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New York Jets: Right Guard Is Right for Willie Colon


There is one story that could have a significant impact on the 2013 Jets that has not gotten much attention. The Jets signed Willie Colon to play guard back in March. It was not clear at the time on which side he would play. Initially, many assumed he would play left guard, which is where he played last year in Pittsburgh. Now there are reports Colon might find a home at right guard. If Colon's personal Twitter page is to be believed, he will be playing on the right side of the line.

This seems like the right move for a two reasons.

Reason one:

Austin Howard was better than Wayne Hunter at right tackle. He gets a good push in the run game when he can lock onto a defender. He is, however, a limited athlete. Pass protection is always going to be a challenge for him. It was not pretty watching Howard pass blocks during stretches in 2012. The steady play of Brandon Moore next to him was probably one of the biggest reasons he survived. Having Moore anchor his left side and help out when needed was a major help. Colon is going to be the steadier of the two guards. The starter opposite Colon will either be Brian Winters, a third round rookie or Stephen Peterman, who is frankly one of the worst guards in the league. It just would not be a good idea to have the two weakest linemen playing next to each other. It is better to have Colon protecting Howard while the other guard can be protected to an extent playing between Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

Reason two:

This alignment minimizes the weaknesses in the line as much as possible, but it also creates a strength. Mangold, Colon, and Howard are probably the three strongest run blockers. Putting them all in a row gives the Jets an area where they can run with the greatest success. Given the quarterback and receiver situation, this team is going to have to be very effective running the football to have success. There will be no arrangement of linemen stronger than the right side of this line for the Jets.

So I think Colon on the right side is the best move. Colon has ended three straights seasons on IR, though, so this is hopefully not counting the Jets' chickens before they have hatched. A healthy Colon is even more important than the spot he occupies when healthy.