Scouting Report on Vernon
Gholston LB NY Jets vs. Cleveland
Forget what the “experts” say about Vernon Gholston's play. Here is the real skinny.
By Bill Smith
me explain that I really do not like the standard Jet zone. They use a 5 under 2 deep out of their 3-4
defense. In this system, the two corners
join the two inside linebackers and one of the outside backers in the 5 zones
short while the two safeties play over the top.
That puts an outside linebacker in a zone. Smart play callers always work a WR into that
zone and gain a great speed advantage by doing so. The Browns did that to good advantage in the
game Thursday night. The Patriots have
used that to dominate the Jet D since the team converted to a 3-4. That makes things doubly hard for Gholston
who must not only learn a new position but must adapt to a less than optimum
used to rushing the passer dropping in coverage in a short zone on the zone
blitz at OSU. He is very capable of
doing either of those with great success.
In the Jet system, in passing situations either Gholston or the LB on
the other side is asked to cover a zone and take anyone that enters it. The difference is not only the type of player
to be covered. In the Jet's system,
there are only 4 players at the most rushing the passer. That means Gholston or another linebacker is
going to have to cover longer because there is less pressure on the opponent
QB. Even so, he did pretty well in his
first game action. Gholston played 3
quarters in the game against the Browns.
Against the run
He did very
well on runs to his side. The Browns did
not run often to that side but when they did he stood his ground and turned the
run inside where his friends could make a play.
One one play he caused a holding penalty by a OT to prevent him from
making the tackle. That is a good play
that is almost equal to a sack. On
another he was double teamed. He still
worked between the blocks and turned the play inside—exactly what he is
expected to do. As a rookie he must
learn to get rid of blockers more quickly.
This is a combination of hand fighting and leverage. He will learn to do both and has the strength
to be effective at it.
On runs to
the other side, his instincts are outstanding.
He takes the proper angles to the play and is in position to make the
tackle if the on-side tacklers break down.
tackling technique in the open field needs work. He tends to go high which reduces his
strength and leverage. That too will
come with time. He does an excellent job
of using his speed and angles to track down runners.
Against the pass—rushing the QB
was the coach, I would move Gholston around the D and let him rush from all
angles. The Giants did that with
Lawrence Taylor and he is in the Hall of Fame.
That would allow the best use of Gholston's athleticism and speed.
When he is
allowed to rush he did it with abandon—maybe a little too much abandon. On one pass, he rushed Brady Quinn but did
not get under control when reached the QB and missed the sack. He did force Quinn to throw on the run and
the pass was incomplete. That qualifies
as a QB pressure.
is always coming from the same spot, he usually draws an OT rather than a TE or
RB. Expecting a blitz makes blocking it
much easier particularly when you know where it is coming from. Gholston will have to work on getting away
from NFL blockers. They are much quicker
with much better feet than those in college.
Again his change from DE to OB alters
the moves necessary to get around blockers.
He will learn to fake an outside move and cut inside. From a stand up position, that gives an OB a one step advantage which is all you can ask. He will also learn to use his legs
better. Blitzing from a stand up
position requires an OB to dip a shoulder just
before making contact with the blocker and then exploding past using his lower
body strength and leverage. That is a
move that will come in time.
Gholston scored 10 points which translates to a full game of 13.3 points and a
* Because of differences in the duties of offensive and
defensive positions, each one has a different grading scale.
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com. He has
also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and