There wasn’t much that right tackle Wayne Hunter did well for the Jets last season, but he always had one saving grace to fall back on.
He was better than Vladimir Ducasse. Ducasse was the team’s primary backup at both guard and tackle last season, but his rare appearances with the offense never failed to make it clear that he wasn’t ready to be on the field. His most notable appearance came in a blowout loss to the Ravens where it looked like Ducasse was going to get someone killed as his attempted blocks failed time after time.
There hasn’t been much sign this offseason that Ducasse has gotten closer to replacing Hunter. Everyone knew that he would be a project after being drafted out of UMass with the 61st overall pick in 2010, but the expiration date is getting close. Ducasse acknowledged that this is a make or break year in an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger.
“That’s how I see it. That’s what I see it as. This is my third year, and I put a lot of pressure on myself that I have to do better than last year,” Ducasse said. “I can’t go into this year expecting, ‘You know what, I’m going to do the same thing I did last year.’ I have to get better, and they’re expecting me to be better, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to take that next step.”
Ducasse said that Tony Sparano’s offense is simpler than the one the Jets ran when Brian Schottenheimer was offensive coordinator and that makes it easier for him to know what he’s doing out on the field. That isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Sparano has installed a straight-ahead approach to the offense that wasn’t in evidence last season, but the jury’s still out as to whether or not the problem was the complexity of the offense or the ability of the players running it.