Kerry Rhodes is one of the team's biggest leaders, especially when we're talking about dealing with the media. He shared his thoughts on the Calvin Pace suspension and what it means for Vernon Gholston yesterday.
"He's doing the best he can," Rhodes said Monday night on the red carpet of Justin Tuck's celebrity billiards tournament to benefit Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy initiative. "He knows it's a tough situation. You don't really want to talk about it too much, put too much out there as far as how he's doing, but he knows that he didn't do the right thing in that situation. You've just got to be careful what you take, he knows that."
Gholston had a disappointing rookie season, but the new coaching staff seemed encouraged by his progress during offseason OTAs and minicamp. Rhodes was impressed as well -- though he added the team is "not going to all the pressure on Vernon" to absorb Pace's loss.
"I think he's matured into a player now," Rhodes said. "He's been through a whole year of it, and he's in a system where he's going to be able to be more aggressive and attack more, which is more of his style. He's not going to sit back and be reactionary a lot, so I think it's a good thing for him."
If Bryan Thomas can get off to a fast start like he did a year ago, it will help take some of the sting out of losing Pace. I don't think the Jets can just depend on Gholston to replace Pace. It needs to be a combined improvement by Thomas, Gholston, Jason Trusnik, and Marques Murrell. The best thing the Jets could do for these guys is to make their task simple, get after the quarterback. Leave as much coverage responsibility on Bart Scott as possible.