By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Headed into this season, the presumed question mark on the offensive line was at right tackle, where Wayne Hunter was beyond inept.
However, it appears as if the Jets are not satisfied with Matt Slauson as their left guard. Disappointing second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse, who lost the same battle to Slauson prior to the 2010 season, is splitting reps with Slauson on the first team. Meanwhile, Slauson is being cross-trained at other positions, including right tackle.
While it is hardly a bad thing to add competition to the team, this move comes as a bit of a surprise. Slauson was hardly the biggest issue on the line last year, and he played fairly decent through a rash of injuries. In fact, Slauson was an improving player, particularly in pass protection, and could turn into one of the better guards in the league if he continues to develop his game.
Perhaps the Jets are simply preparing in case Slauson cannot play, or maybe it is one last-ditch effort to get something out of Ducasse, who has done virtually nothing as a former second-round pick.
Perhaps, there is another variable that is contributing to this: Both Slauson and Brandon Moore, the current right guard, are free agents after this season. Are the Jets preparing for life without Moore, who at 32 years old, is not getting any better? Or are the Jets trying to get more physically dominant at the position for the long-haul and have no interest in retaining Slauson after this season?
Still, it would be a surprise if Ducasse was able to win the job before the start of the season; after last-year’s collapse, it makes little sense to start messing with positions that need to be messed with. The last thing the Jets need is for Ducasse to blow another assignment in the middle of a game that wins up hurting Sanchez.