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Ducasse Appears on the Cusp of Doing Big Things


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Jets' Vladimir Ducasse appears on the cusp of doing big things

Published: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 4:30 AM

Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger By Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger

Jets Ducasse.JPGWilliam Perlman/The Star-LedgerJets second-year lineman Vladimir Ducasse, left, is highly touted by teammates. "(He's) God-gifted, just a freak," says Matt Slauson.

At first, Matt Slauson admitted, his fear of Vladimir Ducasse was political.

Heading into the Jets’ training camp in Cortland, N.Y., last year, Slauson was a sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft and Ducasse a second-rounder in 2010. There was one position on the offensive line open at left guard, and Slauson figured Ducasse was a lock.

Then he saw Ducasse. A 6-5 giant balancing 325 pounds while buzzing across the line during drills, hindered only by his few years of playing organized football.

Even though Slauson beat out Ducasse for that starting role, he often wonders if it’s just a matter of time before Ducasse surpasses him.

“In the future, Vlad is going to be a much better football player than me,” Slauson said last week at Jets camp. “God-gifted, just a freak. If he knew the in’s and out’s of the playbook like (a veteran), he’d be an All Pro.”

This preseason came with another glimpse of light for Ducasse. Management toyed with the idea of making him the successor at right tackle to the retired Damien Woody. But those plans were abandoned once the team re-signed veteran Wayne Hunter to a four-year contract and the lockout erased any opportunities Ducasse had to work with his coaches.

In the spring, offensive line coach Bill Callahan said he had “big plans” for Ducasse.

Buoyed by a quiet confidence, Ducasse is determined to banish the idea he is a backup. He believes he could start for another NFL team but feels like his opportunity needs to be paved with the Jets, amid one of the best offensive lines in football.

“When I know what I’m doing out there,” said Ducasse, a protein shake bubbling in his right hand, “I can get real nasty.”

Even now, the players ahead of him consider it a matter of when, not if.

“I don’t think he wants to be a bust,” Hunter said. “In the long run, he might be the guy that fills in for this franchise.”

Ducasse, 23, says his size came from his mother, Bernadette, who passed away when Ducasse was 5. He confirmed this in pictures he saw of her for the first time in years when his father, Delinois, brought a photo album on a recent visit from Haiti, where Vladimir was born.

In 2002, at age 14, as his neighborhood in Port-au-Prince deteriorated, Ducasse came to the United States, speaking only French and Creole. His lasting memories of the poorest country in the Americas are snapshots of nearby homes with metal bars secured to every door and window and tall gates in front to keep out a potentially dangerous world.

“You don’t want someone to break in in the middle of the night,” he said. “Or middle of the day.”

He says the experience humbles him, which is why he is always patient, always optimistic, even when times get tough.

Ducasse throws himself into the film room to master a game he has only been playing since his junior year at Stamford (Conn.) High School, answering text message pop-quizzes about protection schemes from his position coach at the University of Massachusetts, where he played as a freshman and started his final three seasons.

He works out in the gym to add to a massive frame that once drove current Giants linebacker Adrian Tracy 20 yards downfield during a game while the two were in college. Ducasse was just a sophomore.

“He’s got a lot of upside because of his talent. A lot of potential ... .,” Callahan said. “This will be another year where we anticipate his growth process, to see him mature.”

For now, he is a stagehand on the offensive line. A primary backup at two positions, a way for the coaches to ensure they have a quality option that could also save space for another player on the team’s roster.

But he also knows there is more.

Said Ducasse: “All it takes is one chance.”

Conor Orr: corr@starledger.com

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Loved reading this. This is the first I've heard any analysis of Vlad's progression and I love what I hear. If this kid is what he's cracked up to be can you imagine how good this line can be for the next 5-6 years?

Sounds like the Jets could be looking at a Wally Pip situation if Hunter or Slauson go down at some point this year.

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Loved reading this. This is the first I've heard any analysis of Vlad's progression and I love what I hear. If this kid is what he's cracked up to be can you imagine how good this line can be for the next 5-6 years?

Sounds like the Jets could be looking at a Wally Pip situation if Hunter or Slauson go down at some point this year.

Or we may have some nice depth for years to come once Vlad get's in their.

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Loved reading this. This is the first I've heard any analysis of Vlad's progression and I love what I hear. If this kid is what he's cracked up to be can you imagine how good this line can be for the next 5-6 years?

Sounds like the Jets could be looking at a Wally Pip situation if Hunter or Slauson go down at some point this year.

Saw a brief interview with Hunter, seems like a nice guy by the way, he basically said he was keeping the spot warm for Ducasse, but he wasn't giving it up easily, but Ducasse was just so good

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I heard he's a bust. I'm going with that.

