Vernon Gholston took a few pokes at Rex Ryan after the Bears-Giants preseason game, with the former Jets’ linebacker/defensive end suggesting Ryan didn’t give him enough of a chance during his run with the Jets.
“Being a first-round pick, you would have hoped for more [of a chance],” Gholston told reporters after the game. He said his release by the Jets in the off-season was “a needed move.”
“Teams are always looking for talent, and to say I don't have talent is a far stretch,” Gholston said. “It's all about getting a fair shot and time in the system. With the Jets, it was constant position change and coaching change. There was no stability. I never really had that with the Jets.”
Gholston, the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, didn’t have a sack in his three seasons with the Jets. He’s now a backup with the Bears, and has contributed little in the preseason. There is a chance he will not make the team’s final roster.
Ryan said he was disappointed to hear Gholston’s comments, but wished him well anyway. Ryan did admit that he didn’t like Gholston coming out of Ohio State, but that he was willing to work with him when he took over for Eric Mangini before the 2009 season.
“That could be accurate that I prejudged him, but trust me, when I came here, I was his coach,” Ryan told reporters today. “He was one of us and I became a Jet. Obviously, when he came out of college, I wasn’t as high on him as others were. But when I got here, we were all in. I think he’s a good kid. I don’t care what he said about me. He’s a fine young man, and I wish him well.”
As for Gholston saying he didn’t get a fair chance, Ryan said he didn’t think that was the case. Ryan tried Gholston as both a linebacker and a defensive end, although neither move panned out.
“I would have liked to have Vernon back [this season], because I thought he was getting better. I really did,” Ryan said. “Do I think he’s ever going to be Deacon Jones? No. But I’m pretty comfortable with myself. Nobody likes to hear negative comments, but if that’s how he feels then that’s how he feels, but I’m perfectly comfortable with myself. I’m not going to please everybody. That’s not the position I’m in. I mean, I’m confused because I think I’m fair. I think I’m more than fair. I think I give plenty of opportunities. But if it wasn’t viewed that way, then that’s it.”