FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Last week, New York Jets guard Willie Colon sounded critical of quarterback Geno Smith, who has started 30 games over the past two seasons, his first two years in the league. Now Colon is walking back those quotes that made it sound like the locker room was never behind Smith.
And, he says, he's behind the young quarterback.
On Sirius XM last Tuesday, Colon said that Smith “was never ready to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets,” a point underscored by the team's record over the past two years as well as his own glaring deficiencies. Now, at the start of minicamp, and with Smith the incumbent starter, Colon back-tracked.
“I'm no coach, I can't tell Geno Smith how to be Geno Smith," Colon said. "I can't tell him how to play the quarterback position because I never did it. Thinking back on my comments, I misspoke because from Day 1, coach [Chan] Gailey said we don't know who we are, we don't know what we are. So maybe labeling it a Porsche is me emphasizing that we got a secondary, we got a lot of wide receivers.
“At the end of the day I said what I said. Me and Geno talked about it and we're all set. We had a conversation, we talked. He knew where I was coming from. That's the end of it.”
He made other comments in his radio interview, including what he alluded to in his opening remarks on Tuesday. In the same Sirius XM interview, Colon said that the franchise was handing Smith the keys to a Porsche. This, of course, created another firestorm.
Colon said he was surprised by the fallout.
“In essence I felt like I was defending Geno," he said. "I felt like I was pretty much saying all the heat he has gotten isn't his fault. He was kind of forced to step into a position where he kind of had to be the man right on. I can't tell Geno how to play football. I have a lot of respect for him.”