Not me. I'll go with the softball fluff article that says even though he's a second rounder who hasn't started a game, got beat out by a sixth rounder and is now backing up two of last year's backups, he's just about to be awesome! Hope there's room in my "preseason Vernon Gholston is still developing but is about to be awesome" file.

After all, with all of the ringing endorsements from his fellow lineman, he's got to be on the cusp of greatness. I enjoyed this one in particular:

“I don’t think he wants to be a bust,” Hunter said. “In the long run, he might be the guy that fills in for this franchise.”

Wow! Exciting! Couple that with the fact that he's working hard in the offseason with some legends of the game:

Ducasse throws himself into the film room to master a game he has only been playing since his junior year at Stamford (Conn.) High School, answering text message pop-quizzes about protection schemes from his position coach at the University of Massachusetts, where he played as a freshman and started his final three seasons.

He answers pop-quizzes via text message from his former college line coach. Innovative!

And he's shown flashes of dominance:

He works out in the gym to add to a massive frame that once drove current Giants linebacker Adrian Tracy 20 yards downfield during a game while the two were in college. Ducasse was just a sophomore.

Twenty yards downfield against a beast like Adrian...um...Adrian.....That Adrian guy! Twenty freakin' yards. As a sophomore! Five years ago. Now that, my friends, is upside.

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Not me. I'll go with the softball fluff article that says even though he's a second rounder who hasn't started a game, got beat out by a sixth rounder and is now backing up two of last year's backups, he's just about to be awesome! Hope there's room in my "preseason Vernon Gholston is still developing but is about to be awesome" file.

After all, with all of the ringing endorsements from his fellow lineman, he's got to be on the cusp of greatness. I enjoyed this one in particular:

“I don’t think he wants to be a bust,” Hunter said. “In the long run, he might be the guy that fills in for this franchise.”

Wow! Exciting! Couple that with the fact that he's working hard in the offseason with some legends of the game:

Ducasse throws himself into the film room to master a game he has only been playing since his junior year at Stamford (Conn.) High School, answering text message pop-quizzes about protection schemes from his position coach at the University of Massachusetts, where he played as a freshman and started his final three seasons.

He answers pop-quizzes via text message from his former college line coach. Innovative!

And he's shown flashes of dominance:

He works out in the gym to add to a massive frame that once drove current Giants linebacker Adrian Tracy 20 yards downfield during a game while the two were in college. Ducasse was just a sophomore.

Twenty yards downfield against a beast like Adrian...um...Adrian.....That Adrian guy! Twenty freakin' yards. As a sophomore! Five years ago. Now that, my friends, is upside.

To be fair, did you ever hear any veteran say anything positive about Vernon Gholston other than "he's a good guy" and "he wants to learn."

You never heard anyone talk about how they thought Gholston was going to be a stud.

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To be fair, did you ever hear any veteran say anything positive about Vernon Gholston other than "he's a good guy" and "he wants to learn."

You never heard anyone talk about how they thought Gholston was going to be a stud.

To be fair? But I'm not being fair. I'm being kind of a doosh. That whole draft pissed me off and I'm taking out my personal feelings on Ducasse because of it. Truth is, he'll probably be fine. Might even be very good someday. I just hated the pick and now i get to flick boogers at him because he's a slow learner. Why? Because every fanbase needs someone to be dissapointed in and now the bears have the top-rated dissapointing player in the league. We totally blew it by not offering a big contract to VG to play designated "underperformer". We could have added in incentives like "a 100K bonus if you sound completely emotionless in three interviews" or "50k bonus for getting really clost to a qb but just missing 5X in a season" or "500k for getting faked out by three quarterbacks over the age of 35". He would have totally gone for it.

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To be fair? But I'm not being fair. I'm being kind of a doosh. That whole draft pissed me off and I'm taking out my personal feelings on Ducasse because of it. Truth is, he'll probably be fine. Might even be very good someday. I just hated the pick and now i get to flick boogers at him because he's a slow learner. Why? Because every fanbase needs someone to be dissapointed in and now the bears have the top-rated dissapointing player in the league. We totally blew it by not offering a big contract to VG to play designated "underperformer". We could have added in incentives like "a 100K bonus if you sound completely emotionless in three interviews" or "50k bonus for getting really clost to a qb but just missing 5X in a season" or "500k for getting faked out by three quarterbacks over the age of 35". He would have totally gone for it.

I swear, if Gholston actually gets a sack this board is going to melt down worse than it did when Cotchery was cut.

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Buy a dictionary.

cusp   /kʌsp/ Show Spelled[kuhsp] Show IPA

noun

1. a point or pointed end.

