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Thread: Gholston getting ready to take off- Bergen Record

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    Gholston getting ready to take off- Bergen Record

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    New Jet getting ready to take off Friday, October 10, 2008 BY J.P. PELZMAN, STAFF WRITER

    FLORHAM PARK ó When Calvin Pace looks at teammate Vernon Gholston, he sees all the tangibles and intangibles that enticed the Jets to select Gholston with the sixth overall pick in Aprilís draft.

    Pace also sees himself, more specifically the Calvin Pace from five years ago. Pace at that time was a highly touted rookie with Arizona, merely trying to carve out a niche for himself.

    It wasnít easy.

    "Yes, I remember," he said Thursday with a weary smile. "It was a lot of bad days. Itís disheartening from that standpoint that you just came from college, you were an All-American, where you were just the guy that everybody leaned on and now youíre kind of struggling."

    Pace started all 16 games for the Cardinals in 2003, but had only one sack. Gholston, too, has had somewhat of a slow start to his NFL career. Playing in special situations and in sub packages, the outside linebacker has only one tackle, no sacks and one quarterback pressure through four games. Heíll try to improve on those numbers when the Jets host Cincinnati on Sunday.

    Gholston, however, earned plenty of praise from coach Eric Mangini on Thursday. His four special-teams tackles against Arizona earned him the Jetsí in-house award for special teams player of the week.

    "We go through a process of selecting that guy," Mangini said. "Those arenít gimmes. Youíve got to earn that and he did. I was proud of that fact, especially in an area heís not familiar with. Now, defensively, we need to see that continued growth as well."

    After all, when the Jets signed Gholston to a five-year, $32 million contract with $21 million guaranteed, it wasnít with the expectation that he would be a special-teams demon. Gholston had 14 sacks in 2007 as a junior at Ohio State, but that was as an end in a 4-3 defense. Now heís an outside linebacker in a 3-4, which carries with it a lot more responsibilities than his previous position.

    "Heís doing all right," Pace said of Gholston. "We have a very difficult system from the standpoint that the outside linebacker position is asked to do a lot. It might be a little tough on him being that he hasnít been in that position. Heís a rookie. A lot of people put too much pressure on rookies. ... Itís hard to ask a 21-, 22-year-old guy to go out there and have a Pro Bowl season."

    "Heís going to be fine," Pace added.

    Gholston has gotten plenty of advice and mentoring from both Pace and Bryan Thomas. Pace made the transition from end to linebacker in 2007 with Arizona, one year after Thomas made the same move with the Jets.

    "I talk to those guys constantly," Gholston said, "just about how they attack things and their thought process on different formations and different things we play in our defense. They give me the input but sometimes Iíve got to go out there and see it for myself."

    Gholston added that he hasnít doubted himself, but there has been frustration. Still, he is quite upbeat.

    "Obviously, anytime youíre coming from your hand on the ground to playing on your feet itís a big transition," Gholston said. "But I expected it to take a little time. Iíve made a lot of strides since the first day I put on the pads but Iíve still got a long ways to go."
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    Newsday

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    Jets rookie Gholston off to slow startBY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com
    October 10, 2008
    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Four weeks into his professional career, Vernon Gholston has four times as many special-teams tackles as defensive ones.

    And, everyone involved says, that's OK for now.

    When the Jets selected Gholston with the sixth overall pick in April's draft - and signed him to a five-year, $32.5-million contract ($21 million guaranteed) - it was acknowledged that his transition to outside linebacker from defensive end, his position at Ohio State, would be slow. It has been.

    "Any time you are coming from your hand on the ground to playing on your feet, it's a big transition," Gholston said. "I expected it to take a little time."



    Gholston has shined on special teams, even earning that unit's player of the week honor after recording four tackles Sept. 28 against the Cardinals.

    "I was proud of that fact, especially in an area he's not familiar with," coach Eric Mangini said of the award. "Now defensively, we need to see that continued growth as well."



    Looking back

    Playing the Bengals brings back memories - good and bad - for Brett Favre. He replaced Don Majkowski in the first quarter against the Bengals on Sept. 20, 1992, and led the Packers to a last-second victory, throwing a 35-yard TD pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds left that sparked a 24-23 victory. Favre started the next week against Pittsburgh, the beginning of a consecutive-starts streak that reaches 258 Sunday.

    "My first real, true test," Favre said. "It holds a special place for the reason that we won. I came in in relief and led us from behind. It really was the start of my career. I never sat out after that point."

    Favre is 3-1 in his career against the Bengals, with his most recent start - Oct. 30, 2005 - an unmitigated nightmare. The Packers lost, 21-14, as Favre threw five interceptions.



    Injury update

    RT Damien Woody missed his second straight day of practice because of what Mangini called "a cold." WR Laveranues Coles (thigh), NT Kris Jenkins (back) and CB Justin Miller (foot) were limited.

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    I know everyone is mocking the "special-teams" award, (and I suppose it is deserved seeing as he was the #4 pick), but I'm personally encouraged that this 21 y.o. multi-millionaire is busting his butt on special teams.

    Yeah, it's naive (and overly optimistic), but this guy is used to being the star, so a desire to excel on ST at least shows he isn't just showing up to cash a check.

    We all know the POTENTIAL is there, and I'm not gonna give up on him as long as it looks like he's willing to work.

    Thankfully we have other guys who have stepped up (Pace, Thomas, etc.) or I might not feel so patient!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OCCH View Post
    I know everyone is mocking the "special-teams" award, (and I suppose it is deserved seeing as he was the #4 pick), but I'm personally encouraged that this 21 y.o. multi-millionaire is busting his butt on special teams.

    Yeah, it's naive (and overly optimistic), but this guy is used to being the star, so a desire to excel on ST at least shows he isn't just showing up to cash a check.

    We all know the POTENTIAL is there, and I'm not gonna give up on him as long as it looks like he's willing to work.

    Thankfully we have other guys who have stepped up (Pace, Thomas, etc.) or I might not feel so patient!!
    I agree with you. In fact I am willing to state that when he steps up, many of his detractors will be his biggest fans.

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    I am rooting for him to spark it up. I will give him a one year pass. But after the year is up, it is on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetsin1999 View Post
    I am rooting for him to spark it up. I will give him a one year pass. But after the year is up, it is on...
    One year pass? He's a rookie. Did you expect him to make the pro-bowl this year? And maybe this is more a product of Sutton's schemes and coaching than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petejet View Post
    One year pass? He's a rookie. Did you expect him to make the pro-bowl this year? And maybe this is more a product of Sutton's schemes and coaching than anything else.
    Thats not the case. 3-4 is complex defense. Doesn't matter who the coordinator is. Give him some time. Very few guys at OLB in a 3-4 are impact players their rookie year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmiggsey View Post
    Thats not the case. 3-4 is complex defense. Doesn't matter who the coordinator is. Give him some time. Very few guys at OLB in a 3-4 are impact players their rookie year.
    While I won't give Sutton the pass you're giving him, people need to remember this guy has only played football since Junior year of high school.

    I can see why he'd be overwhelmed -- even if he's only asked to rush the passer.

    I can't say I'm a "believer", but there's certainly more than enough reason for hope.

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