There were a couple of quotes from the conference call Willie Colon held with the media today that are worth picking up. The first is based on Michael Vick's visit which we covered earlier, and that's right here:
"Vick speaks for itself. His resume in itself is amazing," Colon said. "He is an outstanding athlete and what he can bring to the table in coach [Marty] Mornhinweg's offense [is impressive]. Obviously, they have that rapport, they have that relationship that was established in Philadelphia. It's all arrows up when it comes to that situation. Competition helps everybody. Bottom line, anytime you have two guys competing for the same spot, all it does is heighten the team's effort. It will play out how it is going to play out."
Another interesting note was when he was talking about Geno Smith and the offensive unit:
"Not only do I expect it, I think he has to be [better]," Colon said. "I think for us to be successful, [we can't have] the turnover struggles that we had. We have to be more efficient on first and second down. We have to be a more efficient offense all together, and that starts with the quarterback. I think he knows that. We understand that as a unit. I think he is going to do everything the entire offseason to get it going and to be a better quarterback."
Now pretty much everything he says there is on the money. You need to have or at least be close to a positive turnover ratio to be successful in the league. Geno was a rookie. I can't stress that enough. A lot of the time, he was making the right reads, but he just never had a rhythm with his receivers and that's a problem. However, with one season in the bag, a better receiver on board and a whole off-season to work with his receivers, we will see better results.
However, I really think he needs to point the finger at himself when it comes down to being more efficient on first and second down. 12 penalties were called on Colon last year, and 11 of them were accepted. 5 false starts, 4 offensive holding, 1 illegal block above the waist and one illegal use of the hands. If you want to be more efficient on first and second down, you can't be putting your offense back 5 or 10 yards to start the series. You just can't. 5 of those penalties came pre-snap. That's concentration, and for a veteran, that's just silly.
So while I agree with Colon - and he does specify that as a unit they need to be more efficient - and while a lot of it does start with the QB, it also rests on the veteran's shoulders to lead by example.