2. Anatomy, Zoology, Botany . a point, projection, or elevation, as on the crown of a tooth.

3. Also called spinode. Geometry . a point where two branches of a curve meet, end, and are tangent.

4. Architecture . a decorative device, used especially in Gothic architecture to vary the outlines of intradoses or to form architectural foils, consisting of a pair of curves tangent to the real or imaginary line defining the area decorated and meeting at a point within the area.

5. Astronomy . a point of a crescent, especially of the moon.

Show me how that word was properly used. Ducasse Appears on the Cusp of Doing Big Things

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Not that some of these guys haven't legitimately struggled, but the thing I do find funny is that now that the Jets actually have a good team, suddenly half the teams' draft picks each year aren't breaking the starting lineup, so now we act like every draft pick sucks and is a major bust (granted Gholston was, but that's besides the point). With the rare exception of a guy like Wilkerson, with this team as it is there's going to be very few cases where rookies are going to taking starting spots from day one, and when they do get them eventually, they'll sure as hell have earned them.

Just look at last years' draft class, that bunch got some serious crap from top to bottom last year and now a lot of them are pegged to be serious contributors this year. You've got Conner starting, and great reviews from camp of both Wilson and McKnight, who will both have much larger roles this season. Ducasse is clearly the most slowly progressing and even he is taking a step up to the Jets swing tackle, which is position that has had more responsibilities for this team than most the past few years, just ask Hunter. If you really look at it, it's not like any of these guys are stuck behind some crap players who aren't getting it done, but they still can't beat them out. Most of these guys are on the depth chart behind legit starters, and in some cases Pro Bowl type talent (e.g., Wilson behind Revis & Cromartie). Not to say some of these guys won't bust out, even the best drafting GMs get some of those, but with this team we're going to have to be a bit more patient, because the Jets are in no big rush to get these guys out there until they're 100% ready, and with this roster, they have that luxury. That's a good thing.

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cusp   /kʌsp/ Show Spelled[kuhsp] Show IPA

noun

1. a point or pointed end.

2. Anatomy, Zoology, Botany . a point, projection, or elevation, as on the crown of a tooth.

3. Also called spinode. Geometry . a point where two branches of a curve meet, end, and are tangent.

4. Architecture . a decorative device, used especially in Gothic architecture to vary the outlines of intradoses or to form architectural foils, consisting of a pair of curves tangent to the real or imaginary line defining the area decorated and meeting at a point within the area.

5. Astronomy . a point of a crescent, especially of the moon.

Show me how that word was properly used. Ducasse Appears on the Cusp of Doing Big Things

He's on the spinode of doing great things.

The pointed end definition is what works here, as if on the very outermost edge of...or farthest possible jumping-off point. Like on the verge.

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cusp   /kʌsp/ Show Spelled[kuhsp] Show IPA

noun

1. a point or pointed end.

2. Anatomy, Zoology, Botany . a point, projection, or elevation, as on the crown of a tooth.

3. Also called spinode. Geometry . a point where two branches of a curve meet, end, and are tangent.

4. Architecture . a decorative device, used especially in Gothic architecture to vary the outlines of intradoses or to form architectural foils, consisting of a pair of curves tangent to the real or imaginary line defining the area decorated and meeting at a point within the area.

5. Astronomy . a point of a crescent, especially of the moon.

Show me how that word was properly used. Ducasse Appears on the Cusp of Doing Big Things

To be on the "cusp of something" is an idiom. Means on the verge of something.

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I have no idea what's happening here, but visa asking Klecko for vocabulary lessons just might be the funniest thing I've ever seen on the interwebz.

No, I asked him to explain himself after he used a wise a$$ comeback of buy a dictionary. Have you ever heard of a Weekly Reader?

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Idiom. Verge. Pfffff. Sound made up to me.

You'll have what's coming to you, Douglas. The District #112 order of Chiropractors are not happy with you. Not at all.

Next time you come in for a visit, let's just say that the good doctor will do some mis-aligning of your ninth vertebrae. Brooklyn style. That's without gloves, bitch.

And stop asking for rub-and-tugs. It's not that kind of place.

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Cusp may refer to:

I'm hoping its more like the 2nd reference...

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You'll have what's coming to you, Douglas. The District #112 order of Chiropractors are not happy with you. Not at all.

Next time you come in for a visit, let's just say that the good doctor will do some mis-aligning of your ninth vertebrae. Brooklyn style. That's without gloves, bitch.

And stop asking for rub-and-tugs. It's not that kind of place.

So you're saying no lube? That's cool, I prefer it dry, more of a tug.

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You'll have what's coming to you, Douglas. The District #112 order of Chiropractors are not happy with you. Not at all.

Next time you come in for a visit, let's just say that the good doctor will do some mis-aligning of your ninth vertebrae. Brooklyn style. That's without gloves, bitch.

And stop asking for rub-and-tugs. It's not that kind of place.

:puts superhero cape on:

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