The New York Jets have benched left guard Vladimir Ducasse for rookie Brian Winters following some major issues protecting Geno Smith, as well as a few penalties too many. Ducasse looked excellent against the New England Patriots in Week 2, as he completely negated Vince Wilfork’s usually incredible influence on disrupting rushing plays. However, Ducasse followed that up with two absolutely putrid performances against the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, and he received a huge beating from Bills superstar DT Kyle Williams. Ducasse committed four penalties in that game, and the New York Post’s Brian Costello reported yesterday that Ducasse’s inability to right the ship in Week 4 will have him benched.
Ducasse initially beat out rookie guard Brian Winters in training camp, but Winters will now have a real shot at sealing the starting LG gig for the New York Jets. Winters was a third-round pick for the Jets out of Kent State, and he has the makings of a solid guard in this league. Maybe the biggest reason why he initially lost out on the job to Vladimir Ducasse in the offseason was because of an ankle injury that was holding Winters back.
The Jets next game is a tough one in the Atlanta Falcons, but they will look to be the third straight AFC East team to knock off the Falcons. I don’t anticipate that happening since the Jets are clearly not as good as the New England Patriots or Miami Dolphins (two playoff teams), but they have a chance. It’s hard for Winters to not be an upgrade as a pass blocker, because Ducasse was just putrid in that regard. We’ll see how Winters can do as a run blocker, and the Jets will also hope that he doesn’t commit anywhere near the six (one offsetting/declined) penalties that Ducasse did in four games.