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Guard Thread: Faneca to Colon to Winters

Posted by Randy Lange on June 17, 2013 – 4:35 pm

Updated, 6:25 p.m. ET

Time distortion is an Einsteinian thing. But it can be an NFL-ish phenomenon as well.

How long ago was it that Alan Faneca started at left guard for the Jets? Three centuries ago? Three decades? Of course it was only 3½ seasons ago that the perennial Pro Bowler started his last game in green and white, in the 2009 AFC Championship Game at Indianapolis.

Yet a sturdy thread stretches from Faneca through the Jets’ current free-for-all at both guard spots heading toward the coming season.

Before Faneca became a Jet in ’08, he was a Pittsburgh Steeler. And before Willie Colon became a candidate to claim one of the Jets’ starting guard jobs in ’13, he too was a Steeler. Needless to say, he and Faneca were black-and-gold-tight.

“I know Alan really well and I know a lot about him. Back then, I was always tugging on him and Jeff Hartings for knowledge,” said Colon, the Bronx native who’s returned home after spending his first seven pro seasons with Pittsburgh. “And I think the biggest for any guy who’s still around, still able to play the game, is the sense of urgency — you can only play this game for so long.”

“If you care about the game, if you care about the team, the worst thing you can do is not share information with the guys that are coming up.”

Faneca made such an impact on Colon that choosing a uniform number as a Jet was easy. His 74 with the Steelers has been claimed since 2006, when a rookie named Nick Mangold came to the Jets.

“When I got here, it was a question of which number did I want, 75 or 66?” Colon said. It took him a little longer than a blink of an eye decide on 66, which was the number Faneca made famous as a Steeler and for his two years as a Jet.

“I felt where I wanted to be, where I wanted to finish my career is on the same level that Alan finished his career,” he said. “I thought it would only be right to honor him and his number, show respect, and play my tail off like he did.”

Yet while Colon is doing that, he’ll be extending the thread to young men on the Jets’ O-line such as third-round rookie guard Brian Winters.

“Alan and Jeff, those guys did that for me. They saw I had a lot of upside. They paid attention to me, they cared about me,” he said. “And when I messed up or I wasn’t on my game, they were there for me to lean on and also to give me help and tools that made me a better ballplayer. So it’s only right that I can do that for Winters or Austin Howard or anybody that’s coming in that has a fair shot of being an impact player on this team.”

Winters appreciates the help and, as young as he is — he turns 22 next month — appreciates getting it from something of an idol of his, and possibly extending this thread even farther into the Jets’ future.

“I remember growing up and watching Willie play for the Steelers,” said Winters, who grew up in northern Ohio outside of Cleveland and not far from Pittsburgh. “My stepmom was a big Steelers fan, and I was from a Browns background, so watching him was great. I love the way he played the game.

“And to come in here and him kind of taking me under his wing is awesome. The coaches are there to help me, but when there’s specific things for that position that he can see, he teaches me and helps me on that. He doesn’t have to do that, but he wants to make me a better player.”

Colon said he’s impressed and inspired by Winters’ attitude.

“I remember not too long ago I was in his shoes and I just wanted to make it and I just wanted to fight and I just wanted to be out there and have a chance to crack the lineup,” he said. “And he’s right now in that position. I won’t be surprised if somehow he cracks that lineup. He’s extremely athletic and he has a lot of upside.”

Colon’s not the only one to see that. Head coach Rex Ryan talked about his guards on the last day of last week’s full-squad minicamp.

“Nick’s going to have two new guards playing with him so that certainly will be a challenge,” Ryan said. “But I’ve really been impressed with Willie, and the same thing with [Stephen] Peterman. We’re flipping all those guards, Winters as well. I’m expecting big things from this young man. So I feel pretty good about where we are with those guys.

“Sometimes there’s a comfort level. The offensive line immediately wants to say, ‘I’m the right guard,’ ‘I’m the left guard’ or whatever, but we’re not there yet. It’s about the competition. The best two will be out there and we’ll see who that is. But do I see good competition there? I absolutely do.”

