The Importance of Bringing Back Willie Colon

Nov 17, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets guard Willie Colon (66) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 37-14. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of the early free agency frenzy, the signing of Eric Decker, and the failed attempts on other players, an important move was made by John Idzik. A move that, although essential, has fallen by the wayside among the other perceived problems of Idzik’s off-season.

That move? The re-signing of Willie Colon.

Yes, the move was made more important thanks to the defection of Austin Howard to Oakland to play for the Raiders. However, as great as it would have been to keep Howard, Idzik would have been out of his mind to match Oakland’s offer. Giving $15 million to a right tackle, that is on his way up but not there yet, is crazy. That being said, it’s a great opportunity for Howard and we wish him the best.

So, bringing in Colon became that much more important. Why? Continuity. Willie talked about that when he spoke to the media this week:

It’s huge. I think you can’t really talk enough about it, (having) the trust, the awareness, the ability to believe in each other. To understand each other and how each guy works. All of that takes time and that does not necessarily happen over just one year. For me to come back, and for us to have four guys that played together last year and obviously bringing a new guy in and we have to bring him along from the standpoint of we can all just gel and make it work it makes everything better. If we are able to do what we need to do (with) running the ball and pass blocking and setting the tone it just drives the chain. That is what we are all about, making the team better. We have a lot of guys in that room with a lot of experience and pride. I am extremely proud to be a part of it.

Let’s talk about offensive line continuity. We have said it before, but it will always be worth repeating. Play on offense starts and ends with the offensive line. If the offensive line is playing well, the offense will. If not, it won’t.

The best way to get it done is to keep as much continuity as possible. Why? Take a look at a running play with me, from week one of 2013:

Colon is in the circle, the other linemen around him have their direction indicated by an arrow.  Take in the enormity of it.  Not only does Willie need to know his assignment, he needs to know the guys next to him as well.  When will Vladimir Ducasse block down his way?  What is Nick Mangold?  How do I have to hold up my guy while Austin Howard blocks on the next level?

Each lineman has to know what the other guys are doing in order to execute a play.  There is no better way to get that done, more effectively, than to have the same guys running the plays from year to year.  Bringing along a replacement for Austin Howard will be rough enough.  An entire right side of the line would have been far worse.

Willie Colon also brings a nasty attitude along with him, the kind of attitude that coach Ryan loves in football players.  He showed his true colors in the scuffle against the Patriots while he was “defending his brothers”.  You need more guys like Willie Colon on your football team.

As the Jets move ahead in their development, look at this move as an under the radar one.  But it will be one that is vital to the team progressing to where they want to go.  And where we want them to go.

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  • AC

    Definitely huge to bring back Colon. Obviously none of us know how bad his injury is bothering him but there is a long way to go until September, and there are too many other holes to fill. Spending that kind of money on Howard would have been foolish, unless 7 years from now he ends up a hall of famer. We have no idea, the guy is on the way up (or down) so it would have been a gamble and it seems like Idzik is first and foremost a risk/reward kind of guy. Not sure if that goes along well with letting every worth CB in the free market go elsewhere, but hey, you might as well add another hole. Ok, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until 2016. Decker was great risk/reward. As much as I hate Vick, that could be a good risk/reward situation on the field at least. I would really hate to see us lose any of our top 3 draft picks to get a corner though, and now that seems like its the only way we avoid a Milliner/Kyle Wilson duo opening Sunday.

    • Paul Newbold

      If things remain the same at the corner position, you will likely see Walls opposite Milliner. Wilson was a disaster on the outside, and is much better in the slot. That doesn’t thrill me either…hoping for a veteran CB off the wire between now and camp!

    • Alan Schechter

      I hope you are wrong about that AC, that John has another trick up his sleeve.

  • Paul Newbold

    I hated to loose Howard for the same reason, continuity. Yeah the price was high, but he was also younger and more athletic then Colon. Giacomini was a decent signing, it wasn’t really an upgrade at the position however. I’d like to see them pick up a guard early in the draft, our line is aging and there is still the question about whether Colon will be healthy enough to start the opener, and whether Ciacomini can play the full season. The Jets may or may not have gotten better along the offensive line……time will tell,

    • Alan Schechter

      I hated to lose Howard too, but that money was just too much. You are right, time will tell if these moves improve the group or not.