This clip from the New York Jets edition of Hard Knocks is all you need to know about the efficacy of fighting and physical confrontations. Vernon Gholston was the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, a physical specimen who was, even then, derisively referred to as a "workout warrior." Gholston was in his third year with the Jets while Hard Knocks was shooting and he was converting from linebacker to defensive end because no one yet wanted to admit the top pick was a bust.
The idea, as the clip suggests, is that getting into a fight would be the final turning point for Gholston. The same sentiment has been bandied about in discussions on the Incognito-Martin story. It was reported the coaching staff wanted Incognito to toughen up Martin. It was suggested (by even his own GM) that Martin needed to settle this physically with Incognito, that that's how you solve a problem and move on. Rex and the Jets seemed to be thinking similarly, that if Gholston just let loose against someone he would morph into something other than a colossal disappointment.