SoFlaJets Posted July 6, 2009 Share Posted July 6, 2009 The Effects of Loosing Pace... By Ronnie Shumake As of late last week, the NFL has suspended Calvin Pace for the first four games of this season without pay for violation of the NFL Policy on Performing Enhancing Substances. This is the chance for last year's number one pick Vernon Gholston to make a name and perhaps a career for himself. Taken number six overall last year, Gholston played little and made even less of an impact. He missed most of the early team activities in June and many feel that hampered his development. He is a player with a tremendous upside and the entire staff feels that he will be a breakout star in the league. This year, he has spent almost as much time around the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center as the very walls of the facility. He has shown an incredible amount of dedication to extra weight and film sessions while many others are away until training camp. This is the type of attitude off of the field that produces winners on the field. With David Harris, Bryan Thomas and Rex Ryan import Bart Scott alongside him providing the experience, he will surely have a chance to shine. From the sound of the staff, they will put him in position to succeed with his natural abilities. "What we've done a good job of doing is identifying what a guy can do and let him do that," said defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. "Let's turn him loose and let him play to his strengths. At the same time we're working on what he might be deficient in. A guy like Vernon, we're going to find out early what he can do. I think a big part with him is getting him some confidence early." This is a far cry from the prior staff's mentality that the players must plug into the system rather than putting a system in that plays up to the players strengths. I love the things that he has been saying so far this year. Earlier this spring, he said to reporters "It's been huge, just my growth as a player and within this defense, I've actually been able to go through the installs, be a part of the OTAs and kind of grasp all the things I missed last year." This is a sign of someone who is ready to grow and not only take on, but also handle increased responsibility. The schedule will not be easy for those first four games with the opener in Houston, home for two against New England and Tennessee and then down to New Orleans. There are many question marks surrounding the team this year and this news of Pace's suspension makes it seem harder for them to have any success. I actually prefer that he is suspended for the first four games rather than the league allowing him to play and then serve the suspension after the season starts. This is far better for the team overall in my opinion. They will go into the pre-season with this knowledge and give increased reps to the players behind Pace, thus strengthening the depth overall at the linebacker position. This is going to have an even greater impact on Gholston who will now get all first team playing time in pre-season. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. The culture and mentality of this team under Rex Ryan will take this and treat it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. The fifth week of the season will be when Pace is eligible to return. Let's hope that at minimum, Gholston plays well and makes it a return that can be a slow one. If he plays "lights out", then I suspect that this team will shock many this year. http://mvn.com/the****pit/2009/07/the-effects-of-loosing-pace.html Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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