INDIANAPOLIS – The tiny island of Haiti is not known for producing substantial amounts of NFL talent.
From 2008-11, the Colts benefited from the services of a native of Haiti in wide receiver Pierre Garcon.
The Caribbean island once again will provide the Colts with some impressive pedigree, this time in a slightly bigger package.
“When I went through the whole process, I called a whole bunch of guys that I’ve played with who played here last year and they had nothing but great things to say about the whole team,” Cherilus said.
“The whole organization from Chuck Pagano to
Cherilus brings some experience to the Colts’ offensive line after starting 71-of-74 games with the Lions.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson loves the “snap-to-whistle” mentality Cherilus plays with and knows he can rely on the 28-year old tackle each week.
“(Cherilus) doesn’t take flak from anyone,” Grigson said. “I just like how he plays the game, Chuck (Pagano) did (as well). We really just like his approach. He’s got a tremendous amount of experience. He’s there on Sunday’s and you can count on him. That’s who you need protecting your edges.”
While Cherilus will be protecting one edge for Luck, opposite him will be somebody that he considers family.
Castonzo will be heading into his third season as the Colts’ left tackle after four years as a starter at Boston College.
During Castonzo’s freshman campaign in 2007, he was opposite Cherilus at the tackle position and helped protect first-team All-American Matt Ryan.
“He’s my brother,” Cherilus said of Castonzo.
“We’ve been friends since (Castonzo) was a freshman at (Boston College). You know freshmen, you don’t talk to them right away. You want to have a feel for the type of guy that they’re going to be. I had a chance to sit back and see how much he cared about the game. Within two or three weeks he already picked up the playbook, and I realized he was going to be able to help us right away. I realized no matter how many times I reached out to him to help him out he always asked for extra help.”
The two former Eagles have stayed in touch during their pro careers and will be reunited in Indianapolis.
Cherilus said Boston College is known for producing “big, athletic, unselfish offensive linemen” and both he and Castonzo seem to fit that mold.
Football might not reign supreme on the island of Haiti but when it comes to Cherilus, the gridiron is where he does his best work.
“Sometimes I tell people I think the football field is the only place I feel extremely comfortable,” Cherilus said. “What I mean is I’m a big guy, so certain things you ask me to do I feel uncomfortable doing it, like you can’t put me behind a desk. I don’t know if I’m fit to do that kind of thing. But when you put me on the field with a whole bunch of guys who all share the same goal and they get to play the best team sport in the world, I mean how could you not be excited by this?
“I’m taking care of my young guys, the skill guys. I feel like it’s my job to protect them, help them out, give them a pat on the back when they need it, just help them out. That’s me.”