Ryan responds to ex-Jet DE Gholston's slam: 'I think I'm fair'

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan defended himself Tuesday against critical comments by former Jets defensive end Vernon Gholston, who claimed he wsa never given a fair chance to succeed by Ryan or the Jets organization.

Gholston, drafted No. 6 overall in 2008, was cut by the Jets during the offseason after three underwhelming seasons in which he failed to record a single sack.

Now with Chicago, Gholston told reporters after Monday night's Giants-Bears game that "being a first-round pick, you would have hoped for more" of a chance.

"I'm confused because I think I'm fair; I think I'm more than fair," Ryan said Tuesday, according to The Star-Ledger. "I think I give plenty of opportunities. But if I wasn't viewed that way, then that's it, but again I'm comfortable being who I am."

Gholston said he felt that the Jets coach favored players who came to the Jets from Baltimore, where Ryan was defensive coordinator before taking the Jets' head coaching job.

"That could be accurate that I prejudged him," Ryan said. "But trust me, when I came here, I was his coach, he was one of us, and I became a Jet. Obviously, I evaluated Vernon when he came out of college; I wasn't as high on him as maybe others were. But when I got here, we were all in. I wanted Vernon to be successful; I'd still like him to be successful.

"I think he's a good kid. I don't care what he said about me, that's fine, but I think he's a fine young man and I wish him well."

In Ryan's book, released this spring, he didn't offer a favorable review of Gholston, writing: "He's a good athlete and a smart guy, but I thought he was a phony."

"I would have liked to have Vernon back because I thought he was getting better, I really did," Ryan said Tuesday. "Do I think he's ever going to be Deacon Jones? No."

In other Jets news, running back Shonn Greene's foot is ready for football again.

Greene missed the team's 27-7 win over Cincinnati on Sunday night because of an infection that caused his foot to swell last week. He said Tuesday the foot is feeling fine and he expects to play in the Jets' next preseason game against the Giants on Saturday night.

"I'm good to go," he said after the team's morning walkthrough.

Ryan also anticipates Greene playing Saturday. Greene, who'll be the starter this season, practiced for the first time since last Thursday as he went through individual and team drills.

The team initially called it a "low-grade skin infection," but Greene specified that a corn between two of his toes got infected. Greene was never concerned that the infection would be a serious condition that could affect his availability the rest of the preseason.

"I think it was just a media thing that everybody gets all hyped up about," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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