Ducasse dominating offseason workouts

eabedf0e3c6006531a5929c9e0017259

Vladimir Ducasse lunges down the field kettle bells in hand, dripping and heaving underneath a black T-shirt drenched in sweat and clinging to his enormous form. He throws down the weights and with no break, he runs to the next station where he pumps out bicep curls, one at a time in perfect rhythm. Curls completed, he’s off for a set of pull-ups, pausing after a couple efforts to regroup, his body aching each time he takes his 330-pound body up to the top of the bar. Then it’s to the rack as Ducasse squats 405 pounds in rapid succession, racking the weight at the end.

He completed the first round of his circuit in just a handful of minutes and now hands are on his hips as he looks back toward the field, knowing he needs to do the circuit all over again. But that’s OK with the Jets’ lineman. Work like this will allow him to, using his favorite word, “compete” for a starting role with the Jets next season. At least that’s the hope.

Rewind a year ago and Ducasse was a month out from the NFL draft, a four-year player at UMass who was big on size and potential but small on the minds of fans. Not too much has changed.

The former second-round pick is still a bit of an enigma, his only two appearances during his rookie season coming in blowout wins over Buffalo. To be honest, not much is known about him or how his transition to the NFL is going.

But now, Ducasse has a year in the league under his belt and the benefit of a season of learning and physically maturing. His stats, as meager as they were last year, don’t tell the full story and he feels they won’t tell the story of his sophomore campaign.

“I’m in way better shape than last year, although I was in good shape this time last year getting ready for the draft – I’m in NFL shape now,” Ducasse told Metro. “This year, I know more what I need to do and I need to come in ready and prepared to compete. I didn’t expect to be in a position to compete last year, but this year there’s that chance for me to compete for playing time.”

That “chance” for Ducasse lies in the fact that last month, the Jets cut veteran right tackle Damien Woody, a casualty of the tight salary cap. Ducasse, who practiced with the Jets at both right tackle and left tackle, is seen by many as the heir to the position. The fact is that Ducasse was groomed last year to take over at either of the tackle positions if need be and this offseason presents him the opportunity to get ready to potentially start along the Jets line next year.

“Last year, I was told by the coaches to be ready to go in, that if there was an injury I’d need to be ready to go in and play. I didn’t play a whole lot, but I had to be ready and that was my mindset, to be ready,” Ducasse said. “It’s my dream to start, I want to start but I don’t know what is going on or if the Jets think I’m going to be one of the guys to compete for that position. I can’t control that, I can only control myself and how I prepare.”

But if Ducasse has his way, when general manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan do have that conversation about the offensive line and in particular the open right tackle position, he’ll be a talking point. It’s that desire to start in 2011 that leads him to work out with Brian Martin at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville. Ducasse trained at the expansive facility before the NFL Draft and now he’s back, putting in time and reps alongside teammates Jamaal Westerman and Kris Jenkins along with the Buffalo Bills Donald Jones and the New York Giants Barry Cofield.

Ducasse is working with Skip Fuller of the TEST staff on increasing the leverage in his hips and adding a bit more muscle. He’s back down to 330 pounds after adding some weight down the season and right now “that’s the weight I want to be at and I play the best at.”

Unlike last year when he was taken aback by the speed and physicality of the league, Ducasse has a frame of reference that he believes will allow him to compete for the starting right tackle job.

“First, it was my dream to play in the NFL and now it’s my job,” Ducasse said. “And I’m better prepared and now in better shape. I want to come in ready because if I’m ready physically, then my mind is sharper, too.

“And you need to be sharp if you want to compete.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…