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2012 Steelers training camp: Is Willie Colon the next Chris Kemoeatu?

So one of the big stories in camp, as if there weren’t enough already, is the return of Willie Colon and of course his move to guard from tackle. If you’ve been following any of the chatter coming out of camp so far one of the things you’ve noticed is all the scrapping going on. Mike Tomlin likes this kind of intensity in camp, it shows the players care about what they’re doing and want to put forth their best effort. Even though the Steelers have always talked about wanting to be tough on the offensive line, recent history shows that it’s easier said than done when injuries and subpar play necessitate the need for constant rotation of the starting five.

This season there is renewed hope of getting back to their roots, at least in terms of the big guys up front being dominant on a consistent basis. Both rookies David DeCastro and Mike Adams have a reputation for being physical and dominant, and Maurkice Pouncey at center doesn’t take any guff from anyone. Ramon Foster is a scrapper but the meanest of them all is Willie Colon.

We haven’t been able to see Colon’s reputation in action in the last two years because he’s always been hurt. As
you probably remember, in 2010 it was a torn Achilles tendon and 2011 a torn bicep. Now though the big man is healthy and with a new position at offensive guard, he’s taking full advantage of every rep he’s being given and sending a message to not only his own team, but the rest of the league as well. Let’s just hope that message doesn’t result in another Chris Kemoeatu personal foul festival when the game start counting.

There have 5 days with at least 1 fight at St. Vincent College for the Steelers so far, some bigger than others, but at the heart of several of them is Colon. Personally, I’m all for scrapping at camp, I love seeing the guys so intense, fighting for positions, trying to impress the coaches, giving it all they got. Some teams allow it to get out of control, like the Dallas Cowboys have in recent years but the Steelers are able to keep in check and use it as a tool to help build their team.

At the night practice in Latrobe last night, Colon got into it again, this time with defensive end Cam Heyward and offensive tackle Mike Adams, as reported by Ed Bouchette and Dale Lolleyor via Twitter:

@EdBouchette: Willie Colon just punched Cam Heyward in the helmet. Hard. You can break your hand that way. Havent seen 1 of those in awhile. #steelers   @dlolleyor:  Cam Heyward, Mike Adams fight. Willie Colon breaks it up, then punches Adams himself. #Steelers

To date, Tomlin hasn’t made a big deal out of it, at least not to the media, other than earlier in camp when he said that the team needs to “clean up the professionalism”.

We all understand that after a summer full of working out with the same guys, and then day after day in camp hitting the same guys, you want to go after another color jersey. That time will come soon enough as the first preseason game is this coming week. Who knows how the replacement officials will call games, even in exhibition; will they be quick to toss a yellow or will they let things slide? Either way Colon will need find a way to channel that intensity into productivity while walking that fine line of ripping someone’s head off.

 

 

 

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