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Morton
02-23-2010, 12:16 PM
Well, since it's about that time of the year for the Combine workouts to begin, I've been thinking about all of the "workout warriors" of the past who have put up monster numbers in the Combine drills but failed to impress in the NFL. One of the recent "workout warriors" really stands out to me: Vernon Gholston.

Gholston mostly destroyed the Combine with his athleticism and strength. In his case, however, not only was he a workout warrior, but he also boasted a rather productive college career as a DE, racking up several sacks for Ohio State.

But in the NFL, he has yet to record a single sack, and I think he even has yet to accumulate more than 20 tackles in two seasons of play. This is a 6'4" 260lb former college star with tremendous strength and speed who was drafted in the upper portion of the first round. I mean, come on. You could take a guy off the street and he'd have more respectable numbers so far.

What gives? Why was such a promising prospect such a complete and utter non-factor in the NFL so far? Can anyone shed some light on this for me? I mean, I understand the concept of the "bust", but this is just ridiculous. He's not just a bust, he's an uber-bust with that kind of disparity in stats between his college years and his pro days.

Two possibilities to account for this in my mind:

- Some kind of off-the-field issues that prevent him from playing at a high level. I can speculate, but I have no real knowledge of his situation, but it's not unprecedented in the NFL, if you know what I mean.

- He is being severly misused in the current 3-4 scheme the Jets employ. But even so, I mean, a guy of his size and speed should be putting up some stats even if he's uncomfortable as a 3-4 LB. And that begs the question: is this a 4-3 DE miscast as a 3-4 LB? Would he be putting up better numbers in a 4-3?

YAYareaRB
02-23-2010, 12:20 PM
I'm willing to give him another year or two before deeming him a bust. Vernon Davis was looking like a bust up until this season.

FrankGore
02-23-2010, 12:39 PM
I think part of it is that he wasn't really a natural football player. You look at Brandon Graham and you see the hands, the body lean, the feel for the game, etc. very clearly. I don't remember seeing that with Gholston.

Part of it could be a lack of dedication to the game, though I can't say that because I haven't kept up with him since he came into the NFL.

And part of it could simply be that he's too stiff...yeah, he was rocked up on his body frame, but other than bulldozing straight ahead through tackles with his strength, I don't remember seeing much lateral agility in college, which is pretty key for any pass rusher. And I think his 3-cone drill showed that, actually.

Jury is still somewhat out but I thought we'd see something from him last year if anything. Odds are slim that he will turn into anything significant after this point.

CLong4Heisman
02-23-2010, 12:40 PM
He doesn't have the drive to be great, and he's backing up Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace so its not like he's behind some scrubs.

SenorGato
02-23-2010, 12:42 PM
He's just really young in alot of ways. The draft has become a very judgemental process amongst the fans, and guys are expected to make the grade within moments if they go high.

If we got him at any spot but 6, Jets fans would basically be fapping to his potential and all that good stuff. IMO it's just a matter of time...it's not really as if he's the first unproductive 3-4 OLB convert in the history of the game.

The fact that the general population tremendously overrates the sack really kills him though. Combine that with the speculative bs that that leads to..."lack of drive"..."lack of heart"..."he's just not motivated"..."he lacks da fiah"...that stuff...and then the fact that he got paid well as the 6th pick puts him like 8 feet deep.

I still think he ends up a damn good player for us...he might even be starting for us by November, but as it's February let me not get too crazy here.

Giantsfan1080
02-23-2010, 12:42 PM
He's backing up Jamal Westerman also who was a UDFA from Rutgers.

SenorGato
02-23-2010, 12:48 PM
He's backing up Jamal Westerman also who was a UDFA from Rutgers.

No he's not, he's just less polished as a player than Westerman is. He's our 3rd OLB and the next in line to start...

Finnegans Wake
02-23-2010, 12:48 PM
And part of it could simply be that he's too stiff...yeah, he was rocked up on his body frame, but other than bulldozing straight ahead through tackles with his strength, I don't remember seeing much lateral agility in college, which is pretty key for any pass rusher. And I think his 3-cone drill showed that, actually.

This is what I think, too. Just not a fluid player, certainly doesn't have the right skill set for a 3-4 OLB, might be better as a 4-3 end.

