Rex Ryan took some umbrage with Vernon Gholston saying he was never given a fair shot.
Gholston, who's now trying to ignite his flatlined career with the Bears, said he thought he deserved more of a chance to see leave his mark on the field with the Jets.
Ryan, responding today to what Gholston told reporters after the Giants' preseason victory over the Bears Monday night, seemed somewhat taken aback, saying "I disagree with him on that."
"I'm confused because I think I'm fair, I think I'm more than fair," Ryan said. "I think I give plenty of opportunities. But if I wasn’t viewed that way, then that’s it, but again I'm comfortable being who I am."
Gholston was a colossal bust with the Jets, never living up to the expectations of someone drafted No. 6 overall in 2008. He went through several position changes in his three unproductive seasons. The Jets tried him at outside linebacker, defensive end and even nose tackle -- all without any success -- before severing ties with him in February.
Gholston, who failed to record even one sack during his tenure with the Jets, thinks Ryan had already prejudged him before the two even met.
"Maybe that's a possibility. I'm certainly not perfect," Ryan said. "That could be accurate that I prejudged him. But trust me, when I came here I was his coach, he was one of us and I became a Jet. Obviously, I evaluated Vernon when he came out of college. I wasn’t as high on him as maybe others were.
"But when I got here, we were all in. I wanted Vernon to be successful. I'd still like him to be successful. I think he's a good kid. I don’t care what he said about me. That’s fine, but I think he's a fine young man and I wish him well."
Ryan tried a psychological ploy to get Gholston fired up, having noted fight-picker Rob Turner go after Gholston during a training camp practice in Cortland last year. That did little to fire up Gholston, who thinks the Jets didn't do enough to put him in position to succees.
"My job is not to just make one player better and feature one player," Ryan said. "I thought my job was to build the best defense we can possibly build. When you look statistically if we were successful or not, it's hard to argue we weren’t successful building this defense for the betterment of the New York Jets, not just one player.
"Now, could there have been better defenses called to make Vernon a better player, to make him look like a better player? I'm sure there is. But for us, my concern is to make the New York Jets a better defense, not just one player."