Md. native Cloherty eyes title with Colts

Tight end from Bethesda was cut five times during rookie season

February 05, 2010|By Craig Davis | Tribune Newspapers

MIAMI — Colin Cloherty doesn't recommend that anyone traveling to Sunday's Super Bowl XLIV follow the route he's taken.

Despite getting cut by teams five times during his rookie season, the Colts' reserve tight end from Bethesda could be toasting a Super Bowl victory Sunday night.

"It's been a crazy trip. I discovered you have to really stay on an even keel through the whole thing," Cloherty said this week. "It's been a great experience and I've loved every second of it."

It's a long way in one year from All- Ivy League, even if he'd followed a direct course. Undrafted out of Brown last spring, Cloherty was cut by the Colts in training camp. They added him to the practice squad, then cut him again in October.

After a three-week stint with Cleveland, it looked like it might be time to start putting that degree in history and political science to work.

"[Cleveland] didn't want me either," Cloherty said. "I got cut at 6:28 on a Monday morning. I went to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, left that and started to get ready for the drive home to Bethesda."

On the outskirts of Cleveland, his agent called and said turn right. He was wanted back in Indianapolis.

The Colts cut him twice more, but like a yo-yo he kept coming back.

"It's one of those free and easy feelings. I'm 22. One week of clothes is about all I need," said Cloherty, a graduate of Gonzaga College High in Washington. "I have my laptop and a TV. What else do you need?"

The most unexpected call may have been the one he got from the Colts on New Year's Eve. They wanted him to show up early the next morning because he was being activated from the practice squad for the regular-season finale at Buffalo.

Starter Dallas Clark was resting and two other tight ends were injured. The rest of the Colts barely went through the motions in a forgettable 30-7 loss to the Bills. But Cloherty will always remember his one big moment. He caught a 2-yard pass on third-and-14 in 3 inches of snow.

"I couldn't understand why everybody else wasn't as excited as I was. I kind of had to put on a scowl for a couple minutes to let everybody else know I was upset we didn't get the first down," he said. "It was awesome to get a stat with, hopefully, the Super Bowl champion Colts."

Cloherty didn't dress for the first two postseason games and likely won't in the Super Bowl. The future may lead to a career in law or politics. But right now he has a chance at the ring that has eluded players such as Dan Marino and Barry Sanders, and he's enjoying every moment of the experience.

"I think I'm taking more pictures here than people are taking of me," he said.

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