K Train
02-23-2010, 12:58 PM
i still think hes in the best situation under rex ryan....i would expect him to explode after being non existant for the first few years....my same prediction with JPP honestly

FUNBUNCHER
02-23-2010, 01:05 PM
He doesn't have the drive to be great, and he's backing up Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace so its not like he's behind some scrubs.
This, also he may just be one of those DEs who doesn't have the agility/ mental make up to make the transition to playing OLB in 34.
Forcing a guy like Gholston to play going backwards in coverage is not happening, IMO.

Can't say he's not dedicated to improving his overall game, you don't get a physique like that from playing PS3 and sucking down Co Co Puffs.

But I do think is some regards that Gholston has 'checked out': he may feel he's more ideally suited to play rush end in a 43 and just isn't giving a full effort in practice.

The guy I saw at Ohio State literally was a man among boys who when he really got after it, was unblockable with sideline to sideline range.

If I were his HC, I would demand he would with a yoga instructor/trainer to improve his flexibility and put him in the game on 3rd downs and let him chase the football.

Either that, or look for a trade. Funny how Gholston has been labeled a 'bust' since his rookie year, but still you don't hear much noise from the Jets FO about their looking to trade him, so far.

Someone still thinks the dude has 'P'.:rolleyes:

Anybody heard or read of any interviews lately with Gholston?? I'd like to hear him say why he thinks he's yet to breakout in the NFL.

Morton
02-23-2010, 01:13 PM
Do you guys think he'd shine if some team gave him the opportunity to play as a pure 4-3 DE instead of a 3-4 OLB?

SenorGato
02-23-2010, 01:31 PM
I really think "he's not fluid" and "he doesn't have the mental makeup" are just made up reasons to explain why he sucks right now. It could just be that he's a guy who's played football for like 6 years, and two of them have been in the NFL.

I mean...I think he doesn't have the mental makeup right now to play 3-4 OLB, but few actually do. It's a position that's built on instincts and experience, and those are two things that can improve with time and work. Considering that he got himself to where he got himself, I'm sure he's willing to work.

I do have to say when I met him he totally comes across as soft, BUT "soft" in football terms usually comes down to overthinking and that's also something that tends to go away with time.

Maybe I overestimate him as a person, maybe my amateur psychology thing is just plain wrong...but really I don't think Gholston's going to do anything but go up over the years.

GoRavens
02-23-2010, 01:55 PM
Jamaal Westerman was the man @ Rutgers.
I liked him a lot as a prospect

vidae
02-23-2010, 02:05 PM
I actually thought he'd have a breakout year under Rex Ryan, seeing as how much he likes to blitz and the defenses he runs. I thought that'd be a good fit.

You never know, though. If anyone can turn him into a productive player, it's Rex.

CLong4Heisman
02-23-2010, 03:30 PM
He played on 3rd and long but as nose tackle. It really was disappointing in that sense for me because a big strong guy like him at 260 is going to get manhandled by 330 guards. It felt like they were setting him up to fail.

bigbuc
02-23-2010, 03:38 PM
He took his 25 mill and is kicking it.

batsandgats
02-23-2010, 04:02 PM
He played on 3rd and long but as nose tackle. It really was disappointing in that sense for me because a big strong guy like him at 260 is going to get manhandled by 330 guards. It felt like they were setting him up to fail.

or they thought it was the best place to put him for right now. 3rd and long is good for smaller people on the interior trying to get pressure, although 260 is extremely small to be put at NT in that system. Why would they set him up to fail though?

FUNBUNCHER
02-23-2010, 04:05 PM
or they thought it was the best place to put him for right now. 3rd and long is good for smaller people on the interior trying to get pressure, although 260 is extremely small to be put at NT in that system. Why would they set him up to fail though?

The Giants used Justin Tuck in a similar fashion early in career, atlthough I don't think he was lined up over Center.

CLong4Heisman
02-23-2010, 04:17 PM
or they thought it was the best place to put him for right now. 3rd and long is good for smaller people on the interior trying to get pressure, although 260 is extremely small to be put at NT in that system. Why would they set him up to fail though?

