FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It's not going to be a scene out of a movie when Jets guard Willie Colon suits up Sunday against Pittsburgh, the team that drafted him and ultimately released him this offseason.
"I'm not going into this game snot-balling and tears running down my face. That's not going to happen," Colon said. "I'm going to go out there and be passionate and play my game. I think people expect me to come out the locker room yelling and screaming. That ain't happening."
Colon will play against the Steelers for the first time when the Jets welcome winless Pittsburgh to MetLife Stadium. Colon played for the Steelers from 2006-12 and won a Super Bowl title with them.
"I got a lot of respect for this organization for what they gave me and the memories and my career," Colon said. "At the same time, it's Week 6, they're our opponent and plan accordingly and go to work."
The Steelers drafted Colon in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft and he started every game for them from 2007-09 before injuries slowed him down. He missed the 2010 season after tearing his Achilles tendon, and then played just one game in 2011 after tearing his triceps. Last season, he only played 11 games as a knee injury forced him to IR. He missed 36 of a total 48 games from 2010-12.
Pittsburgh signed Colon to a five-year, $29-million deal in 2011, but they re-signed guard Ramon Foster this offseason, which signaled to him his time with the team was up. The Steelers eventually released Colon, who started 62 games during his time in Pittsburgh.
"They couldn't keep both of us, and I was due to make a good sum of money that year and me coming off my third IR it was time," Colon said.
After the Steelers released him, Colon latched on with the Jets and has started each game at right guard. He said he's had talks with the Jets' staff to share any tips he might have about Pittsburgh.
In sizing up his former team, which enters Sunday 0-4, Colon said the Steelers are a very prideful team that he expects will give the Jets all they can handle. He believes they are dangerous and can easily hit the restart button and put the first four games behind them. He wasn't sure why they were struggling, guessing that perhaps there are internal issues.
While Colon downplayed going against his former squad, he had nothing but fond memories of his time with the Steelers. The Bronx native started at right tackle in the Steelers' win over the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
"The family and the family atmosphere in that locker room. The look in those guys' eyes every time we touched the field. The passion. Steelers Nation. The fans. The Super Bowls. Playoffs. The list goes on and on," Colon said. "That city gave me a lot and I gave that city a lot. It's a new chapter, I'm a Jet, and I ain't looking back."