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Willie Colon: Down And Out

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That was $29 million well spent…

[intlink id=”23″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] right tackle [intlink id=”85″ type=”category”]Willie Colon[/intlink] was evidently injured some time during the season opening debacle against Baltimore.  You’ll have to forgive me for failing to mention this in my game recap as the difference between a healthy Colon and an injured one is barely noticeable.  This is a bizarre situation as [intlink id=”45″ type=”category”]Mike Tomlin[/intlink], in his post-game press conference, did not list Colon as being among the wounded. News of the injury only emerged late Monday evening, when the Steelers’ crack medical staff discovered what is reportedly a torn triceps.

If Colon did indeed suffer a torn triceps, his 2011 season is over.  Man, it sure was great the Steelers made like Pacman at a strip club and rained millions of dollars down upon him the second free agency began.  Not only was re-signing Colon, who missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles in OTAs, their top priority, it led to a domino effect where the entire line was revamped in an effort to accommodate his ridiculously undeserved contract.  Max Starks and Flozell Adams, who formed the finest bookend tandem this team has had in years, were released because the Steelers inexplicably felt Colon was better than either of them.

Mussolini held this theory that if you repeat a lie often enough, eventually people accept it as the truth.  For years now, the Steelers and their finger puppets in the media have preached that Colon is one of the finest right tackles in football, despite no actual evidence to support such a claim.  Sure he beat out Max Starks for starting RT in his second season but that was because Max showed up to camp fat and unmotivated.  Once he got his Jenny Craig on, Starks moved on to become a Franchise Player charged with protecting the infinitely more important blind side.  Colon started for two of the worst offensive lines in franchise history (surrendering 49 and 50 sacks, respectively) then spent all of last season in a walking boot.  How this translates into $29 million is beyond me.

The Steelers have reached out to Flozell’s agent although his return doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.  In the meantime, rookie Marcus Gilbert will probably slide into right tackle which is only a negative in the sense that now he can’t replace LT Jonathan Scott, who was an absolute disaster against the Ravens.  Hopefully this unit can keep their health intact going forward as now we’re left with the stunningly mediocre Trai Essex as next man up should another tackle go down.  While I never wish injury upon anyone, I am almost tempted to call this a blessing in disguise as Colon allows so much penetration his nickname should be Colonoscopy.

I’m not exactly comfortable starting a rookie not named Pouncey nor am I totally sold on Scott at LT, but the Baltimore game showed some changes needed made.  I’ll give the Big Legursky one more shot to get his act together and then it may be time for him to go back to his super-sub role and allow a bigger stronger moose to guard the interior.  In the meantime, the Steelers, who are staring at a projected salary cap crunch of around $20 million next season according to Peter King (which means they’re probably closer to $10 million over mark) can feel satisfied that their coveted off-season signee is a wash-out for the second year in a row.