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Posted 17 Jan 2014
QuoteVernon Gholston. The very name is anathema to Jets fans everywhere. An affront to their sensibilities. An assault on their optimism in the face of every manner of calamity this organization has conjured up over the years. Gholston is one of the worst busts ever. An abomination unto the football gods. The start of the Jets' downfall. Right?
Not so fast. Time has a way of altering perspectives. Hidden truths begin to emerge once safely out of the emotional turmoil of the moment. Trends previously lost in blind hatred reveal themselves. A truer picture emerges with the benefit of hindsight. And in the case of Gholston, that picture is surprisingly appealing. Scratch that. In the case of Gholston, that picture is one of hidden awesomeness. Gholston was colossally misunderstood as a player. Please join me in discovering Vernon Gholston, our unsung hero.
We all know the stats. Vernon Gholston never sacked the quarterback as a pro. Never. Drafted number 6 overall as a designated pass rusher, the man NEVER got to the quarterback. In his entire career he started only 5 games, made only 34 tackles. Epic fail, right? Well, not so much. Dig deeper and you'll be surprised at what you find.
Begin with this: football is a team game; to that we can all agree. So what did the Jets do as a team in Gholston's tenure? Just this: the Jets in the 3 years Gholston played for them had the best 3 year record in the history of the organization as an NFL franchise. The only better 3 year stretch came in the old AFL days when Joe Namath led the Jets to a Super Bowl title. If we knew nothing else about Gholston, this would be enough to cement his name as an all time Jets great, second only to Namath. But there is so much more to know.
Which 3 year stretch would you guess resulted in the most playoff wins in Jets history? If you guessed the 3 years Gholston was with the Jets, congratulate yourself; you are among the select few who are beginning to get just how important Gholston was to the Jets. Which was the only 3 year stretch in Jets history where they reached the Conference Championship Game twice? You guessed Gholston's tenure? Kudos; you're catching on. What happened immediately after Gholston left? If you answered the Jets missed the playoffs 3 years straight for the first time since the Kotite years, give yourself a Gold Star. Actually, make that a Gholston Star. The scales fall off; your vision is beginning to penetrate the true nature of Gholston's greatness. But we are just getting started.
Which was the only Jets defense in their long history as an NFL franchise to finish #1 in the league? You guessed it - the 2009 Gholston led defense. The only other Jets defense to finish #1? The 1968 AFL Jets, the legendary Super Bowl champs. The parallels between Namath and Gholston are becoming too numerous to shrug off as coincidence.
The 2010 Gholston led defense was the second highest rated defense in Jets NFL history. As soon as Gholston left the Jets the defense began to crumble, sliding to 5th, 8th and 11th over the following 3 years. Coincidence? I think not.
It is a cliche that statistics can lie, but with Gholston the cliche seems particularly apropos. Gholston didn't get any sacks? True on its face, but an oversimplification of a complex team environment. In truth, Gholston was the ultimate team player, constantly sacrificing his own numbers for the good of his teammates. With Gholston leading the way, Calvin Pace had more sacks from 2008-2010 than during any other 3 year stretch of his career. And it goes well beyond Pace and sacks. Taking the entire Jets defense on his back, Gholston led numerous teammates to the best years of their careers. Eric Barton nearly doubled his tackles as soon as Gholston came to town. In 2009 and 2010 David Harris had by far the finest 2 year stretch of his career. In 2009 Gholston helped Shaun Ellis, at the advanced age of 32, achieve his first Pro Bowl nod in 6 years, and only the second of his long career. The 3 year stretch from 2008 through 2010 was arguably the finest of Bryan Thomas' career. That same 3 year stretch saw Sione Pouha transform from a bit player to a legitimately dominant force at nose tackle. In 2009, the year Jim Leonhard came to the Jets from the Ravens, Leonard had the most sacks, tackles, passes defensed and forced fumbles in his career. And we've saved the best for last. Remember that nice young cornerback who used to play for the Jets, went by the name of Revis? Consider this about Revis. In 2007 he was just a pretty good cornerback, nothing special. Gholston arrives in 2008, and Revis instantly transforms into one of the league's best cornerbacks. By 2009 Revis is otherworldly, achieving a level of play rarely, if ever, matched in NFL history. Revis, in 7 years in the NFL, has been named All Pro thrice. Two of the 3 times was under the tutelage of Vernon Gholston. Coincidence? You tell me.