He's not a Rex "guy". He wants his players for his system. It was like he just said, mangini spent a 1st on him so let's just put him here.

SenorGato
02-23-2010, 10:45 PM
He's not a Rex "guy". He wants his players for his system. It was like he just said, mangini spent a 1st on him so let's just put him here.

Rex doesn't like big athletes?

wogitalia
02-24-2010, 12:37 AM
I think he is a bad fit in that system and has struggled but I think there is more to it than that, he hasn't been able to start under 2 different coaches/schemes now.

I think a lot is he is very limited by the 3-4 scheme. He really can still only do one thing in that system and it asks for more than that, it becomes obvious to blockers what he will be doing when he is in the game because he has shown no ability to do anything else. He certainly has the potential to play better in a 4-3 system. Let him be Jared Allen and just rush the QB and he will probably be more productive, could even be very productive, but you will need to scheme to cover for the fact that he is going to give up plays underneath by blitzing so hard.

SKim172
02-25-2010, 01:28 AM
Either that, or look for a trade. Funny how Gholston has been labeled a 'bust' since his rookie year, but still you don't hear much noise from the Jets FO about their looking to trade him, so far.

There were some rumors that the Jets were considering him for trade last offseason, though that died down when Rex stated pretty clearly that he wanted to work with him. Take that for what it's worth - could've just been speculation.

Gholston may have two starters ahead of him, but when Rex was in Baltimore, it was pretty much, "If you can play, you'll see some action." He rotates guys in and out a lot, even if it was just a few snaps a game. For the good players, even if they weren't racking up stats, you'd see them having some sort of impact, if it was pressuring the QB or collapsing the pocket.

I don't watch Jets football, but I would think Gholston, as a number one pick that's third on the depth chart, would be seeing lots of action and having enough impact that the fans would be optimistic about his future. Which leads me to one of three conclusions:
1) Gholston's not having much of an impact
2) Jets fans are absolutely unfair
3) Rex Ryan isn't playing him

Didn't Westerman get a sack this season? I can't think he'd be getting more playtime than Gholston.

Paranoidmoonduck
02-25-2010, 01:51 AM
Gosh, it's not like it was hard to imagine Gholston failing.

He was awkward, stiff, painfully inconsistent, couldn't change directions, only ever bullrushed, had no feel at all for working offensive tackles over the course of a game. He was taken because he had massive potential, but I never really thought he was going get close to fulfilling it.

I do think that, at this point, he'd be suited by playing with his hand in the dirt. I don't think he'll suddenly turn it around, but at least he could become a nickel pass rusher who makes a handful of sacks a year. Maybe.

Crickett
02-25-2010, 02:21 AM
This, also he may just be one of those DEs who doesn't have the agility/ mental make up to make the transition to playing OLB in 34.
Forcing a guy like Gholston to play going backwards in coverage is not happening, IMO.

Forcing a guy like Gholston to play going backwards?

Okay, here's the Jets defensive game plan in a nutshell.

1st down: Blitz
2nd and long: Blitz
2nd and short: Blitz
3rd and short: Blitz
3rd and long: Blitz
4th down: Can we blitz? Please? Please? Just one more blitz package? Ok fine, punt return.

Its great to watch as a Jets fan. It can be 3rd and 25 and you just know Rex is going to bring the house or close to it.

If the problem was Gholston's coverage ability, there wouldn't be a problem and Gholston wouldn't have zero career sacks.

SKim172
02-25-2010, 02:46 AM
4th down: Can we blitz? Please? Please? Just one more blitz package? Ok fine, punt return.

No, on 4th down, it's time for a punt block, which is really just a blitz, but with only 1 guy in the backfield.

SenorGato
02-25-2010, 08:36 AM
There were some rumors that the Jets were considering him for trade last offseason, though that died down when Rex stated pretty clearly that he wanted to work with him. Take that for what it's worth - could've just been speculation.

Gholston may have two starters ahead of him, but when Rex was in Baltimore, it was pretty much, "If you can play, you'll see some action." He rotates guys in and out a lot, even if it was just a few snaps a game. For the good players, even if they weren't racking up stats, you'd see them having some sort of impact, if it was pressuring the QB or collapsing the pocket.

