He still hasn’t achieved what he had hoped for in the NFL after a decade, so a call from Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson was a welcomed opportunity. Grigson was the Eagles’ western region scout in 2005, when the team drafted Herremans in the fourth round out of Saginaw Valley State.
The Colts’ continual tinkering to provide quarterback Andrew Luck with a stronger offensive line led to Herremans signing a one-year, $2.25 million deal.
“I haven’t really reached the goals that I’ve planned on reaching yet,” Herremans said last week during offseason training activities. “My body just isn’t telling me to shut it down yet. I still feel like I’ve got good football left in me. It’s a good situation here, so I’m running with it as long as I can.”
Herremans started 124 of 127 career games with the Eagles. But a torn biceps injury cut short his 2014 season after eight games. Philadelphia decided to release him with two years remaining on his contract.
“He wants to go out and win,” Herremans said of Grigson. “The team is very hungry and not satisfied with the success this team’s had so far. We both have a common goal and everybody in this locker room has the same goal. That was very important to me, to be in a program that was heading in the same direction I want to be.”
It’s uncertain where the Colts will use Herremans, who is versatile enough to play at guard or tackle. He played right guard last season. In 2011, he started 16 games at right offensive tackle.
The Colts are hoping offensive right tackle Gosder Cherilus can rebound from injuries that led to an inconsistent season and eventually landed him on injured reserve. Left guard Donald Thomas has played just two games in two seasons after twice tearing a quadriceps muscle.
Herremans likes what he sees with his new offense.
“Well, I think that there’s some very talented players,” he said. “Obviously we’ve got a good receiver group. The running back group is good. They added a couple pieces here and there. I think it’s only going to go up from last year.
“I think that the O-line is young and hungry. There’s some good talent there, too. I’m just looking forward to getting in with these guys and learning as much as I can from them that have been in the system and help as much as I can from what I’ve learned in the past.”
He says the key for improving a line that has allowed Luck to be sacked 100 times in three seasons is building continuity. The Colts’ offensive line used 11 different combinations last season.
“Well, I think just cohesiveness, guys that are willing to work hard and just stick together when things start going bad,” Herremans said. “When it starts getting real hot and heavy back there, that can go one way or the other. I think this seems like a pretty tight group already of guys with the way that they bond together, they jell together. The tighter it gets, that’s only going to help out.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.