After being selected by Detroit in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, tackle
Over his two seasons, Cherilus has played in 31 games, starting in 28, and has experienced his fair share of ups and downs.
Now entering into his third season, second under Head Coach Jim Schwartz, Cherilus has developed a new sense of urgency to produce on the field.
“I grew up. I’m trying to do all of the little things right,” said Cherilus. “I’m taking yoga classes and I show up here and do some extra stretches. I changed the way I eat and the way I do certain things because at the end of the day if you want to do these things, right now is the time.”
While Cherilus has made several adjustments to the way he approaches the game this offseason, he also faced adversity unlike any he’s dealt with before.
In January a massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti, where he resided for 14 years, forcing Cherilus to put football on the back burner and focus on family and those in need.
“Everybody is doing well,” said Cherilus. “My mother is back in Boston, having fun. My grandma is still over there, she doesn’t want to come back yet because she still feels like it’s cold out here. She’s over there working on her farm.
“My mother and father have talked to almost everybody. They took a trip out there, came back and everybody is still doing fine. It kind of affected us indirectly because people that they grew up with, they’ve lost kids and everything, but at the end of the day, everybody still has a very positive attitude.”
Through his foundation, The Gosder Cherilus Foundation, which was established prior to the earthquake, Cherilus has raised awareness and aide for those in need.
“We know we can’t just sit back and watch what’s going on,” said Cherilus. “We’re doing some small things and trying to make Haiti and these people’s lives better than they were before the earthquake.”
Now, with the offseason program underway, Cherilus has had to shift gears, separating the realities of life from football.
And that hasn’t been difficult for the offensive lineman whose performance on the field is once again his top priority.
“At the end of the day, football is my profession – it’s what I do,” said Cherilus.
“Whenever I have a chance to come out here and spend some time with the guys, workout, be in the film room, I try and leave all that behind me because that’s what being professional is all about. Being able to make your adjustments and not mix personal things with work. Overall that’s been working fine so far.”
Since returning to the Lions’ training facility in Allen Park, Cherilus has been all business, eager to get back to work and excited for the upcoming season.
“I think it’s time for all of us as a team to come together and show our fans what we’ve been working on,” said Cherilus. “I feel like we’re doing a good job, especially me, with the coaches.”
After going through last season under a new coaching staff and dealing with injuries on the offensive line, Cherilus is looking forward to building onto what he’s learned.
And while this year will this year could be pivotal for Cherilus, he feels he’s “ready for anything,” focused on improving himself, as well as the offensive line as a whole.
“You can go the whole season and feel like you did one thing right and the next season those guys do something different and you have to adjust to it,” said Cherilus.
“You always have to stay above the competition. That’s what we’ve been working on; doing all of these little things right, so that when it’s game time we don’t have to think about them. It becomes part of who you are and as you do better as an individual it will carry on to help the team out. Once we all start doing it together, the right way, the sky’s the limit and I like what I’m seeing so far.”