The second-year offensive lineman said he hasn't had that explicit conversation with the team -- but that he spent his rookie season mastering both tackle and both guard positions, so he could step in wherever the team needs him.
"That was the whole point of learning all those positions, so I could be ready to go out anywhere," Ducasse said today at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville, where he is set up to train in the event of a lockout.
In some ways, this was probably balancing immediate need with long term view. When the team released Alan Faneca, there was an immediate opening at guard, which Ducasse figured to be in the mix to fill. The long term expectation seems to have been for Vlad to replace Damien Woody at right tackle, though.
The positions are not totally different. Many of the same fundamentals exist even though tackle requires protecting the edge, and guard pits offensive linemen against interior defensive linemen. Teams only have so many spots to dedicate to linemen. Backups need to be generalists, able to step in at multiple positions.
All of the guard experience was nice, but the Jets now want Big Vlad to spend the rest of his career locking down the edge on the right side across from D'Brickashaw Ferguson. After a year to get used to playing in the pros, the Jets need him to step up.