I don't watch Jets football, but I would think Gholston, as a number one pick that's third on the depth chart, would be seeing lots of action and having enough impact that the fans would be optimistic about his future. Which leads me to one of three conclusions:
1) Gholston's not having much of an impact
2) Jets fans are absolutely unfair
3) Rex Ryan isn't playing him

Didn't Westerman get a sack this season? I can't think he'd be getting more playtime than Gholston.

Couple things...

1. Gholston does get rotated in with the LBs.

2. Westerman got a sack...in the first game of the season. Nothing much after that. I find no significance in this at all, and the only reason it does is because people tend to overrate sacks.

3. Jets fans are very unfair judges of talent. You had to be perfect yesterday if you were a first round pick. D'Brick was treated much the same way when he was drafted, though obviously he had no starter in his way and started from Day 1. Still, there were quite a few "zomg D'Bust!!" If Gholston sticks around in the league, he'll play. Could be 5 years from now for all anyone knows...

SRogers92
02-25-2010, 09:00 AM
Gholston will never start ... Adam Schefter was talking how it's a real possibility he's cut this off-season ... wouldn't surprise me because the Jets are learning how much of a waste he was ...

bitonti
02-25-2010, 10:58 AM
Vernon Gholston is 23. that's pretty young to start writing him off. Look at Bryan Thomas or Calvin Pace when they were 23 it was similarly dissapointing. there are 23 year olds in this draft and 24 year olds... so he's pretty young.

he had top notch production in college... 23 career sacks including 2 against Jake Long in the same game. this is not a "workout warrior" situation. WW dont usually have all-world production to go with their all world workouts. For example Jason Pierre Paul has 6.5 career sacks he's probably a workout warrior.

here are some more facts when the Jets started Vernon Gholston they were 3-1 including holding the Saints to 24 points in their house (probably the best defensive effort against the Saints in their house all year).

It should also be noted that Gholston chased down Chris Johnson from behind during the Titans game, the score was 17-24 jets at the time and gholston got a game ball for his efforts.

I dont know that Gholston will be great but he still has hope to be pretty good. Again writing off a 3-4 OLb convert after 2 seasons isn't really smart, judging by how long it takes these guys to learn the position. Mike Vrabel, another Ohio State alum, took 7 years before he became a pro bowl player.

SRogers92
02-25-2010, 11:17 AM
Mike Vrabel was never a Pro Bowl talent, though ... he just got the New England Patriot treatment ... Put it this way, if he doesn't start this year and Rex Ryan can't get through to him, he's oh so done ...

FUNBUNCHER
02-25-2010, 11:24 AM
I dunno about Vrabel, he had fairly impressive measurables as a younger player, but he did have difficulty settling into a defensive role until he was picked up by NE.
Totally agree with bitonti, that it may be too early to completely write Gholston off.
I wish someone had some insight about what the defensive coaches inside the Jets organization really think about Gholston and his ability to excel in the NFL.
In college, he was one of those players who 'popped' off the screen and really impressed you with his physical tools when he decided to really get after it.

I always felt coming away from watching any OSU game Gholston played in, he literally could have done anything he wanted to on the football field, that's how much he completely outclassed the Olineman lined up to block in front of him.

SenorGato
02-25-2010, 11:35 AM
Mike Vrabel was never a Pro Bowl talent, though ... he just got the New England Patriot treatment ... Put it this way, if he doesn't start this year and Rex Ryan can't get through to him, he's oh so done ...

What? He's the guy whose OSU sack record Gholston broke.

Gholston will never start ... Adam Schefter was talking how it's a real possibility he's cut this off-season ... wouldn't surprise me because the Jets are learning how much of a waste he was ...

1. Who says never anymore?

2. Schefter sucks.

3. If we cut him we wouldn't save any money so that just seems pointless. Some team would just pick him up anyway...And they get 2 free years of coaching on him.

bitonti
02-25-2010, 11:51 AM
I wish someone had some insight about what the defensive coaches inside the Jets organization really think about Gholston and his ability to excel in the NFL.


Calvin Pace says the Jets believe in gholston and he does too

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2010/01/16/pace-says-jets-believe-in-gholston