Down Goes Willie Colon...

If Willie Colon falls during OTAs, does Steeler Nation make a sound?

Other than a collective yawn.

Pittsburgh Steelers starting right tackle/human traffic cone Willie Colon left workouts on Monday after suffering an undisclosed injury.   NFL.com later reported it was a torn Achilles tendon, thus ending his 2010 season before it even started.   Colon’s agent confirmed it was an Achilles injury of some nature, which even in the best case scenario usually requires some sort of reconstructive surgery.  In other words, don’t expect to see Dancin’ Willie in the Black and Gold this season.

Looks like the Curse of Milledgeville has claimed its first victim.  Who knew bustin’ a move to Miley Cyrus tunes could blow out a knee?  Unfortunately, the scumbug who most deserves a downfall has thus far escaped his just desserts but without Colon watching his back we can always hope one of the inevitable 58 sacks this season produces a career-ending injury.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I’m not all that convinced losing Colon will impact the offensive line in any discernible way.  For the past two seasons, Colon has been utterly useless, an undersized RT who gets run over in pass protection and can’t move his man on run plays.  With the exception of Justin Hartwig, I’d say Willie’s been far and away the worst member of a putrid offensive line.  It is almost inconceivable to me that whomever is brought in as a replacement would perform any worse than he has.

And who might that replacement be?  Tony Hills and Trai Essex might be called to step up their game.   Newly signed Jonathan Scott started at tackle seven times for the Bills last season.  Or the Steelers could try to find some veteran help out in free agency.  Flozell Adams, Mike Gandy, Levi Jones, and Damion McIntosh are still looking for jobs.  Finally, the Steelers can always take a wait and see approach.   Once training camp begins, there are always one or two quality veterans cut to make room for younger (and cheaper) newcomers.

In the meantime, I’ll remain unconcerned about this recent development.  When your offensive line surrenders 50+ sacks a season, something tells me nobody playing there is irreplaceable.

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