Friday, June 28, 2013

Brian Winters relying on Willie Colon for guidance


Two-fifths of the New York Jets' offensive line will look different when the group sets up shop Week 1 in 2013, and rookie Brian Winters hopes to be a part of it.

Gang Green drafted Winters in the third round this year to compete for one of the two "vacant" guard spots.

I use quotation marks, because fellow new Jet and veteran Willie Colon, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has the left guard gig all but locked up. All he needs to do is stay healthy.

But the right interior job, which used to be held by Brandon Moore, is open. Winters is up against veteran and former Detroit Lions guard Stephen Peterman for that spot.

The former Kent State big man Winters has leaned on Colon through the offseason to help him adjust to the pros.

"Willie Colon has helped me a lot. He's really showed me," Winters recently told The Star-Ledger. "He's really let me follow him around and learn from him. That's the person I've relied on. (He shows me) tendencies and stuff. He tells me what to do and when I need to do it. He tells me if I'm doing a good job."

Winters played on the left side on college but is obviously a much more realistic candidate at right guard. And that's fine. Moving to the opposite side of the center isn't the biggest adjustment he'll face at the next level, anyway.

". . . the biggest thing you have think about is the speed," Winters said. "Things happen a lot faster, so that's something I have to get used to."

A 50-game starter in college, Winters was a wrestler in high school. Scouting reports have him as an aggressive player who is very good with his hands. That blue-collar style of play is a good fit for the Jets, who pride themselves on toughness in the trenches regardless of how well or poorly the skill positions are doing.

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