It's arguable that the most important unit is the offensive line. Without it, you can't run the ball or have time to pass. The Jets had one of the best OL's in 2009 and 2010, which was why the running game was so good. In recent years, it has struggled with the likes of Hunter and Slauson seeing major playing time. Both are now gone, but so is stalwart Brandon Moore who was the longest tenured Jet and one of the best rated OG's in the game. Replacing Moore is no easy task.
The guy replacing him almost directly is Colon. Assuming he plays RG, which has been discussed by John B as probable and the smart move. That being said Willie Colon is a major key to our success in 2013.
The biggest knock on Colon is his inability to stay healthy the last few years. He tore his triceps in 2011 and played only a game that year. Last year he played only a dozen games and missed four. If he does stay healthy, he has all the skill, physical ability and technique to be effective. However, he must stay healthy for a full season to be any good to the Jets. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened in three years. It goes without saying that a lot is riding on his ability to say healthy for the 2013 season.
He may not have to step up in the traditional sense though. Colon (barring injury) should be able to step into the line and not be a liability. Even better, he may be a strength on the line unlike Slauson. Replacing a Brandon Moore isn't an easy task, but the good news is that Colon won't be a huge downgrade He was ranked in the top third of OG before his injuries so if he's healthy expect him to be a force. If he manages to stay healthy and his skill doesn't suddenly decline, expect him to be able to be a secondary anchor next to Mangold.
So why is he such a key to success in 2013? Well because behind him are rookies or a guy that ranks as one of the worst OG in the game. Oh and king ugly. Basically, we're left with a bunch of unknown rookies or known liabilities on the line. As I said the key to any offense is a OL that protects the QB and can create a push for the running game. Taking out Colon and subbing in a Peterman, Ducasse, or a rookie would make the line weaker and have a huge liability. That's a huge problem if the Jets want to have any sucess in 2013. Colon is a strength on the Jets o-line that has a lot of strengths at center and LT but also two spots of weakness or uncertainty.
Willie Colon, you don't have to step up, but you do have to say healthy. That and not have your skills fall of a cliff. Otherwise the QB and RB for us during the regular season (whoever it is) will have to be mobile and create. It really is up to Colon, otherwise there won't be much success in 2013 on the OL.