(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
While big names such as Phil Loadholt and Andy Levitre signed with other teams the Colts quietly picked up a quality offensive lineman in former Detroit Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus, according to ESPN. At 6-7, 325 pounds, Cherilus is a mauler, a strong, physical tackle known for blocking with a bit of a mean streak. Indy wanted to get bigger and stronger up front, and it looks like they are well on their way.
Drafted 17th overall in 2008, Cherilus has started 71 NFL games for the Lions. If he remains at right tackle, the Colts will have an offensive line book-ended by Boston College graduates, though he and Costanzo did not play there at the same time. (Correction- 3/16/13: Cherilus and Costanzo were teammates during Costanzo's freshman year)
Cherilus should fit in well with the Colts' team culture in that he is heavily involved in charity and community events. According to Wikipedia, his foundation is active in Haiti, where he was born, and he is active around the city of Detroit, holding football camps and working with the homeless population there. Cherilus has also raised funds for children with disabilities in the Boston area. Anyone who lives in or near Indianapolis knows how active the Colts players are in the community, and their newest addition should mesh very well with that philosophy.
At the time this was published, the terms of the deal were not yet available. Keep stopping by Colts Authority this week for a more in-depth look at each of the team's major signings.
In the meantime, here are some quick links to learn more about our newest Colt:
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky: Colts get more physical up front with Cherilus
Cherilus's Wikipedia page
Cherilus's NFL Draft profile from 2008
Polian was just on Mike & Mike sharing his surprise with this signing. Not the money, more the player profile (stronger run blocker/mauler, less of a pass blocker). He intimated that it possibly indicated a shift in offensive philosophy towards more of a West Coast offense ... basically connecting the dots as Pep Hamilton replaced Bruce Arians.
What would concern me is Polian's note of Cherilus not being a strong pass blocker. We've got one of the best young passers in the league behind center who needs to be protected better than he was last year ... so that he can pass. Not so he can hand it off.
As much as I love Polian, his opinion is, of course, just one of many that is being circulated this time of year. Hoping that either (A) Cherilus is moved to G and we sign an unknown stud at RT or (B) Cherilus is a much better pass blocker than Polian thinks.
where is the GUARD? they signed a guy from new england that i never heard before, Donald Thomas...is he good? i'm from spain, and even from here it seems like the colts got 'stolen' from the broncos with vasquez....any splashy move that could come know? maybe singning another tackle like winston or vollmer and moving this guy to guard? thanks a lot for the info!
@matt_has very interesting matt., my question is: it is not to much money to pay to a guard (in case cherilus is finally moved to guard)? Can the colts afford it? if they can, who will be your choice for the tackle spot and at what price?
cherilus had surgery of one of his knees after the season, shouldnt we be a little afraid about that? hope he passes all his physicals...
@Magic_racer no choice ... no idea, really. I'm much more of a post-signing critic than a pre-signing analyst. ;)
@Magic_racer I'm hoping he didn't get a huge contract. I'm still hoping for a quality guard. Cherilus would be an upgrade over Justice (and Justice could probably play guard if he stays).
Thomas is only 25. He has started 21 games in 4 years with the Patriots, who have a much better offensive line. It's possible he could start here if he proves himself. New England's backups could probably start on a few different NFL teams. I hope they both turn out to be very good, but I was also hoping for Louis Vasquez.
@Magic_racer Yeah, Toler got a starting job, but tore and ACL near the end of the season and missed all the next (2011). He also missed 4 games last year. It's hard to say if he'll ever be the same. I like the idea of getting a promising CB fairly early in the draft and getting a guard later on.
@MarcusDugan i'm reading great things about thomas, and speaking of the cb toller, my biggest concern is injuries, it seems like he had a few....i think that guard will be addressed in the 3rd round, or maybe in the 1st if the right guy is available, either one (1st or 3rd round) will be a cornerback too...