I came across some interesting quotes from Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine today on the often talked about rarely seen play of Vernon Gholston. I'm one of the biggest Gholston supporters you are likely to find, I like the guy, I think he still has a ton of potential, and nobody can say that he has not made improvements over the summer.
The plays that he’s gotten, especially when he got in more in the last game, he’s graded out well. Vernon’s not a guy that you’re going to see a lot of flash from, but he’s strong. He’s a lot stronger than most guys at his position and does a real nice job. If you go back and look at come of the quarterback pressures we got, a lot of them happened because Vernon kind of collapsed that side of the defense and had taken up two blockers and the running back and the quarterback. Vernon has really taken it upon himself to get better and he’s really done it out in practice. We were planning last week to have some different packages and mix it up so a guy like Vernon wasn’t going to have to play the entire game. As it turned out, he had such a good week of practice that we took the mindset of, ‘Let’s go ahead and up his reps and bump down the other guys strictly because he looks so good in practice.’ It showed in the game. He made some really nice plays. He’s getting better using his hands and digging of blocks. He made the one real nice hustle play that might have ultimately saved a touchdown on the one run that broke late in the game by Chris Johnson. He tackled two blockers and ended up coming out of it and ran him down. Kerry (Rhodes) missed a tackle and Vernon was there and had run him down. It was a real nice hustle play.
Out of the 6th overall selection you are probably asking for a lot more, I hear you all who say that, understandable. However right now, you take what you get, and he does use the bull rush very well, and he has over powered players numerous times, he is getting off blocks better. Last year he just could not do that, at no point last year can I remember him shredding a block. It was a nice hustle play to run down Johnson, not something a lot of linebackers can do.
He has one more week starting, Calvin Pace returns from his suspension in week 5 and Gholston will go into a more situational role, which could benefit his development, more chances to focus on rushing the passer, and his confidence is only going to increase if he starts getting sacks. A lot of fans are down on Gholston and some in my opinion even hope that he fails so they can triumphantly say they were right about him being a bust, but I still have a great deal of belief in the man.