By Doug Cantor
On the Left Guard battle:
Tonight was a great gage for both contenders due to the fact that Mangold wasn’t playing. Therefore it was easy to check both players out objectively to see who could do more on their own. Ducasse looks incredibly strong and driven. But it’s pretty obvious that the ‘raw’ stamp is right on the money. He really needs to get quicker off the snap on the inside, where it’s a entirely different world in that regard. It looks like he’s also having trouble from a footwork standpoint. I don’t think he’s ready to start this season at all, not on the interior at least.
Slauson looks exactly like I expected he would. He looked like a 2nd-year project pick who was desperately missing the guidance of his All-Pro center. He’s a strong dude and he looked decent at times, but the Giants’ line is stacked with vets and they took advantage of him, which will probably happen at times throughout the season. However it’s important to note that opposing teams also did the same to Faneca last season in regards to his age. He did stand Canty up a few times but he had a hard time shedding him after. I don’t think there’s any question right now that Slauson’s the guy, but I think that has more to do with Ducasse making the positional switch and Slauson already having time in the system. That being said, Slauson is in no way as bad as Adrien Clarke. So I think we can all breath a sigh of relief in that regard.
Turner actually wasn’t half-bad at center. Slauson got beat a couple of times and Turner picked it up nicely. I think the depth concerns are blown way out of proportion on the line. Hunter is good, Turner can rotate in at almost every position, and Ducasse’s talent is pretty obvious. They have 3 quality backups and that’s a lot more than most other teams can say.
Woody looks older. He’s still able to make his impact on brute strength and veteran savvy, but Moore bailed him out a few times and I think if Slauson continues to outperform Ducasse at LG, either Callahan may have to start considering Ducasse to succeed Woody for next year, or RT will be a primary draft/free agency need going into ’11.
I think he’s hit the point where his skill has completely caught up with his natural ability 100%. He’s incredibly nimble on his feet, so fast for a guy at his position, and rarely gives up his real estate. He’s awesome in selling the rollout that’s clearly becoming one of Sanchez’s favorite things to do. He completely dominated Umenyiora on pretty much every snap, and though he’s generally played Osi well in past matchups, this was just so one-sided. There was also one play where Kiwi lined up over him and almost had him with a swim-move, and Brick just kind of swatted him away and down to the ground. He looks stronger and faster than ever and he’s developing an awesome mean streak. Yes, this was just a preseason game, and Osi’s a bit washed up, but he really did look that good.
Here is the discussion thread in the Jets Nation forum.