During the minicamp, Winters was in the left guard cat-bird’s seat between Mangold and LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson. With him, Colon, Peterman, returnee Vlad Ducasse and sixth-round rookie Will Campbell in the mix, the competition is lively. The one thing we know today is that with the departure of Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, the Jets will have two new guard starters for the first time since 2004.

It’s all good in the OL room, said Colon.

“You’ve got five guys who love the game and just go out there and get it done,” he said. “There’s no egos on this line. I’m not surprised but at the same time it’s a blessing. Some guys who are paid or have some type of credentials, you may get a jerk along the line. But all our guys are proud to go to work and take pride in their job and become good at it.”

And that encourages this new band of OL brothers to pay it forward — and to have a firm grip on that thread reaching back into the past as they power into the future.

Long-Snapper Released

The Jets announced this afternoon they have released long-snapper Travis Tripucka, the long-snapper out of the University of Massachusetts who was signed to a reserve-future contract early this offseason.

Also, for those scoring at home, Tripucka’s uniform No. 44 became available for a second before undrafted rookie TE Chris Pantale shifted from 81 to 44.

And Kellen Winslow, who wore 49 for his tryout at last week’s mandatory full-squad minicamp, then signed with the Jets the next day, will now be wearing No. 81. Winslow wore 80 with the Browns and 82 with the Buccaneers and Patriots.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 34 Comments »

34 Responses to “Guard Thread: Faneca to Colon to Winters”

  1. By RONBO on Jun 17, 2013 | Reply

    Good timeing for this post. As mentioned earlier this is a crucial posisition this year as there will be two new starters no matter who? As none of us truley knows how much Peterman or Colon have left in the tank it will be interesting to see just how ready Winters is? Many here have speculated Winters will start this year which I would think is a good thing.This team is unlikely to play even .500 ball this year so iits imperative that as many of this years draft picks and F/A’s as possible establish themselves this year. Next year it appears we will have as many as 12 or 13 picks so it would be beneficial to establish as many young guys this year so as its not a complete rookie fest next year.

  2. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 17, 2013 | Reply

    If Willie Colon plays Gurad as hard he did with the Steelers, the offensive line will be solid… Good luck Willie. LETS GO JETS…

  3. By russ on Jun 17, 2013 | Reply


  4. By IRA on Jun 17, 2013 | Reply

    As we all know Colon will bring a nasty attitude to the OL which has been missing. Now the thing is how long he can stay healthy along with Peterman. I would expect for Winters to take over at some point this year. Ronbo brings up some good points about letting the young kids play.
    They need a veteran WR to bring to camp so bad especially with Holmes situation and Hill as a lot of work to do. Now that Graves was hired to take over the personnel dept I would think he could bring in Doucet who he drafted while he was the GM with the Cards. Doucet best season was in 2011 when he had 54 catches,689 yes and 5 TD’s. He would sign cheap and could give them a better option then what they have right now.

  5. By sal cottone on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    Why it take so long to fix a position that didnt need fixing in the first place. The fanaca trade was the beginning of the downward spiral of a contending team, after years of misery, followed by years of misery!

  6. By IRA on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    Ronbo, You mentioned free agents they signed that have to step in and make a difference. I am not concerned about Colon or Peterman. They are solid if they can stay on the field. Ivory i think has 1200 yds in him and can break some big plays that Greene lost after his rookie year. Barnes is the guy you need to make an impact. They need him to get to the QB when he plays. Without that whether they blitz or not the secondary could only cover for so long. I expect Coples, Wilkerson and Richardson to be fine Barnes is the x-factor.
    GO JETS!!!!

  7. By scjoe on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    I liked the Winters pick from the beginning, if he happens to win the starting job I hope it is because he literally beats Colon or Peterman during camp, not because Colon or Peterman just “Peter out” The team has to many spots that were, or will be won by default.

