The Jets officially announced the return of guard Willie Colon, aka the bully from the Bronx, who agreed to a one-year deal that will pay him $2 million.
Colon is still recovering from a torn biceps injury he suffered at the end of the season last year and while he’s not the same player he was years ago, talent-wise, he brings an aggressive mentality and certain nastiness that was missing on the Jets line before he joined the team.
The Jets had talent on the offensive-line, but they were missing that mean streak that Colon brings. Colon’s attitude and brawler’s mentality brings up the energy level of his teammates and wears on and frustrates opponents. The Jets added another nasty brawler with the signing of right tackle Breno Giacomini and assuming Colon can return healthy he and Giacomini will form a devastatingly powerful right side of the line.
The Jets also hope that Brian Winters can add to that intensity as they drafted him because of his physical play. Winters struggled for most of last season, but he also missed a large chunk of training camp with an injury that clearly stunted his growth. If Winters can build on the way he ended last season and lock up the starting left guard position the Jets offensive-line will be the bullies on whatever block they are playing.
Former Jets linebacker Bart Scott told JetsInsider.com that he thinks Colon is an extremely important piece for the Jets offense, stating Colon brings a veteran presence and physical, aggressive style of play with a mean streak that they desperately needed. Scott said just as teams need playmakers on both sides of the ball, they also need brawlers to set the tempo and raise the bar for teammates both in games and in practice.
The market for free agent guards has dried up, but the Jets could certainly still draft a guard or two or look to sign another veteran if one of quality gets cuts during the next round of cuts. The Jets will also give William Campbell more reps in training camp and preseason to see how he is coming along in his transition from college defensive tackle to NFL offensive guard.
While Winters and Colon have to be penciled in as the starters for now, don’t rule out the possibility that changes during the next six months.