A familiar complaint during the 2009 season was that Vernon Gholston was on the active roster because of salary alone. That he offered nothing to the defence and that he offered nothing to special teams. Finances effected Rex from putting the best players on the field. We heard that on her several times last year, and to an extent I agreed with it.
However early this pre-season it seems the message has finally sunk in for Gholston, it's now or never. Over the last three days we have heard several reports from beat writers about the improvement that Gholston was showing. Several sacks to his name, pressure in the offensive backfield, balls batted down at the line. You could be forgiven for having to look twice to see if this was the same player that hasn't even made a dent his first two years, let alone any significant impact.
Well the media brought up the situation highlighted in the first paragraph in today's press conference, and the answer was slightly different that years previous:
I'm gonna expect Vernon to play a lot, Roparti to play a lot......I would say he's (Gholston) guaranteed a roster spot.....he plays on special teams, he does a good job on special teams. As we've seen on the practise field, the guy has earned that right. I mean he's playing well. It's hard to make that transition to OLB......Now we moved him down on a permanent basis he's starting to get it. He's flying around he's making plays which is great to see. When you see the athleticism, that strength and that speed that he has, he's starting to play to it now.......
When asked if he has a choice about the roster, and Vernon just being there is because of money and not talent, Rex replied that he had a choice and:
The best guys are going to be here, I'm just telling you he's going to be here. I'm paid to win.....Vernon Gholston is going to play better this year......
Rex was asked by a reporter whether Woody had told him because of the money committed in Gholston that he had to play, which was greeted with a firm no.
Don't get too excited, but in the first few days of this pre-season; I've heard Gholstons name mentioned more for what he has done on the field than the last 2 seasons and last 2 pre-seasons combined.