It's too soon to call Vernon Gholston a bust. Plenty of players have struggled as rookies and gone on to have successful careers. Struggling would almost be a compliment to the largely invisible Gholston, who was inactive for one second half game, but he's got the perfect chance to change things for the better.
Rex Ryan and new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine both spent time talking about Gholston at their introductory press conferences and both expressed a belief that he can thrive in their system. Ryan compared him to Terrell Suggs, a terrific pass rusher with the Ravens, and Pettine said he had all the tools to be successful.
They both also said that he has a mountain of work in front of him, however, and that he would need to really open himself up to being coached. Ryan was particularly blunt about Gholston's future.
"We hope he can be a great player," Ryan said. "A lot of us aren't sure, but we're going to find out. If he can't do it for me and for this team, he's never going to do it."
That sounds about right. Gholston was drafted because of his ability to rush the passer and pressure the offense. Ryan's defense is all about attacking, something that should suit Gholston to a T. If he isn't able to become a productive player in that system, he'll probably never become a productive player. By this time next year, we'll know if Gholston is a bust or not.