Thursday, August 19, 2010
Ryan thrilled to see fight in Gholston
By Tim Graham
Coaches have differing philosophies when it comes to training-camp fights.
Some such as former Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron or former New York Jets coach Eric Mangini abhor them.
Rex Ryan clearly subscribes to the Don King school of thought.
It was revealed on Wednesday night's episode of "Hard Knocks" that Mangini's successor orchestrated a fight to stoke defensive end Vernon Gholston at Jets camp.
"Sometimes you like to see if a guy will fight back," Ryan said. "Sometimes, that’s all a guy needs to know, that he can do it."
Ryan asked offensive lineman Rob Turner to tangle with Gholston in practice. Turner did, and Gholston peeled him from a scrum and tossed him to the ground.
"Guys have roles and an NFL fight is just something that’s good to see guys do," Ryan said. "You have to have that kind of warrior mentality, and sometimes you don’t know what other people see.
"We see that [Vernon Gholston] is a big, strong, physical person. But sometimes you don't visualize yourself that way. Now, I know Vernon sees it. Vernon's knocking people around."
Gholston was the sixth overall pick of the 2008 draft but he doesn't have a sack. He had trouble getting on the field as an outside linebacker, prompting Ryan to move him to defensive end. Ryan was pleased to see Gholston shoot up the middle and nearly record a sack in Monday night's preseason opener against the New York Giants.
"He beat a guard clean, head faking," Ryan said. "The beauty of what I'm seeing from Vernon is that you can play him inside; you can play him outside. He's so much more confident now with his pass rush. I'm excited about the way he's playing."
As for the fight, Turner wants a rematch.
"Rob will go at him in two seconds," Ryan said. "Even now, he's like, 'That wasn't even right! He pulled me off.' Rob would say 'Circle it up. Let's go again.' "