When former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Willie Colon signed with the New York Jets back in March, he let the local media know that while he didn't have any ill-feelings toward his former team, he did have "big ass chip" on his shoulder. Colon, who will face the Steelers Sunday, told the media Wednesday that it will be just another game for him.
"I’m not going into this game snot bubbling and tears running down my face," the Hofstra product said. "I think people expect me to come out of the locker room yelling and screaming. That ain’t happening.
"These are the Pittsburgh Steelers and I’ve got a lot of respect for this organization for what they gave me and the memories in my career, but at the same time, it’s Week 6, they’re our opponent, and we’ll respect them accordingly and go to work."
Colon, who missed 36 games over the course of his last three seasons with the Steelers, was scheduled to earn $5.5 million in 2013. That number along with his injury history is what ultimately led to his release.
Colon made the move from right tackle to left guard during his final season in Pittsburgh and is now playing right guard for the Jets. It seems to be a position that fits him well, especially in the pass blocking department, as he hasn't allowed a single sack so far this season.
During his Wednesday conference call with the Pittsburgh media, Jets head coach Rex Ryan was asked to talk about the impact that Colon has had on his new team.
"Oh my goodness, absolutely tremendous," said Ryan. "Don’t think for a second – Mike Tomlin knows Willie Colon – and everybody knows this is a tough man. You guys know it as well as I do. He’s great in the locker room. He’s brought so much leadership to us and is still just doing a tremendous job for us as well.
"He had his best game of the season this past week and he has done a great job as a player, but I’m really proud of the contributions he has made for our football team. He is quite a leader, probably one of our biggest leaders on the offensive side."
Colon is still as nasty as they come and that seems to be an element that is now lacking in the Steelers current offensive line. The Jets offensive line, however, certainly seems to be getting nastier by the week with Colon now onboard.
"When I came here, I had an opportunity to kind of bring that spark, to not have a back-down mentality, to let them know that, 'Hey, we don’t have to take crap from nobody.' We’re going to take every team on one at a time, and we’re going to do this together. Those guys are starting to buy into it, and it’s working out so far. We’ve still got a ways to go, and they know and we all know it. We’re getting closer week-by-week."
At 3-2, the Jets are indeed a lot closer than the 0-4 Steelers are.