  8. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    Colon, Peterman, White, Barnes and Ivory all have to step up the pace. I feel they will. IRA, I am with you on how Ivory will do. I am not sure if it’s a rumor or fact that the Jets may be looking into Magahee (RB) he would not be a bad player to give a try out to if it is true. Ivory and MaGahee could cause some serious damage in the running game against other teams. RONBO my friend, on a couple of occasions I have disagreed with you, and I am now dis disagreeing with you again on being under 500 this season, if these young players click the way Indie among other teams clicked we will make 500+. I see improvement on the offensive line and the defense. My only question id the QB…

  9. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    SCJoe, From the prior post where you were talking about Winslow. I do not think this is like the Garrad thing at all. Garrad was coming off of a injury Kellen has not missed a game due to injury since 2008. In 2009, 2010 & 2011 he had 3 straight seasons better than Kellers best year. He is 29 (not over the hill) & prior to the 2012 season (as I had stated earlier) he was traded from Tampa to the Seahawks. Right before the season was going to start he was asked to take a pay cut which he refused so they cut him. He was picked up by the Pats but did not play (backup tight end) so really him not playing last year had nothing to do with his health. In 2011 he had 75 grabs, he has 5 seasons with 66 or more grabs which would all be a career highs

  10. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    for Keller. Out of all our free agent signings (Colon, Peterman, Barnes, Landry & Winslow) I honestly think he will have the biggest impact.

  11. By scjoe on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    Tom 124/20, Call me a skeptic, but I always proceed with caution when a player hasn’t played for an extended period of time and is still available this far past the opening of free agency. I know Winslow has had knee problems in the past, whether or not that will impact what he does with the NYJ remains to be seen. I hope I am wrong on this, but training camp and pre season will surely answer those questions. If they treat him like they did Landry last season that will be a red flag.

  12. By RONBO on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    IRA, I agree about the vetern F/A’s, we are on the same page there. The interesting thing is will any of the rooke undrafted F/A’s make an impact. Thats crucial as winning teams like pittsburgh always seem to come up with unheralded finds.Jet Fan Frank, the problem with your theory about why will win has several major flaws. The biggest of which is the main problem, the QB posisition. How many winning teams can yor recall that got such lousey production from the most important pos. on the field? Your also counting on a lot of young guys to be stars and I just dont get it. There are simply too many holes on this roster which we have all discussed adnausium.Love ya bro, but I dont see what you see. Bye the way, enough with the Mcghee stuff !

  13. By danny on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    Frank 64 I’m with you. We finished 6 – 10 last season and now added young talent and added some solid vets. Our O line has depth now, we have better RB’s, better TE in Winslow, a real QB comp for first time in yrs and a younger faster Defense with Rex running the D again unlike last yr. We have a tough schedule but no reason we can’t be at least a 500 team or fight for a wildcard with this team. Our D will keep us in it and Sanchez played so bad last yr the olnly way is up now or Geno steps in. I wouldn’t mind Geno starting right away either and even as a rookie should be a improvement at the QB spot from last yr the way MS played. Ohh we should have Holmes back too

  14. By IRA on Jun 19, 2013 | Reply

    PFT has the voting for the Jets Mt Rushmore. I have Namath, Curtis and Maynard as locks because they are in the HOF. I am stuck on the 4th with Weeb, Hill and Klecko. Weeb is a HOF but he really had only 3 winning years with the Jets. So i am stuck between Klecko and Hill. Guess i give it to Hill because he was on the SB team and played for 13 years for the Jets.
    BTW the Hawks have put together a great idea with forming an advisory panel made up of 12 fans to give feedback several times a year to make attending a game better. I think is a great move and the Jets should do the same.

  15. By GaryC on Jun 19, 2013 | Reply

    Ronbo,you are right,why all this talk on McGahee,you got Ivory,Powell,McKnight,Bohannon.I thought we are looking to the future,people still love the names even if they can’t do it anymore.

  16. By scjoe on Jun 19, 2013 | Reply

    Ron/64Frank, I think the “potential” may be there to surpass last seasons W-L record, but just like the term “the game is not played on paper” it is not won with “potential” either. Now, “if” everything falls in to place, like a QB who don’t throw more INTs then Tds, and “if” all of the injuries are healed (Holmes, Hill, Milner etc) and “if” the RB situation is a major improvement over last season, and “if” Milner turns out to be half what Revis was, and “if” another starting safety emerges, then, they may surprise some people, if most of those things do not happen? Fahgedaboutit!

  17. By scjoe on Jun 19, 2013 | Reply

    Ira…Namath, Maynard, Martin and Klecko hands down!

