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Jets guard Willie Colon makes his feelings clear about the Patriots: ‘I just hate them’


With a huge AFC East showdown between the New York Jets and New England Patriots on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Jets right guard Willie Colon made his feelings towards the Patriots abundantly clear on Tuesday. The Jets (3-3) are facing what Colon refers to as a huge game against the 5-1 Pats if the team hopes to keep pace in the division.

“If we want to have a chance at the division,” Colon said, “We got to have this game.”

A must-win game or not, as far as his overall attitude as it relates to the Patriots is concerned, Colon refused to mince words, simply stating, “I just hate them.”

Colon played for the Steelers for eight seasons, admitted that he had a strong dislike for the Baltimore Ravens during his tenure in Pittsburgh, said that the outright hostility he feels towards the Patriots is strikingly different than the antipathy tempered with respect he felt for the Ravens, especially leading up to an AFC North battle with their rivals.

“It’s weird,” Colon told the New York Daily News. “I hated them, but I loved them at the same time, because they’re a team that forced you to give them your best.”

But the Patriots? Colon, who was fined $34,000 earlier this season for his role in a skirmish between the Jets and Patriots during a 13-10 loss in Week 2, just flat-out doesn’t like the team.

“I don’t like them,” Colon said, striking first, perhaps attempting to engage the Patriots in a bit of back-and-forth trash talk leading up to Sunday. “But at the same time you got to respect what they’ve done as an organization. Winning Super Bowls. They’ve built a tradition there where they get it done. No matter what you feel about them personally, you got to respect that they win.”

Irrespective of how he feels, Colon did admit that the Patriots are a great football team who have to be taken seriously each and every time a team takes the field against them.

“They’ve been playing well for a long time,” Colon said. “You know the Patriots are going to be in the playoffs, hell or high water. You got to respect it whether you like them or not. . . . They win and they get it done.”

But whether the Jets can get it done on Sunday and keep pace in the division is another story. Jets head coach Rex Ryan is 3-8 against Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and company, with New England winning the last five meetings.

Despite the one-sided nature of the ultimate outcomes of the games, Ryan always uses “Patriots Week” as a means to motivate his team, once even boasting to his players — according to former Jet LaDainian Tomlinson — that he planned to punch Belichick in the face when the two met at midfield before the game in order to set the tempo.

Not only has it been a one-sided rivalry on the field, despite Colon’s best efforts to ratchet up the dialogue, Belichick will refuse to allow his players to get wrapped up in anything coming out of Jets players mouths this week and will bar them from engaging in any sort of a trash talk or bravado.

So Colon can keep on talking about his hatred for the Patriots. In all likelihood, his opponents won’t bite.