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Willie Colon annoyed at uproar created by 'Porsche' comments

New York Jets guard Willie Colon (66) adjusts

New York Jets guard Willie Colon (66) adjusts his hair during training camp in Cortland, N.Y., Friday, July 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Hans Pennink

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Next time, Willie Colon will think twice before answering a question.

But chances are, he'll do as he's always done: speak the truth as he sees it.

The 10-year NFL veteran has developed a reputation for telling it like it is. But last week, he created headlines when he discussed the erratic play of Jets quarterback Geno Smith.

"We bought the Porsche, we've given him the keys -- he can't crash it," Colon said.

Colon thought his comments on SiriusXM NFL Radio on June 2 were fairly innocuous, considering he began the interview by defending Smith against what he believed was unnecessary criticism the past two seasons. But Tuesday, Colon found himself backtracking from a story line he never intended to create.

The Jets veteran guard told reporters that he "misspoke" when he used the "Porsche" analogy to describe the Jets' offense. But when the crowd and the cameras dispersed, Colon made it clear he was annoyed by the backlash.

"I was [ticked off]," he told Newsday before heading to practice on the first day of mandatory minicamp. "I guess because, in my head, I felt like I was defending Geno. People have to let him grow as a quarterback and people turned that into, 'Oh, you're throwing rocks at Geno.'

"I never said he couldn't throw the ball, I never said he didn't have the intangibles, I didn't say anything like that. I said the backlash he's gotten isn't fair because he has to mature. And I think I've said that since Day 1. So when the whole 'Porsche' comment got twisted around, I was like, 'Really?' I was thrown off by it."

Colon, a longtime supporter of Smith's in the locker room, said the two spoke last week and cleared the air. At least, Colon hopes that's the case.

"We talked, and I assumed he knew where I was coming from. And that was it," he said. "I don't know how he took it. I hope he knows that I wasn't shooting at him. But I think the way the headlines read, it came off like I said he's not capable. And if you read what I actually said, I said nothing of the sort."

Delivering cliches just isn't Colon's style, but he admitted the backlash caused him to briefly reconsider how he approaches interviews.

"It's not going to stop me, I guess, from being open and honest. But I don't want the attention of being a bigmouth," said the 32-year-old Bronx native and Hofstra alum. "I don't want to seem like the guy who's a locker-room distraction . . . You don't want your coach to think, 'Well, he may be a distraction because he's going to say off-the-wall things.'

"I kind of felt like, OK, I'm going to taper it down a little bit. But I don't know how to. And I think I've been so candid and honest that if I do [edit myself], people will call [it ridiculous] right away. I'm a lot more careful when it comes to what I'm going to say and how I'm going to say it.

"But to this point, I don't think I've said anything wrong or vicious."


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