  18. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 19, 2013 | Reply

    RONBO, if you noticed, I too in my post had a question mark in back of the QB that is going to be a key factor in that position, I just feel that with some of the FA’s we added and some of the young talent we added, we have improved and I see us at 500 or better. At the end of the season if you are right I will be the first to admit to it and say you was right. As old as I am getting, I don’t have enough time left not to be optimistic and want a winning team this year . Danny, I do not see Geno starting, chances are it will be MS from what I have been reading, and I do question the QB position, I know who I would like to see get a shot, but it is not going to happen….

  19. By Mike Jet Vet on Jun 19, 2013 | Reply

    So many here speak of, Colon, Ivory, Barnes, Winslow Peterman, hoping they will step in take over, I really want them to succeed and improve this team. I do, But please lets not loose sight these are other teams rejects or a more kinder way of putting it releases, Then speak of rookies like Geno, winters, and Milner, don’t get me wrong I like all three ,and believe will work out eventually, That said I’m not so optimistic , adding into the equation new OC and GM . many many optical s to over come to soon Go Jets

  20. By RONBO on Jun 20, 2013 | Reply

    MJV,JET Fan Frankie baby & S.C.Joe- MJV hit the nail on the head, too many ifs & buts to be optimistic about this season. Hey, if I were rich & famous I could probably date Kate Upton or Beyonce. Well, so much for that idea! Anyway, MJV is 100% in my mind as I have no idea why any of us here see’s any disernable improvement in the team? Peterman vs Slauson is a push at best. Colon vs Moore is a minus.Winslow is an improvement over Keller but can he stay healthy? The W.R posisition was basically unaddressed & Holmes is still hurt.Q.B is still a disaster until somebody proves differently and the safty & OLB posisitions can hardly be seen as strengths.At some point you have to give the other teams credit as most have better talent & coaching ?

  21. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 20, 2013 | Reply

    Looks like NE will be without the services of Grankowski and Hernandez, it’s amazing how Hernandez put himself in this position and is possibly facing some criminal charges. So I guess TT will be there new TE (lol). I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out. NOWAY NE keeps Hernandez after all this publicity. Could be good news for the rest of the AFC East. LETS GO JETS…

  22. By scjoe on Jun 20, 2013 | Reply

    Ron, if you are looking for absolute upgrades at ANY position from last season you will not find them. What I am saying is “if” everything works in the Jets favor, i.e. Smith wins the job and turns out “OK” and “if” the RBs come through (and stay out of jail) and “if” the WR situation works itself out, and “if” the O line holds up somewhat, and “if” Milner wins the starting job and plays at least half as well as DR, and “if” Ryan’s defense finds ways to get to the QB, they could surprise. A lot of ifs and asterisks yes, but the upside is, some of those things “could” actually happen.

  23. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 21, 2013 | Reply

    SCJOE, good post I like the way you used the word “IF” in several places. I do see improvement in the offense and defense, it’s the QB area I am concerned about.

  24. By GaryC on Jun 21, 2013 | Reply

    Like I said in a previous blog about Goodson and Pacman,that these guys cannot help themselves staying out of trouble,it is in their DNA,and it looks like Hernandez is another one of these geniuses,these guys can actually get into colleges,and before Jet fans get a little giddy about Hernandez not playing for the Patsies,you never know when the next Jet knucklehead might follow the same path.

  25. By RONBO on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    s.c.joe, YOU & J.F.Frank have always made your feelings known concerning putting out a winning team. Obviously I respect you and your opinions as I tend to chat with you more than anyone else. We differ only in “when we expect this team to improve but thats really not a big deal. whether we go 6-10 or 8-8 really doesn’t make much difference to me. I’m more interested in when do we get to 10 to 13 wins,a home playoff game or Two and of course a trip to the big game. Again, I’m o.k either way regarding this years record, as long as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  26. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    RONBO, that’s all I want as well to see is the light at the end of the tunnel. I do feel we have improved considerably offensively and defensively. The real question mark I have is the QB position. I don’t know if you watched the latest video of RR on the Official site of the Jets. It was really good. No bragging but confident in how MM is setting up the offense and very confident in the defense. I give him an “A” on this interview. I also liked Mr. M’s video. I still have questions on the QB.

