Vernon Gholston had no idea he was starting last week against Detroit until Rex Ryan tapped him on the shoulder before the kickoff and told him he was going in.
"All right coach, I'm going in," Gholston said.
It wasn't the first game he had started, but it was the first this year and Ryan said on Thursday that Gholston can expect to get more playing time.
"I know he never was on the stat board, but he had some great 'knock them backs' in there," Ryan said. "They couldn’t run the ball when he was in there I thought he did a decent job rushing the passer. Vernon is a good football player. He’s a big contributor to our defense and you’re going to see it this week -- probably moreso than you have all season."
Gholston was the No. 6 overall pick of the 2008 draft, picked by Cleveland coach Eric Mangini when he was with the Jets. Mangini moved him from defensive end to outside linebacker, a transition that never seemed to fit Gholston. Given his high pick and expensive contract, Gholston has been more of a project than the Jets would have liked.
"I think he’s been playing better," Ryan said. "I think he earns the right to play more."