Vlad Ducasse knows this is his make-or-break season with Jets
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Vladimir Ducasse, a former second-round pick, knows this is a make-or-break year. (William Perlman/The Star-Ledger)
Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger By Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger
on May 16, 2013 at 1:40 PM, updated May 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Each season since 2010, when the Jets selected Vlad Ducasse in the second round of the NFL Draft, the raw but athletic offesive lineman had an opportunity to crack into the starting lineup.
His first year, he lost the battle at guard with Matt Slauson. The year after, Wayne Hunter took the lead at tackle. The year after that, he lost to Slauson again but rotated with him every third series.
Now he's approaching his fourth and final year under contract. He knows it's time to win a competition.
"That's pretty much it, it's now or never," Ducasse said. "I talked to coach Rex (Ryan) about it, it's pretty much a year for me to do what they drafted me to do."
Ducasse remains confident despite the fact that the Jets drafted three offensive linemen, all of whom can play guard and two of whom can also play tackle. They also signed veterans Willie Colon and Stephen Peterman.
"This is the NFL, there's always going to be competition around but there's no reaction," Ducasse said. "We go to work every year, that's pretty much it."
Ducasse said that Rex Ryan sat him down and explained what this season means for him.
Cutting him would save the team roughly $200,000.
"This year is the year to do it," Ducasse said. "I'm not looking at it like I was a second-round draft pick three years ago. Now, it's like, I'm looking at it like I need to go in there and get the job done so I can be in the starting lineup."