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Old 05-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
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Default On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon
May 27, 2012 12:28 am
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...-colon-637780/
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For years, Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon heard the chatter about a position change. And, even though former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians repeatedly shot down the speculation, Colon knew someday he would be making the switch from right tackle to guard.

"I knew it was coming," Colon said. "You hear it enough, it's coming from somewhere."

Sure enough, after Arians was relieved of his duties and the team drafted highly regarded tackle prospect Mike Adams from Ohio State with their second pick last month, Colon received the phone call from new offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Effective immediately, Colon was starting at left guard.

"[The speculation] was always that I was a good tackle; they just figured I'd be a great guard," said Colon, a fourth-round draft pick from Hofstra in 2006. "I was never against it. All I asked was that if it happened, it happened now and not in August. They honored that."

This is the first time Colon has played guard at any level. He was strictly a tackle in high school and college and for his first six seasons as a professional. Not only is Colon moving from the right side of the line to the left, where different footwork is involved, but guards have to possess a more complete knowledge of the offense.

Tackles usually block defensive ends by themselves, or with assists from tight ends or fullbacks. They don't have to know much about the intricacies of the line's interior play. As a guard, Colon must have an ability to read linebackers and safeties. He must know what his center and the other guard are doing on every play because they work together on combination blocks. He'll have to react much more quickly and make more split-second decisions because he is playing closer to the ball.

Colon was able to work out the kinks in the first week of organized team activities last week. After each practice, he put in extra work with veteran lineman Trai Essex, who has played tackle, guard and center in the league over the past eight years.

"Physically, it won't be a problem," Essex said of Colon. "He already is a road-grader. That's his forte. That's who he is.

"The mental part will be challenging. This is a crucial time for him, and he's taking advantage of it. When he knows what he's doing, he moves anyone out of there. He'll be an asset to our offensive line at guard."

Colon also has been leaning heavily on All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey.

"Pouncey is a genius when it comes to the Xs and Os," Colon said. "Obviously, he's a stud on the field. I try to learn from him as fast as I can. He'll tell me different things on and off the field to help me pick it up faster. It's all about jelling. This is what OTAs are all about.

"When August comes, we're not having this conversation. We're just hitting the ground running. It's a great time for us to learn and get better."

Colon hasn't played much in recent seasons. He injured a triceps in the opener against Baltimore last year and was placed on injured reserve. In '10, he missed the entire season with an Achilles tendon injury.

Here's how much has changed in that time: The last time he played a full season, he was the young guy on a veteran line. Now. he'll be the elder statesman on a young line loaded with high draft picks.

Pouncey is entering his third season. First-round pick David DeCastro is expected to nail down the starting job at right guard in training camp. Marcus Gilbert is entering his second season after becoming the starting right tackle last season, and Adams is the likely starter at left tackle, unless Essex beats him out.

"I'm not a fan of what could be or potential," Colon said. "We have to be able to jell together and work together and do what we have to do to be a great line. We obviously have the potential, but, if we don't get it done, it doesn't mean anything."

Ray Fittipaldo: rfittipaldo@post-gazette.com and Twitter @rayfitt1.
First Published May 27, 2012 12:00 am
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

Pouncey says Colon can be great at guard
May, 25, 2012
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

The Steelers' Willie Colon isn't taking the move from tackle to guard personally. In his mind, the team sees him as a good tackle who can be a great guard.

Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey feels the same way and thinks Colon will thrive at his new spot at left guard.

"He’ll probably be one of the best guards in the league right now," Pouncey told The Fan in Pittsburgh, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "He’s working really hard on his technique right now, he’s a big guy to move guys out of there, and I’m happy he’s right there next to me.”

It's the right move because it gets the Steelers' best five linemen on the field at once. Plus, there is an advantage of having a veteran like Colon next to rookie second-round pick Mike Adams. With Colon's experience at tackle, he can be a mentor for Adams, who is expected to start at left tackle.

