Bent, TheJetsBlog.comIt’s always difficult to evaluate interior line play, as you often don’t notice the contributions being made between the tackles unless you’re paying close attention. An interior lineman might stand out because they’ve made an obvious mistake or because the announcer specifically made note of their contributions on a particular play, but this doesn’t always give an accurate reflection of how they’ve performed over the course of the game as a whole.
Willie Colon is an interesting case and evaluations of how he performed during the 2013 season seem to cover a wide spectrum. Since Colon was so media-accessible all year, could this influence how the media portrays his performance as we suspect may have been the case for some outspoken offensive linemen in previous years? Also, now that there are detailed analytics widely available, will some people use these as a crutch or temper their own pre-conceived notions so they don’t differ too dramatically from those ratings or will they place his performance within the correct context?
The Jets face a decision on Colon, who started every game at right guard, but suffered a torn right biceps in the final game of the season, an injury with an estimated recovery time of four months. He was only on a one-year deal with the team, so will be an unrestricted free agent who is likely to still be injured when the 2014 league year gets underway. However, he did express a strong desire for Rex Ryan to return as coach in December that would suggest he too was anticipating being back.
After the jump, a collection of quotes from bloggers and beat writers analyzing Colon’s performance during the 2013 season. For context, Pro Football Focus ranked him 36th out of 81 NFL guards. He was 4th in terms of pass protection but just 59th in terms of run blocking. Colon was also among the league leaders in terms of penalties.
The Jets have issues at both guard positions: Willie Colon, who was mediocre at right guard, is a free agent, and tore his biceps at the end of the year. – Seth Walder, NY Daily News
Colon wasn’t perfect but was effective. Would be wise to re-up the veteran and perhaps draft his replacement this season. – Kristian Dyer, Metro
Colon was fine for the Jets in 2013 and while the Jets might bring him back as camp insurance in 2014, between him and rookie Brian Winters it was a rough go for the Jets. – Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog
…already asserted himself as a leader in the Jets locker room after spending just one year with the team. He’s also been solid this season, and I’m sure the Jets have appreciated his experience and excellent pass protection. Colon has done a great job of keeping Geno Smith’s pocket clean, even though fellow guard Vladimir Ducasse and Brian Winters have struggled mightily in that regard this season. – NFLSpinZone
Four of the five main offensive linemen—D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Willie Colon, Austin Howard—all graded out around the league average, according to Pro Football Focus’s cumulative grades. – Dom Cosentino, Star Ledger
Colon was signed to a one year contract this offseason to fill the right guard position, and he proved to be a very solid pickup. Colon has become a leader in the locker room, and he was a very good run blocker all year. He had his typical struggles with penalties, but overall the Jets were very pleased with his performance. – Greg Sulik, Rant Sports
Colon had a good year for the Jets – John B, GangGreenNation
Considering the contract they got him on, a productive, consistent season for Colon who brings a needed attitude to the Jets offensive line. – Joe Caporoso, Turn on the Jets
Colon had a decent season for the Jets, but he came to the team with injury concerns – Brian Costello, New York Post
Colon, who signed a one-year contract last offseason, was a solid pick-up for the Jets. He started 16 games and graded out well, especially as a run blocker. – Rich Cimini, ESPN
How would you summarize Colon’s performance this year and would you like the Jets to bring him back? Let us know in the comments.