Players came and went during the years 2008-2010. So many had the best years of their careers during that stretch. Yet there was only one obvious connecting thread: Vernon Gholston. So the next time people point to his stats and laugh, don't be fooled. Quietly and calmly educate them. Tell them that Vernon was wholly uninterested in stats. Tell them that the measure of the man can never be taken in personal numbers. Tell them that Vernon's greatness resided in his unmatched ability to bring out the best in each and every teammate. That Vernon was a leader who was happy to sacrifice his own numbers for the good of the team. And show them HOW this was so, armed with the boatload of statistical high points so many of his teammates reached with, and only with, Vernon leading the way. Show them how Gholston built the Jets defense to greatness. How he lifted them up, player by player. And how it all unraveled as soon as Vernon left. Show them, and educate one more unenlightened football fan as to the hidden greatness of Vernon Gholston.
Perhaps, after all this, they still will not be convinced. Perhaps you are not convinced either. Well, that's OK. There's more to tell. Much more. And by the time we're finished I am certain that even the most hardened skeptic will be unable to counter. So let's get to it.
The measure of a true leader goes beyond his particular unit. A true leader is a leader of men, of all his teammates, not just the offense or just the defense. Such leadership qualities have never been more evident than with Vernon Gholston. Under the leadership of Gholston, Mark Sanchez achieved his highest level of play in 2010, only to crumble and completely melt down the minute Gholston left. Thomas Jones had the best 2 years of his career, and the only Pro Bowl nod of his career, the only 2 years he played with Gholston. Leon Washington's only All Pro year? 2008, the year Gholston arrived. Braylon Edwards' finest year as a Jet and 2nd finest year of his career came with Gholston by his side. Dustin Keller had the most TDs and the highest ypc of his career with Gholston leading the way. And the Jets 2010 offense, the last year Gholston was with us, was ranked 11th in the NFL, the highest ranking by a Jets offense since the magical Vinny and the Jets offense of 1998. The 3 years since Gholston left have seen the Jets offense devolve into the 2nd worst 3 year stretch in team history. Clearly Vernon's unique leadership abilities have been keenly missed in the locker room and on both sides of the ball.
I sense you may still have doubts. What if this is all just a coincidence? What if Vernon's presence just happened to coincide with a particularly good stretch of Jets history? Well, there is one way to test that theory. Let's take a look at the effect Gholston had on the other 2 teams he signed with. In 2011 Gholston signed with the Chicago Bears. The result? LB Lance Briggs had the last Pro Bowl year of his career. LB Brian Urlacher had the last Pro Bowl year of his career. CB Charles Tillman, after 9 years in the league, suddenly had the first Pro Bowl year of his career. DE Julius Peppers had a Pro Bowl year. CB Tim Jennings had the most tackles in his 7 year career. And DB Cory Graham had the only Pro Bowl appearance of his career. That's 5 defensive Pro Bowl players the Bears had as soon as Gholston came to town. Coincidence? The case against Gholston gets more tenuous by the minute. And it doesn't end with the defense. RBs Matt Forte and Khalil Bell both had the finest years of their careers the year Gholston added his unparalleled leadership to the Bears. The man is simply a born leader.
Still not convinced? Let's move on to 2012. Gholston is signed by the St. Louis Rams. What happens? The Rams defense is instantly lifted to a 13th ranking, the highest ranking Rams defense in a decade. LBs James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar and S Janoris Jenkins have the finest years of their careers. CB Cortland Finnegan records the most tackles in his 8 year career. S Quintin Mikell records the most tackles of his 11 year career. And S Craig Dahl records the second most tackles of his six year career.
