Will Gholston Developing NicelyDecember 8th, 2013
Last spring the one player that intrigued Joe more than any other draft pick was defensive lineman Will Gholston out of Michigan State (Sparty has had a good weekend, huh?). Gholston was raw, had loads of talent, but needed that talent honed and manicured and sanded.
Joe thinks he can say few rookies have risen as far as Gholston. He was so invisible during preseason games and mired with the third team in training camp practices, Joe was afraid for Gholston that he wasn’t going to make it to the final cut of 53 men.
Alas he did. And for much of the season Gholston has been on the inactive list, but the past few weeks he has risen to be a designated pass rusher of sorts, beginning with the Monday Night Football game against the Dolphins.
Today, Gholston awarded coaches for their faith in him by racking up a sack and a half, with two tackles and two assists in sparse duty before he got dinged up and had to leave late in the game.
Here is what Bucs commander Greg Schiano said about Gholston last week leading up to the game with the bungling Bills.
“Versatility does help him, because he can play five-technique, three-technique, he plays in the sub package,” Schiano said. “Will Gholston is a big man, he’s a strong man, he plays hard, he can run. He’s got all the physical attributes you look for. We’re kind of just shoving him out there – ‘Let’s go,’ you know? There’s no better way to learn than under the fire. He’s responding as well. You don’t keep doing that if he doesn’t respond.”
Here is what Schiano had to say about Gholston’s play Sunday:
“We talked about that during the week, that we just keep putting him out there because, as we give him more, he performs a little bit better,” Schiano said. “You’ve got to earn that chance, and we think that he’s earning it, so we’re going to keep pushing him out there. Now, I can’t tell you without watching the tape how he did performing his job, but the production you see; I guess he had a sack or two, right? I saw the one play he was chasing after the quarterback full-speed, and laid out. That’s the kind of effort we’re looking for. We’ve talked about it – he’s got the physical make-up. You’ve got to remember, he came out [of college] as a junior, so this is a young kid playing in the National Football League. He’s only going to get better, so we’ve got to just keep moving him forward.”
Gholston, who was unavailable after the game, has seen a lot of football in the past four years. He was recruited to Michigan State as a linebacker, mostly an edge rusher, and played some middle linebacker. But he sort of grew, body-wise, out of linebacker and into a defensive lineman.
“Adjustment? It was a fun transition,” Gholston said of going from a freshman linebacker to an NFL defensive tackle in such a short time. “I learned a lot.
“I am just happy to contribute. I don’t complain at all. I just want to get out there. Once I get out there more and get more confidence, maybe I can play more. I just want to contribute to the team.”