To this point, offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse has existed mostly as a disappointing pet project for the New York Jets.
When the Jets picked him in the second round of the 2010 draft, they envisioned him as becoming a rock on their line for the next decade. It hasn't quite worked out that way; Ducasse struggled as a rookie and was unable to earn steady playing time last season.
In a conversation that appeared in The Star-Ledger on Tuesday, Ducasse said his biggest goal is cracking the Jets' starting lineup. It's safe to say that the bar has been lowered.
"Hopefully, I get way more playing time than I did last year," he said. "That's the ultimate goal, every year: just get more playing time, just get in there, get in the mix of playing time."
Ducasse was asked if he saw his third year as make-or-break for him.
"That's how I see it. That's what I see it as," he said. "This is my third year, and I put a lot of pressure on myself that I have to do better than last year."
Ducasse is right to assume he's in make-or-break territory. He's already been moved from left guard to right tackle and back to left guard. The team's lack of faith in him was made clear when journeymen linemen Ray Willis and Stephon Heyer were signed earlier this month.
If he doesn't put things together soon, Ducasse's next position change will be from the field to the street.