As the Jets headed into training camp, the biggest concerns on the offensive line were around the two openings at starting guard. While the Jets didn't draft a player in the first or second round, the team gained lots of depth through the team's free agent acquisitions and drafting.
Of that group, former Steeler Willie Colon is penciled in as a starting guard, but shared with Seth Walder of the Daily News that a year ago, it wouldn't have been easy to identify himself as such. But when asked about his role last week, Colon told Walder that he was "definitely" a guard for the Jets.
“I like guard. I don’t think I could have said that a year ago. I don’t think I would have opened my mouth to say it because I had so much pride. [...] I was kind of like ‘I’m a tackle,’” Colon told Walder last week at the team facility. “I’ve played against the best, dominated. But I like being inside.”
It's nothing that we didn't already expect, but it's good to hear Colon say it. Colon said when he came to the Jets back in March that he didn't want to classify himself, preferring to say that he could play tackle or guard. The Jets are set at the two starting offensive tackle spots, so with the Jets Colon can't be an upgrade at right tackle because of injury concerns. Howard had a good initial year in 2012, so a healthy Colon can be a much bigger help elsewhere.
Colon said it himself, there's more pride in playing at tackle, but at this point in his career playing guard is going to keep him on the field and he will stay healthier longer. With Brian Winters (who projects to start), Oday Aboushi, Vlad Ducasse, Stephen Peterman and the rest of the guys on the roster the Jets look to have a robust group of backups that might be able to be plugged in wherever they are needed. For the first time in two years, the Jets depth on the line could be a very good thing.