Analysis: Ex Buckeye Gholston has 4 games to prove his value.
Jet OLB Vernon Gholston will have the inside track to start the first 4 games of the 09 season because incumbent starter Calvin Pace has been suspended by the league for a violation of the drug policy. Gholston has not enjoyed the success he had at OSU in his first year as a pro. The vicious New York media have long ago branded Gholston a draft bust.
By Bill Smith
His problems began with a hold out typical for the 6th player selected in the first round of the 08 draft. The change of roles has been harder for Gholston than anyone expected. Last year he was tentative against the run and pass when standing up as a LB. He was much more effective at the down end position on passing situations when the Jets went to a 4-3.
It looks like he is thinking too much before he moves. Usually more tape work helps but he is not showing the football instincts that made him a college All American. The linebacker position is anything but natural for him. He still is a factor in rushing the passer. He can command a double team and help other defenders get the sack. He still rushes too upright. He has not mastered dropping the shoulder and using his speed to get under the tackle and get to the QB. He also spends too much time hand fighting with the lineman. If the lineman gets a hold on him, he struggles to get away and resume the rush.
Adding to his concerns is a new style defense brought in this year by the new coaching staff. New head coach Rex Ryan brings a much more aggressive defense to the Jets. That should help Gholston who too often under Mangini's system was forced into coverage rather than rushing the QB.
Gholston has the preseason and 4 regular season games to take the job away from Pace. I doubt he will do it. I expected a lot more when he was drafted by the Jets. This is the time for him to step up and show the league that he deserved to be the 6th pick overall.
That's what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://NFLDraftDog.com and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library/Contemporary/Author.cfm?AuthorID=1003 and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com.