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Pace, Colon Both Happy to Be ‘Staying Home’

Posted Mar 19, 2014

Transcripts of Conference Calls with Jets’ Just Re-Signed Veteran Linemen

LB CALVIN PACE

On if he was set on returning to the Jets…

It was a smooth process. I knew where I wanted to be. The fact of the matter is, there is not going to be a whole lot of interest in a 33-year-old player, that’s just the way things are these days. And I’m fine with that. I’m blessed to be where I want to be, stay where I want to stay. So, all the other teams, that was never really an option for me, and again, I ended up where I wanted to end up, with the Jets, so I’m happy.

On if other teams showed interest…

A couple, a couple here and there. These days for me, interest just means coming in, one-year deal, stuff like that. I wasn’t interested in that, really wasn’t interested in having to learn a new system, go to a whole new organization. I listened to it, I entertained it, but again, it wasn’t a situation where there was a chance of me going somewhere else. I ended up, again, where I wanted to be, so I’m happy.

On if the current state of the Jets cornerbacks is alarming to him…

Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong, we have some players on the roster that still can go out and get the job done, in Kyle Wilson and obviously Dee [Milliner] is still there. Sad to see Cro [Antonio Cromartie] leave, but in the business that we’re in, it’s going to happen eventually. Hopefully we can get him back, I hope that’s still in the plans. I’ve been kind of paying attention to what’s going on. I know they had [Dominique] Rodgers-Cromartie in and that didn’t work out.

You just have to be patient, as a player, and hopefully the fans can be patient and know that there is a plan, there’s a method to this madness of free agency. It’s just about trying to figure out, I think, who works best for what we’re trying to get done. I’m pretty sure it has to be cost-effective, for both sides, as well. It’s just a patient game that we have to play and trust in John [Idzik] and I’m pretty sure that he’ll get everything handled correctly.

On Darrelle Revis signing with the Patriots…

That wasn’t a place that I thought he would ever go play. I don’t know what teams were truly interested in trying to pay for Darrelle’s services, but it’s interesting. Having the opportunity to play with Revis and then he leaves, and that’s the last place that I would ever expect him to go play. But it’s a good situation for him to go up there. I think last year, I didn’t expect Tampa to have that season. Losing, it weighs on everybody. I wish him the best, except for two times a year [laughing].

On if he was surprised the Jets didn’t try to bring Revis back…

I don’t know. I don’t know the whole scope of everything, if it was even under consideration, if it was a cost thing, I just don’t know. I’m sure every team talked about bringing him in, but was it really a realistic thing that could happen? That, I don’t know. I’m probably not the right guy to ask that. I just don’t know.

G WILLIE COLON

On his feelings on being back with the Jets…

I’m happy to be home. I always wanted to be back with the Jets. It’s unfortunate that I got hurt. There was a time I really didn’t know what would happen, especially with me getting hurt again. But it kind of worked out in my favor, so I am happy to be home.

On his rehab process…

From what I understand, we are talking about May or June, being back on the field doing football stuff, then obviously by June I'll be full go. So it’s obviously about being smart about it. My rehab is going really well, things are going really well, and all thumbs are up. So I’m being smart about it, taking my time, rebuilding it and getting ready for training camp.

On entering free agency with an injury…

I was heartbroken because I knew what it meant, especially going through this free agency time, the biggest knock on me was my injury history and for it to happen again, it was definitely a blow and I knew it was going to hurt me when it came to free agency. It did to a certain degree. A lot of teams were interested in me and some, for the most part, were very cautious because of the injuries history. At the end of the day, it is what it is. For me to be back home with the Jets was ultimately where I wanted to be, so it worked out.

On if he spoke with other teams…

When the market opened up it was Atlanta and Minnesota that were interested and they kind of backed off the table. Everything else was sort of wish-wash so to speak. There were rumors about other teams, but nothing was really solid on the table.

On when the Jets reached out to his agent…

Pretty much two weeks ago, around combine time, they expressed interest. Obviously they wanted me to stay, I wanted to stay. I wanted to be back with Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] and Nick [Mangold]. Obviously it’s tough to lose Austin [Howard], I wish we could have kept him, but the guy we have now [Breno Giacomini] I heard is pretty legit. It was just about being back with the guys and being with the team. I have a lot of hopes for us and I know we are a team on the rise. It was important to be back home, be with the guys and once talks started it was just a matter of getting it done.

On if he has spoken with Howard…

We’ve chatted via text a couple of times. It was a hard decision for him; we all considered each other brothers, we all play for each other. I felt like it was a move that any time $15 million is on the table for an offensive lineman and it’s guaranteed, you’ve got to take it. That’s life-changing money. He understands it, everyone understands it. So we wish him the best of luck.

On Rex Ryan returning in 2014…

I felt it was important. The team backs Rex. I back Rex. I think I felt like with the way we were coming along, the way we finished the season, obviously we are all in it together. I think if he was to leave it would kind of set us back, from the standpoint that we would have to grow a rapport, we would have to kind of see what a new coach brings to the table.

All of that takes time, the continuity, the chemistry, the trust and belief in a new coach. All of that takes time, that is not something that happens overnight. I feel like we all have those beliefs in Rex. I feel like he is homegrown, he has New York roots. Obviously, his father coached here. It’s from the standpoint that we believe in Rex and Rex believes in us and we wanted him to stay on the train with us.

On what he saw from Geno Smith at the end of the season…

I think the way he started the season and how he finished the season — two different people. I feel like toward the end of the season he started to trust his legs, he started to trust his decisions as far as with the football. It seems like he started letting the game come to him.

I think early in the season, he was making rookie mistakes, was trying to figure it out and probably put a lot of pressure on himself to try and make things go. I think toward the end of the season he just kind of let it rip. He seemed more fluid, he seemed more open, and it all worked out for us. Geno is a young guy. I know he is extremely proud so he is going to figure it out, he is going to work hard. Our job up front is to keep him clean and make sure he has the time to do his job, especially efficiently.

On how much improvement he expects out of Smith in his second season…

Not only do I expect it, I think he has to be. I think for us to be successful, 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 altogether 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. I know he is extremely competitive and excited for the new year.

On the report that Michael Vick is visiting the Jets…

Vick speaks for itself. His résumé in itself is amazing. He is an outstanding athlete and what he can bring to the table in Coach Mornhinweg’s offense, obviously they have that rapport, they have that relationship that was established in Philadelphia. It is 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.

On how important it is to have continuity on the offensive line…

It’s huge. I think you can’t really talk enough about it — the trust, the awareness, the ability to believe in each other, to understand each other and how each guy works. All of that takes time and that does not necessarily happen over just one year. For me to come back, and for us to have four guys that played together last year and obviously bringing a new guy in and we have to bring him along from the standpoint of we can all just jell and make it work, it makes everything better.

If we are able to do what we need to do running the ball and pass-blocking and setting the tone, it just drives the chain. That is what we are all about, making the team better. We have a lot of guys in that room with a lot of experience and pride. I am extremely proud to be a part of it.

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