pretty much, with a new GM and everything, you always got to expect that."