To people around the Chicago Bears organization, it appears that defensive end Vernon Gholtson, who the Bears picked up after the New York Jets released the former No. 6 overall pick, had his struggles in the Big Apple follow him to the Windy City.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Gholston hasn't made much of an impact so far with the Bears:
"The former Jets' first-round pick showed off little more than a chiseled physique during three weeks at Olivet Nazarene University."
On Monday night against the Giants, Nick Reed and Mario Addison—both undrafted free agents—came off the bench and saw the field before Gholston.
Gholston knows plenty about not making the most of his opportunities.
The sixth overall pick in 2008 out of Ohio State, Gholston was supposed to become a feared pass-rusher for the Jets in their 3-4 defense.
He struggled through his first season before the Jets hired Rex Ryan to be their head coach in 2009. Ryan tried Gholston at both linebacker and end, but by the end of the 2010 season, time was up on Gholston's time in New York. The Jets sent him packing on Mar. 2 without Gholston ever recording a single NFL sack.
He signed on with the Bears towards the end of July in an attempt to revive a career that all but died with Ryan at the helm.
Before Monday's game against the Jets, Gholston told the New York Post that he didn't feel he got a fair shot with Ryan in New York.
"Being a first-round pick, you would have hoped for more [of a chance]."
Now, Gholston has no excuses. As a free-agent pickup, he has the chance in Chicago that he felt he lacked in New York. He's also back in a 4-3 defense, which Gholston played at Ohio State, and his defensive line coach, Rod Marinelli, is one of the more respected line coaches in the game.
It should be a perfect situation for someone like Gholston to succeed, but it hasn't shown so far with the Bears. He's definitely on the roster bubble, and he could be sent packing again if he doesn't put something on tape during the last two preseason games.
Gholston certainly thinks he knows why it didn't work out in New York.
"Teams are always looking for talent, and to say I don't have talent is a far stretch," Gholston told the New York Post. "It's all about getting a fair shot and time in the system. With the Jets, it was constant position change and coaching change. There was no stability. I never really had that with the Jets."
Those were his excuses with the Jets. If he fails in Chicago, what's his next line?
It's put-up-or-shut-up time for Gholston over the next couple of weeks. His NFL career depends on it.