CORTLAND, N.Y. - Family first.
To be a strong football team, you've first got to be brothers, Willie Colon said. And it appears the bonds between the Jets players are stronger than ever after three weeks in Central New York.
"It's totally different," the veteran guard said Wednesday, after their final training-camp practice at SUNY-Cortland. "When I first got here, we weren't a close team, for a lot of different reasons. I think that's totally turned around . . . We're starting to believe in each other, and winning does that. The more you win, the closer you get."
The 2013 Jets "went through a lot," said Colon, who signed a one-year deal last offseason and then re-signed in March. And when the losses kept piling up last year, the "division" in the locker room was more apparent.
"I think this year, we've put that aside and we understand that every man needs to put their hand on the pile and be there for each other," said Colon, a former Super Bowl champ with the Steelers.
And if anyone knows what it takes to be a tight-knit team, it's him. Colon said the Steelers prided themselves on being a family first and now that same mentality is being fostered in the Jets locker room. "I think Rex preaches that every time he gets a chance to talk. [He says] 'We're all we got. It's us against the world. It's us against every team that steps into the stadium with us,' " Colon said. "We have to be as close as possible to get through some of the wars that's ahead of us."