By Glenn Naughton
New York Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon sent out this tweet today in letting Jets fans know that he’ll be back in green and white for the 2015 season.
— Willie Colon (@willcolon66) March 12, 2015
The local product from the Bronx who attended Rutgers University will be entering his ninth NFL season and third with the Jets.
While Colon struggled with penalties last season as the Jets starting right guard, his leadership and locker room presence have always been recognized by coaches and media alike. The big man has also been applauded for his work within the community. Even with that being the case, fans are more concerned with his on-field performance.
In sixteen starts this past season, according to PFF.com, Colon’s run blocking was uncharacteristically poor but that still didn’t stop the Jets from finishing third in the NFL with 142.5 yards per game while averaging 4.5 YPC, good enough for a fifth place tie.
Despite allowing just one sack in pass protection, the former Pittsburgh Steelers fourth round selection did allow 20 quarterback hurries tying him for tenth among NFL guards who played at least 700 snaps. Even still, quarterback Geno Smith averaged more time from snap to throw than any QB in the NFL, so as a unit the protection was better than many may realize, with Colon earning the highest grade among Jets linemen.
Colon’s return creates a log jam at the guard position that should mean a training camp completion to determine the eventual starters. Having signed Seahawks free agent James Carpenter along with last year’s starters at LG in Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi, second year man Dakota Dozier rounds out a group that will hopefully take a step forward in 2015.