The New York Jets news of the day is that last year’s second round pick, Vladimir Ducasse, will be moved from left guard to right tackle. Ducasse was given the chance to compete with Matt Slauson last season for the starting left guard job but was beaten soundly and never contributed in 2010. The decision to move Ducasse is a sensible one, considering Slauson showed he is a capable starter and that Ducasse played tackle (although it was on the left side) in college.
Ducasse’s move to tackle is appropriately raising eyebrows about the future of Damien Woody in a Jets uniform. There is no question that Woody has been a very good player for the Jets since joining the team in 2008. However, he is coming off both a knee and Achilles injury, is 33 years old and has a high cap number for 2011. If you look at the Jets recent history, it isn’t exactly an encouraging formula to expect him back next year.
Considering how many other free agents the Jets have and how Wayne Hunter played in Woody’s absence last season, I would say at this point it would be a surprise if the team doesn’t release him. Hunter is a free agent and the Jets could get him back on the cheap to compete with Ducasse and hopefully see one of them do what Slauson did last season.
Ducasse is going to get another chance to start because he was a second round pick. This move won’t make the Jets immediately better but in the long run we always knew they needed to get younger in Alan Faneca and Woody’s spot. They pulled it off with Faneca last season without missing a beat, let’s hope they can do the same with Woody in 2011.
I can promise you Hunter or Ducasse won’t be as entertaining or personable as Woody but hopefully they can develop into quality right tackles.