Steelers guard Willie Colon has four holding penalties and two false starts this season. (US Presswire)

The Steelers' old guard, Chris Kemoeatu, was infamous for getting called for ill-advised penalties: hands to the face, late hits, offsides. The new guard, Willie Colon, if nothing else has been rather consistent through the first quarter of his first season since switching from starting right tackle: holding, holding, holding and, um, holding.

Sunday against Philadelphia, he was flagged for that penalty four times, one of them declined. Colon’s four total holdings thus far ties him with Arizona’s D'Anthony Batiste for the NFL lead. That gives him six infractions total, to go with two false starts, and a tie for the NFL overall lead. Not exactly the category a where a lineman wants to excel.

“We started a little choppy,” Colon said in describing the Steelers’ offense early Sunday in that last-second, 16-14 victory. “Holding penalties don’t help at all, and I damn sure had enough of them. I have to cut that out, and I have to get better at not holding.

“I take all ownership. They pay me to be out there and be the left guard for this team. I’m going to stand up. I’m hurting the team in that regard.”

Colon played just one game the previous two seasons due to Achilles tendon and bicep surgeries. Media tweeted Sunday that he was making up for lost time, that he was mimicking his predecessor Kemoeatu (released among the Hines Ward-James Farrior-Aaron Smith purge last spring). Colon may have no more harsh critics than himself. His coach sounded forgiving this week, preparing for the Titans on Thursday night in Nashville.

“That has been an issue with Willie at times, in terms of over-aggression,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “But I’d rather say, ‘Whoa’ than ‘Sic ’em.’ ”

Talking in general about the “self-inflicted wounds” of pre-snap penalties such as false starts and illegal formations that help to make the Steelers the NFL leader in penalty yardage (86.5 yards per game), Tomlin said: “In some instances, we have some guys working hard and not necessarily smart. Those things usually smooth themselves out as you push through the first quarter of the season. What needs to disappear, and it didn’t disappear [Sunday], are some of the pre-snap penalties. We won’t tolerate that. We can’t tolerate that. It’s my job to get them fixed.”

The quarterback expects his friend and longtime protector Colon to correct his errors. But, interestingly, Ben Roethlisberger blames the attention on Colon on the new left guard’s success at smothering defenders.

“Willie is a fighter,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s a tough son of a gun. I mean, he’s putting guys on their backs. Unfortunately, he’s getting calls. You look at it, and without getting fined for saying something about the officiating, I think Willie’s just flat-out pancaking people. He's putting them on their backs, and defensive linemen are kind of throwing their hands up because there is nothing else they can do.”

Follow Steelers reporter Chuck Finder on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @cfinder.