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Old 08-02-2006, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default Colon Looking Good in Camp

Colon proving his mettle
By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 2, 2006


No newcomer at Steelers camp has made a bigger impression than rookie offensive tackle Willie Colon.
"He's a hound," linebacker Clark Haggans said, "and it looks like he likes to hunt."

Haggans should know, because the two squared off in what became a bitter blocking drill during the afternoon session Wednesday at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

On one snap, the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Colon stopped an on-rushing Haggans in his tracks, prompting Haggans to rip Colon's helmet right off his head. The two began jawing.


The situation seemed certain to escalate -- these two had locked horns before -- until defensive line coach John Mitchell removed Haggans from the drill.

That didn't stop the trash talk. Colon blew Haggans a kiss and said, "All day."

Later, Colon said he wasn't about to back down.

"I refuse to be run over and punked, if you will, by anybody," said Colon, a fourth-round pick out of Division I-AA Hofstra. "If it's from Haggans or anybody, I won't allow it. The day you let that happen, then it's the snowball effect, and everybody wants a piece. I refuse to be the weakest link in anything.

"If it's Aaron (Smith), Clark, Joey (Porter), I have to make a stand and show them I'm worth a damn."

Weak isn't a word widely associated with Colon, who, according to several observers, has displayed a pit-bull mentality and some surprisingly quick feet during the opening days of camp.

As he told one reporter, "I hit them before they hit me. It worked in the streets (in a housing project in the Bronx), and it'll work here."

Coach Bill Cowher, though he didn't witness the skirmish, has taken notice of Colon.

"Willie's a tough kid, very proud, a very good competitor," Cowher said.

Cowher seemed pleased to hear of the battle with Haggans, saying, "That's what happens in the heat."

Haggans didn't mind, either.

"That was good stuff," he said. "It's nothing personal. Everybody out here is trying to compete and get better. You're not going to be happy-go-lucky out here in this heat with these pads on and sweating the way we do."

Colon still is getting used to his surroundings. He can scarcely believe he's getting a chance to win a roster spot with the defending Super Bowl champions, a franchise with a tradition of rugged and stellar offensive line play.

"Come on," he said. "This is the Pittsburgh Steelers, the best of the best. They produce Hall of Famers. They pride themselves on being tough, running the ball. I want to fit the mold, that's the bottom line. ... Every time I walk out that door, I'm like a mouse showing his head out of the hole. Every time I hear them calling 'Willie,' I look around for (running back) Willie Parker or (rookie receiver) Willie Reid.

"It's cool; I'm having fun."

Once things had cooled down on the field, Haggans walked past Colon, on the way to joining the first-team defense for a different drill, and said, "You still mad at me?"

"No," Colon said. "I love you."

"I love you, too," said Haggans, who turned to starting tackle Max Starks and said, "Max, tell him I love him."
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

Looks like the kid is getting off to a great start.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

Once things had cooled down on the field, Haggans walked past Colon, on the way to joining the first-team defense for a different drill, and said, "You still mad at me?"

"No," Colon said. "I love you."

"I love you, too," said Haggans, who turned to starting tackle Max Starks and said, "Max, tell him I love him."

Nice to see the kid also has a sense of humor..lol.
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

Thats great that the kid isnt showing any fear out there against our linebackers. Most people would. How nice would it be to see Willie knock Ray Lewis on his a$$...
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz05
How nice would it be to see Willie knock Ray Lewis on his a$$...
While I don't think you will see that this season, I think Colon will be a huge part of the line in years to come. Leave it up to Cowher and Co. to mold him, solidify him and plug him in the lineup in the future. I think he's going to very fun to watch for years to come.
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

No newcomer at Steelers camp has made a bigger impression than rookie offensive tackle Willie Colon.
"He's a hound," linebacker Clark Haggans said, "and it looks like he likes to hunt."


To gain immediate respect from a veteran like Clark is huge....good stuff
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

Man, thats exactly what you want from a lineman, if Tunch and Wolf read this, they'll be going nuts over this guy :)
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

kirwan and ryan are broadcasting from latrobe this morning. they said after haggans got stuffed, instead of taking a little break with the rest of the lb's he was on the side with his position coach doing extra work to figure out why he was getting stuffed. they commented on it being a classic case of a rookie helping a veteran get better and vice versa.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

"I refuse to be run over and punked, if you will, by anybody," said Colon, a fourth-round pick out of Division I-AA Hofstra. "If it's from Haggans or anybody, I won't allow it. The day you let that happen, then it's the snowball effect, and everybody wants a piece. I refuse to be the weakest link in anything.

What a great attitude! This young man is definitely well on his way to becoming yet another brute force on that line in the future. It's great to see our young guys not just talkin' the talk, but walkin' the walk.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Colon Looking Good in Camp

I went out on a limb earlier and said that I thought this kid was going to be special...good to see that he is living up to his potential. Thats what I love about out talent evaluaters...they see potential in the players out of smaller schools...I have draft magazines that dont even mention Colon at all!! (too many so called draft experts have the John Madden mentality of picking who they think are the best players based on how their teams do and who playes in the big bowl games)
Kudos to the Steelers for not buying into big school hype and just looking for work ethic and talent!!
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