As usual, Gholston's amazing positive influence does not stop with the defense. In 2012 QB Sam Bradford records career highs in yards, TDs and yards per attempt. RB Steven Jackson records his last 1000 yard season. The next year, without the steadying influence of uberteammate Vernon Gholston, Jackson will collapse into a mere shell of his former greatness. WRs Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens all have the finest years of their respective careers, as does TE Lance Kendricks. In short, there is no skill position on offense Gholston did not markedly improve the minute he arrived in St. Louis. The result? Only the highest ranked Rams offense since 2006.
At this point even the most stubborn of non-believers have to concede the point. Vernon Gholston is a great influence on a football team. Every team he has ever signed with has seen immediate and marked improvement across every aspect of the game. Defensive players immediately had career years. Offensive players did the same. Team offensive and defensive rankings reached new heights not seen in years, sometimes decades, sometimes even in all of team history. Gholston doesn't have the personal stats? Vernon doesn't care. He knows he has selflessly sacrificed his own numbers so that countless teammates could achieve heights never seen by them before or since. Vernon knows he has had a profoundly positive impact wherever he has gone. Vernon knows, and now you do to.
So whenever one of the clueless masses says something to you like Vernon Gholston LOL Jets, or Gholston was the worst bust they've ever seen, or some similar nonsense, just shake your head sadly, because you know better. You know the statistics lie. You know just how much Vernon meant to this team, and just how low this team has sunk in his absence. You know, because you care enough to dig a little deeper. And anyone who cares to seek, so shall he find. He shall find what is hidden to the superficial football fan. He shall find the hidden greatness of Vernon Gholston.
Posted 4 Dec 2013With Josh Gordon's success... I'm just saying... a 5th?
Posted 4 Dec 2013A spokesperson for the Philadelphia highway safety authority (HSA) has confirmed that Michael Vick has broken both of his legs in a traffic altercation. He has been transported via ambulance to a local Philadelphia hospital for treatment, and the full extent of his injuries are not known at this time, however, both of his legs were visibly broken and not life threatening according to sources.
The accident involved a 2012 BMW driven by Michael Vick and a 76 year old female driver in a 2010 Audi. The driver of the Audi was issued a citation for failing to stop at a red light before striking the vehicle driven by Michael Vick at a high rate of speed
Posted 9 Nov 2013This isn't about the Jets. This is about SHJ being a monster of mythical proportions when it comes to this Jets shit. I was going through my reddit account, looking for a link for work and I came across this gem: http://www.reddit.co...rediction_post/
I reread this and, goddamn. It's like the kid has a crystal ball to this NFL shit. I nailed Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 6, Week 8 and Week 9. I even pegged Atlanta right even though I predicted a LOSS. BTW, this was posted May 2nd when everyone had us winning four or less games total.
What can I say, the child has a gift. Lets hope I get 2/3 of our remaining games right.
Posted 4 Nov 2013Nov 17 @ Bills: Obviously this would be an easier game if we were playing Touel at QB, but EJ Manuel was cleared to resume football activities today. I don't know if that means that he'll play this upcoming Sunday or if he's going to have another week off before he comes back but either way, we'll probably be playing EJ Manuel. We're on a bye and we got 2 weeks to prepare for a rookie. Mobile QBs who get their knees hurt take several weeks to get the jitters out of their heads. For a rookie, practice is crucial and Manuel hasn't been able to step on the field in over a month. Needless to say, our defense (or the Steeler defense this upcoming week) is less than ideal for him to get his feet wet. They will have their full compliment of RBs for this game, but stopping the run is our bread and butter. I think the Jets come out and defensively shut the Bills down on all facets. The two weeks will allow Geno to get back in rhythm with his targets (Cumberland, Holmes & Winslow). Call this the David Nelson revenge game.
