Ducasse, Slauson Talk About Platoon at LG

kristianrdyer , TheJetsBlog.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – On Thursday afternoon, Jets offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo told the press that the decision to platoon Matt Slauson and Vlad Ducasse at left guard comes “from high above me.” DeGuglielmo’s spin on things seems to intimate that Jets brass is pushing Ducasse to help justify his selection in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

A critic might say that the directive is coming from general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who perhaps has reached to take players in the opening rounds of the draft who don’t necessarily pan out.

Ducasse has been used sparingly in what is now his third year in the league. On Friday, head coach Rex Ryan guessed that Ducasse is used about 15 snaps a game and that he is pleased with the player’s performance so far.

In his third season in the league, Ducasse has played in 29 games with just one start.

When asked about DuGuglielmo’s comments, Ducasse was understated at best.

“My job is pretty much to go out there and get better,” Ducasse said. “I haven’t really looked into it like that but whatever he said, I don’t think that’s what he meant. I talk with him every day.”

This is of course the franchise just a couple years removed from the Vernon Gholston experiment, where a former first round pick was put on the field despite an appalling lack of productivity.

Slauson said he didn’t read the reports about what his offensive line coach said but he was aware of the comments. This past summer in training camp, the Jets tried to create a competition between Ducasse and Slauson for the starting left guard role. The incumbent starter won rather easily and Ducasse went back to his reserve role.

Much like Ducasse, the answers from Slauson were limited.

“I don’t have any thoughts about that. I’m just trying to work as hard as I can and be the best player I can,” Slauson said.

When asked if he’s been treated fairly this year, Slauson said “I have no comment about that.” There was a hint of resignation from Slauson about everything as he was rather brief in nearly all of his answers.

“Obviously I want to be on the field but I do what I’m told,” Slauson said.

Kristian R. Dyer is a Jets beat reporter for Metro New York and contributes to The Jets Blog. Follow him at @KristianRDyer for Jets breaking news and info from Florham Park.