Battle in the Trenches: Starting Jobs Are Up For Grabs On the Jets Offensive Line
Added by Justin O'Connell on July 27, 2012.
A improved offensive line is a key to the New York Jets season.
It is no secret that the New York Jets offensive line was a weakness last season. Right tackle, Wayne Hunter, was horrendous after having to replace the retiring Damian Woody. Hunter led the team in penalties with 11, and was tied for fifth in the league; the majority of them were holding penalties. It seems quite obvious that Hunter is a below average starter. This is why the Jets went out and traded for tackle, Jeff Otah.
Unfortunately Otah, a former 1st round pick (2008) of the Carolina Panthers, failed his physical and the trade is currently pending. Otah is still young and athletic and has a chance at a fresh start, which could be just what he needs, but he might not get the chance if he cannot pass another physical. Otah was acquired for a 7th round pick. He has five days to pass his physical or the trade will be nullified.
If the Jets do not go through with the trade, then expect the team to look for another option because they have serious concerns with Hunter’s play. Their last resort might be to beg Damian Woody out of retirement (that’s a joke of course). Otah was on the Jets sideline Friday watching the team practice and he believes he “will pass” the next time around.
Matt Slauson was another weak spot on the line for the past two seasons and will be facing some real competition this offseason. Vladimir Ducasse will, once again, challenge Slauson for the starting gig, which he let Slauson steal from him two years ago. Ducasse, 6’ 5” 325lbs, has the size advantage over Slauson, 6’ 5” 315lbs, and the athleticism. Rex Ryan favored Ducasse coming out of college, but things changed during his first training camp. Ducasse has improved though, and has learned a lot from sitting on the sideline; that along with Slauson’s recovering shoulder injury might be enough to give Ducasse the starting job. Although it is still unlikely, Slauson is favored this go around and does not plan on losing his job.
Side notes for day two of training camp:
1) Stephen Hill beat Darrelle Revis on a forty yard pass play and knocked Revis down on a run block, in which coach Rex Ryan said, “I saw a block and I saw a corner go down.”
2) LaRon Landry is practicing, but is limited.
3) Kenrick Ellis is out of prison and back with the team practicing.
4) Rex Ryan calls out Holmes (the first time he’s done this as a head coach), and says he is not the offensive coordinator and his only role on the team is to play football, not coach.