  27. By RONBO on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe,MJV,& J.Fan FRANK, As you guys are practically the last of the Rex fans I will direct this post to you three. Especiall Mike J.Vet as you are clearly Rex’s biggest supporter here. If you get SNY watch Jets Nation and listen to what Adam Schein and Ray Lucas discussing Rex as a H- coach. I’ve been argueing this point with you guys for months and as much as I cant stand Shein and acknowledge Lucas can be a bit of a clown as well, they do a great job pointing out Rex’s failures as a head coach. Additionally, the fact that he feels the need to go on the air and tell anyone who will listen that he is “a great coach”,&”can coach his butt off tells me he has learned little to nothing about how to represent himself or this organization.

  28. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    RONBO as far as RR goes as a HC he has to be a complete coach and offensively he does not have my vote at all… DEFENSIVELY I feel he is one of the best DC’s in the NFL, let me reiterate as a DC he is one of the best, not the best, one of the best. He is not a complete coach, but with MM and IDZIK in there he will get credit if we are 500 or over this year. I feel our defense will be good. Our offense “COULD” be good with special teams and in the running game. IT’S the QB position I question.

  29. By scjoe on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Ron, first off, I don’t take to seriously what Adam Schein has to say about events that happen on the football field, since he has NEVER, EVER, been there. That said, I always have acknowledged that I am not a big fan of the bravado and the hype coming from Rex. Just no need for it, however, it doesn’t effect what he does and how he coaches “on the field” Is he the next Vince Lombardi? No! But who can they replace him with that is? I still adhere to the fact that games are won and lost by the players, in most cases the team with the better players win, there are exceptions, but they are the exception to the rule.

  30. By RONBO on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe, yeah, your right about Schein. Like I said, he’s not my favorite either.But they do make good points about Rex not knowing whats going on on his team plus
    the whole nonsense about running the defense and lettting MM run the O. As we have discussed in the past, the head coach is like the CEO, If doesn’t know whats going on he’s basically signing his own death warrant in regard to his future as a NFL H/C. I would not put my future in anyone else’s hands, especially a guy who would love another crack for a H/c posisition himself.

  31. By scjoe on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Ron, here’s the thing, if the NYJ turn things around and win, no one will remember Rex Ryans shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball. That is a given. He is not the first one sided HC and he surely will not be the last. Lets see how he does this year with a real OC, my only regret is that he still doesnt have the elite talant offensively, so i’m not even sure Bill Walsh would succeed with this offensive group.

  32. By RONBO on Jun 28, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe, although your point is well taken you are going back to “if’s & Butts”! From my vantage point I simply cant see any way this team will be better than last years debacle.The O-line though potentially improved for the long haul is unproven and lacks experience as a unit.The Q.b posisition is still very unsettled and shakey!The W.R. group is a complete mystery due to injury and unproven players.So how does anybody realistically expect this team to improve?Dont say the D as they will likely be on the field way to much.

  33. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jun 29, 2013 | Reply

    RONBO, although I agree with you in part about the offense being young and unproven. I have to look at facts based on teams such as Indie, 49ers, Houston and yes even Miami. These teams have greatly improved with unproven players who stepped up and played NFL football. I do not see why the JETS cannot do the same. No question our running game has improved, no question the offensive line has improved, my “BIG” question is the QB position. Now I feel Sanchez has screwed up even more by running around “B.A. and having it placed all over “YOUTUBE”. This only added to the MS circus and made the JETS look fools. What’s with these players. GENO better step up and step up fast…

  34. By RONBO on Jul 1, 2013 | Reply

    JET FAN FRANK, You know I luv ya bro,but you wanting the O-line to be improved doesn’t make it So.Again, Peterman is not as good as Slauson, Colon vs Moore a wash at best?The other 3 spots remain status quo.2 of the 3 rookies will likely spend a year on the practice squad.Lets skip QB as we all know thats a nightmare waiting to happan. With a questionable O.L & no passing game defences will key our running game.With 8 guys in the box how do you think the running game will be better?Again, wishing it so does not make it so.This will be a long season bro!

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