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Thread: The learning doesn't stop for Jets rookie Vladimir Ducasse

  1. #1

    The learning doesn't stop for Jets rookie Vladimir Ducasse

    [SIZE=2][COLOR=Black]Good article by Jenny.[/COLOR][/SIZE]

    [B][SIZE=4][B]The learning doesn't stop for Jets rookie Vladimir Ducasse[/B][/SIZE][/B]

    Published: Monday, June 21, 2010, 10:00 AM
    Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger


    During last week's Jets mini-camp, Kris Jenkins turned at least one play into a lesson for Vladimir Ducasse.

    The 10th-year nose tackle, matched up on the rookie, noticed he was leaning forward too much. So he made a veteran move: He took advantage on the play, pulling Ducasse off-balance and getting past him, but then took him aside afterward.

    "He did what he had to do," Ducasse said, "then he told me after, 'It’s body leverage.' I was leaning too much."

    These are the kind of lessons Ducasse, who has been taking reps at the first-team left guard spot formerly occupied by Alan Faneca, has been trying to rapidly absorb in the weeks since the Jets drafted him in the second round.

    This past weekend, Ducasse was at Branford High School in Connecticut, helping out at a football camp for 8 to 14-year-olds organized by his agent, Joe Linta. But then it was back to New Jersey, where the Jets rookies will continue working out until July 9 and Ducasse will use his six-week break to get up to NFL speed as much as possible.

    "I don’t have any plans," Ducasse said of his summer, "just staying and working on techniques."

    He feels he has made important strides since April, in large part thanks to offensive line coach Bill Callahan, a technician of the position. Ducasse said Callahan has been "coaching him hard," with an eye for details like correct hand placement and footwork. On the days during the offseason when the Jets did not have a practice, rookies would spent part of their day doing position drills, emphasizing correct technique to build muscle memory.

    Ducasse said he has received plenty of tips from his fellow offensive linemen, even second-year guard Matt Slauson, with whom he is competing for the starting job.

    Some of the best help has actually come from the defense. Along with the tips Jenkins and others have given him, Ducasse said the hardest part so far has been understanding the Jets' defense, with its varied blitzes. Even in OTA practices, he could tell why the Jets had the No. 1 defense in the league last year -- and how seeing their complicated scheme daily would accelerate his learning.

    While Ducasse appreciates the leaps he needs to make, as he goes from Division 1-AA left tackle to contender for the Jets' opening-day left guard, he's also the opposite of overwhelmed.

    "Vladimir does not lack confidence," said Kevin Jones, his coach at Stamford High and now a scout for Linta. "So every day when I ask, 'Hey how did it go?', it's 'Hey, everything's good.' Or, 'Veterans treating you, OK?' He says, 'Oh, they’re treating me fine.' For him, this is his life, and he takes it one day at a time."

    He's done so since age 15, when he and his brother, MacArthur, came to the U.S. from Haiti because their father wanted them to receive a better education. Jones recalled how Ducasse learned to speak English in a matter of months, one reason why he doesn't doubt his former player's ability to master an offense.

    The future could hold many things, including opportunities to aid the homeland where his father still lives, both the lingering devastation of the January earthquake as well as the deeper issues. But everything starts with the opportunity Ducasse has now.

    And he's approaching it with the frame of mind Callahan has already drilled into him.

    "No one’s ever going to be perfect, but if you try to put in someone’s mind that you want it to be perfect, they’ll do a better job at it," Ducasse said. "He wants me to do the best I can."

    * * *

    We know how Ducasse is spending his summer. Starting tomorrow, we'll have a series of questionnaires on nj.com from a handful of Jets -- starters and back-ups -- about their summer plans, goals for the season and more.

    So don't worry, there's still plenty of info coming your way in the six weeks between now and training camp.


    [URL]http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2010/06/the_learning_doesnt_stop_for_j.html[/URL]

  2. #2
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    excellent....ducasse's development will be cool to see on hard knocks

  3. #3
    [QUOTE]He's done so since age 15, when he and his brother, [B]MacArthur,[/B] came to the U.S. from Haiti because their father wanted them to receive a better education. Jones recalled how Ducasse learned to speak English in a matter of months, one reason why he doesn't doubt his former player's ability to master an offense.
    [/QUOTE]

    that Ducasse family knows how to pick baby names.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=Lazy Bum;3629656]that Ducasse family knows how to pick baby names.[/QUOTE]

    Yep but no matter how good he gets no one will ever call him by his initials like they do with LT.. :P

  5. #5
    Actually this is a little worrysome. I know he has not been playing football that long (here we go again) but the first thing an offensive lineman learns is to get in a balanced 3 point stance. This is a VERY basic thing. If he does not have this down, how can he start for an NFL team? I guess we will see. If Jenks can see it, so can our opponents.

  6. #6
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    :zzz:[QUOTE=Savage69;3629665]Yep but no matter how good he gets no one will ever call him by his initials like they do with LT..[/QUOTE]

    :clapper::clapper::clapper::clapper:

  7. #7
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    I'd love to hear directly from Jenkins what he thinks of the kid and how hes progressing...

  8. #8
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    I think Ducasse will turn out to be a really good player for us. Good coaching from Callahan, and good players in Mangold and D'Brick on both sides of him.

    But it's going to be scary the first few weeks having a relatively raw rookie out there. We'll probably run to the right side a lot and keep a runningback in pass protection to protect Sanchez. Tomlinson's an excellent blocker so that should help.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Buzzsaw;3629738]I think Ducasse will turn out to be a really good player for us. Good coaching from Callahan, and good players in Mangold and D'Brick on both sides of him.

    But it's going to be scary the first few weeks having a relatively raw rookie out there. We'll probably run to the right side a lot and keep a runningback in pass protection to protect Sanchez. Tomlinson's an excellent blocker so that should help.[/QUOTE]

    I agree that Tomlinson's a good blocker, but not if Ducasse is letting linemen through, it's one thing to pick up the blitzing LB or DB, but blocking inside linement is not on LT's resume...

  10. #10
    you mean chlamydia?

    [QUOTE=Savage69;3629665]Yep but no matter how good he gets no one will ever call him by his initials like they do with LT.. :P[/QUOTE]

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=GandWFan;3629717]Actually this is a little worrysome. I know he has not been playing football that long (here we go again) but the first thing an offensive lineman learns is to get in a balanced 3 point stance. This is a VERY basic thing. If he does not have this down, how can he start for an NFL team? I guess we will see. If Jenks can see it, so can our opponents.[/QUOTE]

    Not really.

    You're reading far too much into the fact that he was keeping his weight shifted slightly forward.

    He needs to learn to center his weight. It can be taught in one afternoon of practice.

  12. #12
    If the learning stopped for ducasse, after his first minicamp I'd be a bit concerned....

  13. #13
    Like that his approach is not to take a vacation and just keep trying to get up to speed, hes not going to be great this year. But he is surrounded by great players so hopefully it will mask him or Slauson.

  14. #14
    what jenkins and his girth is able to exploit and what an average NT can do are 2 different things. rather ducasse learn now rather than during games.

  15. #15
    Nice! he was in my town. I live in Branford

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=augustiniak;3629790]what jenkins and his girth is able to exploit and what an average NT can do are 2 different things. rather ducasse learn now rather than during games.[/QUOTE]

    Its the best place for Vlad to learn, not only from Callahan and the OL vets but also first hand from the top tier NT Jenkins - where the hammer meets the anvil

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