Nov 24 @ Ravens: The Ravens are a mess. Ray Rice is averaging 1.5 YPC and Flacco is having a terrible season (10 TDs, 9 INTs). Their secondary is god awful but they've been stout on the ground, allowing only 1 TD on the season. This is going to be a slugfest as we try to establish a run game. Rex has never beaten Baltimore as the HC of the NYJ. I think the Ravens are ripe for a loss this season as they're basically playing spoiler at this point and have a very brutal 4 game stretch of Bengals, at Chicago, Jets and Pittsburgh. Four tough games for them and you never know what shape they're going to be in coming off the Bengals and Chicago games.
Dec 1 Dolphins: Man f*** the Dolphins. I said it in March when they went out and signed Wallace. You can't build a vertical offense without having protection for your mediocre QB. Either way, their shitty OL just got a lot shittier without Incognito. Incognito is a dirty f*** who wore out his welcome at Nebraska, Oregon, St Louis and now Miami... but he's a nasty f*** that mauls the DL. Without him, you might as well guard Tannenhill with a velvet rope. BTW, the luster on Tannenhill is wearing off. The Fish lost 4 games in a row until the Bengals came to town still hungover from their W against the Jets. In case you're wondering the upcoming schedule for Miami looks like this: @Bucs, home against Chargers & Panthers, on the road against Jets & Steelers, home for the Pats, at Buffalo & home for the Jets. Starting with the road game against us, that's a brutal schedule especially with a Texas QB who's used to playing in Florida. New Jersey, Pittsburgh & Buffalo in December with no OL is no fun. I see the Fins finishing under .500
Dec 8 Raiders: I love this game simply for the fact that we don't have to fly cross country for once. The Raiders are coming here and it's a 1 o'clock game. We should be able to dominate against them simply due to the fact that warmups will be at 11, which if you're flying in from the WC a day before feels like 7AM.
Dec 15 @ Panthers: I think the Panthers are the most overrated team in the NFL right now and I can't wait to bet against them this week when they go to SF. During their current 4 game winning streak, they've beat Tampa, St Louis, Vikings and Falcons. Those are 4 of the 5 worst teams in the NFL. I'm positive that when we play them in Week 15, they will be below .500. As a bonus, our game comes in between their two Saints games so they might be beaten up AND looking towards Week 16. Between the Raiders flying to NYC & us catching Carolina in between the Drew Brees sandwitch, the schedule makers did us a huge favor.
Dec 22 Browns: The Browns have an outside shot at a playoff spot as of right now, but their upcoming schedule is pretty rough. Next week they're off, then they play at the Bengals, home against the Steelers and Jags, at NE, home for Chicago and then finish on the road against the Jets and Steelers. The Bears expect Cutler back in 2 weeks so aside from the Jags game, there really isn't a single layup game here. The Steelers aren't any good, but I don't think they'll sweep them. I'm giving them wins against the Jags & Steelers at home and that's it. They're a 6-10, 7-9 team at best.
Dec 29 @ Miami: I love the fact that for the 2nd year in a row, we go to SoBe in January. Smart owners turn natural advantages into calculated strong points and dumb owners do dumb shit. For years, the Jets always played at Miami in September in that sweltering jungle. You could see it on the player faces come the 3rd Q that the heat was getting to them. Since Ross took over, he has gone after home game sell outs by the NY snowbirds who pack the stadium with Jets chants. The downside is, it's basically a home game for us without the snow and 30 mph winds that you expect in January in Jersey. Thanks Steve!
I have the Jets splitting with Miami and losing one of the away games against the Panthers or the Ravens. Honestly, we have a cup cake schedule going forward and realistically, with an average QB and our defense playing the way they are, we should run the table but we all know that the Jets will make it interesting. This has truly been an amazing gift of a schedule with the BYE coming now. After which, we get back Cumberland, Holmes & Winslow to bolster the anemic passing game.
Jets 10-6 (up 1 game from my May 9-7 prediction) and a WC birth. Wilk, Mangold, Ivory* & Folk Pro Bowlers.
*I know I'm going crazy with the Ivory shit. Currently, he's 14th in the AFC in total yards BUT aside from Jamaal Charles, he's less than 200 yards away from Arian Foster who is #2 and killing my FF team.
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