One reason why Pouncey thinks Colon will excel at guard is his mentality.

“Willie’s got that dog in him," Pouncey said. "He’s a go-getter. He’s definitely going to go out out there and fight every play.”
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

Odd how so many people speculated that a nasty blocker like Colon, who has shorter arms and height than you would like to see an OT have...........was not considered for guard sooner.

I mean, the crap he gets from fans about false starts at RT, is mostly caused by trying to get a jump on the speed rushers, because he was short with shorter arms. This is logically his best position to play at.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

I think it has more to do with circumstance than planning. He took over at RT because Starks got injured and then he just kept the job. Over the years he remained by far the best option at RT while he was healthy until this year. It's definitely not a coincidence that this is the year he finally gets moved.

There's also the fact that he never played guard before. I doubt he or the organization care much or pay much attention to what the fans say about his arm length. Then again, maybe his arms aren't so short after all.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Odd how so many people speculated that a nasty blocker like Colon, who has shorter arms and height than you would like to see an OT have...........was not considered for guard sooner.

I mean, the crap he gets from fans about false starts at RT, is mostly caused by trying to get a jump on the speed rushers, because he was short with shorter arms. This is logically his best position to play at.
i'm sure he was considered for guard before, but he was out best option at RT. we never been deep when it came to the tackle position, not for as long as I could remember
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

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Originally Posted by Dodens Grav View Post
I think it has more to do with circumstance than planning. He took over at RT because Starks got injured and then he just kept the job. Over the years he remained by far the best option at RT while he was healthy until this year. It's definitely not a coincidence that this is the year he finally gets moved.

There's also the fact that he never played guard before. I doubt he or the organization care much or pay much attention to what the fans say about his arm length. Then again, maybe his arms aren't so short after all.
Its not just arm length, but overall height and the ability to use that size to ride off speed rushers wide of your QB. Colon has always had the build that was better suited to OG than OT. Below is a scouting report of him from his draft year.

BIO: Three-year starter at offensive tackle named as both an All-Conference and All-America performer after his senior campaign.

POSITIVES: Wide-bodied blocker who plays with excellent fundamentals. Gets leverage on opponents, stays square and anchors at the point of attack. Effectively uses angles and outstanding positioning to seal blocks. Fights hard throughout the action and jolts opponents with good hand punch. Nasty, and gets movement from run blocks.

NEGATIVES: Not effective far off the line of scrimmage or in motion. Lacks top height and better off inside at guard.

ANALYSIS: A well-built lineman who has consistently improved, Colon performed well the past two seasons. A likely late-round choice, he could eventually develop into a starter at the next level.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...ers/47867.html
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

So what was Flozell Adams' problem with false starts? Perhaps neither situation had much if anything to do with their respective heights. Maybe sometimes they just false started. Michael Oher's .02m taller than Colon and weighs about the same, yet I never heard any clamoring for him to move to guard. It's sort of unfortunate that Colon gets moved now, because in hindsight it will diminish his value at RT in the minds of many. He'll never have gotten the chance to play on an above average line at his natural position, and thus will never get the recognition for it. It will always be "why did it take them so long to move him to guard" as though he wasn't a good tackle. That's of course assuming that the transition is successful to begin with.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

flozell was partially deaf, which means he couldnt always hear the cadence above the crowd noise. slight disadvantage..
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

And what about everybody else that has ever false started? Too fat? Too skinny? Too many burritos for lunch? Or maybe they were just a little anxious? Maybe Colon didn't false start more than normal?
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Guard duty not a hassle for Colon

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And what about everybody else that has ever false started? Too fat? Too skinny? Too many burritos for lunch? Or maybe they were just a little anxious? Maybe Colon didn't false start more than normal?
WHAAAA!

no need to act like a douchebag.

dont ask the question if you cant handle the answer, capiche?

Quote:
So what was Flozell Adams' problem with false starts?
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