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Willie Colon Counsels Respect for Steelers

Posted Oct 9, 2013

From the moment he was drafted seven years ago to the day he was cut seven months ago, Willie Colon wore his Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold uniform proudly.

He fondly recalls the family atmosphere, the passion, the fans, the Super Bowls — “The list goes on and on,” he said. But don’t let that fool you. Come Sunday, it’ll be just another game.

“I’m not going into this game snot bubbling and tears running down my face,” the eighth-year veteran guard said. “I think people expect me to come out of the locker room yelling and screaming. That ain’t happening.

"These are the Pittsburgh Steelers and I’ve got a lot of respect for this organization for what they gave me and the memories in my career, but at the same time, it’s Week 6, they’re our opponent, and we’ll respect them accordingly and go to work.”

Respecting them accordingly will require the Jets to overlook Pittsburgh’s 0-4 start to the season.

They’re no joke, Colon said, and with QB Ben Roethlisberger on offense, S Troy Polamalu on defense and Mike Tomlin leading the coaching staff, there’s still a lot to fear.

Where some might see a winless team, Willie Colon sees a team desperate for a win.

“Coming off a bye week,” he said, “they’re kind of like ‘All right, we’ve laid an egg. Let’s start our season again.’ Knowing how those guys think, they’re going to be ready to go.”

“They’ve had two weeks to prepare for us,” head coach Rex Ryan said on a conference call yesterday. “We’re coming off a short week so we know we have to get on top of them immediately as far as our preparation goes. I like the fact we’re at least playing at home."

Home has been good to the Jets this season, where they’ve won two games and lost none. Counting preseason, they’re 5-0 at MetLife Stadium in 2013.

On the flip side, however, the pattern en route to our 3-2 record has been to alternate between winning and losing games. That’s a trend that has to stop in order for the Green & White to achieve their playoff aspirations, and it can, Colon said, if the 53 men in the locker room “start walking with a bigger swagger.”

“We don’t have to win one and take a step back,” he said. “Good teams start stacking wins. Why not against Pittsburgh?”

As a member of the Super Bowl XLIII championship team, Colon has earned the right to talk about what it takes to win in the National Football League. He’s won wearing black and gold. Now, his task is to win wearing green and white.

“That city gave me a lot. I gave that city a lot,” he said of his time in Pittsburgh. “It’s a new chapter, I’m a Jet, and I ain’t looking back.”

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