Nate Dunlevy speaks with Colts Left Tackle Anthony Castonzo at a community service event.
Like most upwardly mobile young man, Anthony Castonzo rolls in style.
Well, he rolls anyway.
The rookie left tackle appeared at the Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center on the Northwest side of Indianapolis yesterday afternoon to help Verizon recognize the efforts of the venerable community organization. As part of the Verizon Community day, a $1,000 check was presented to the center, and Castonzo read to children and served as a guest instructor for a Zumba class as part of a celebration of the center’s efforts in the area. CEO Helen Woods-Lands accepted the honors on behalf of the 25 year-old neighborhood organization. A United Way charity, the Fay Biccard Glick center offers a variety of services to moderate and low income families and depends heavily on support from local churches and schools as well as St. Vincent’s.
The 6’7″ giant arrived early for the event with the aid of a small cart designed to help support his leg. The cart was originally purchased for Dwight Freeney who tired of using crutches after a surgery and is now passed around to different players who are recovering. Castonzo is recovering from ankle surgery to repair a torn tendon suffered in the early season loss to Tampa Bay. He was operated on just last week, and expects to make a full recovery. He’ll begin lower body workouts in another month and a half.
Castonzo is a bright, affable guy who was enthusiastic and comfortable while reading with the children. It was obviously difficult for him to get around, but his effort was well received by the center workers and the children.
Castonzo with Center CEO Helen Woods-Lands
Before the event started, I had a few minutes to ask Castonzo some questions.
Colts Authority: Anthony, before we begin do you know what Zumba is? Because honestly, I don’t.
Castonzo: They told me yesterday. My girlfriend was like, did you know you’ll be teaching a Zumba class? And I didn’t even know what Zumba is! So I looked it up and it’s actually like Latin dance mixed with exercise, so I’m pretty excited about that segment.
Colts Authority: So, how are you feeling?
Castonzo: I’m doing good. I’m a week off of surgery, but it’s part of the game. I’ll be healing up here for a little while, but then I’ll get back at it.
Colts Authority: You guys had a pretty good year run blocking. Are you sad to see Coach Metzelaars go?
Castonzo: Yeah, definitely. I talked to him today. He kind of let us know he wouldn’t be around. It’s sad to see him go, but that’s the nature of the beast.
Colts Authority: Anybody you’d like to see brought in? Any old coaches…
Castonzo: I haven’t even thought about anything like that. Right now all I can think about is trying to get healthy, all the stuff I have to do.
Colts Authority: How much did the ankle bother you all season?
Castonzo: I got hurt at Tampa Bay, and was out for a few games. When I came back I definitely noticed it. It was definitely bothering me. It’s one of those things that you just look forward until you can finally fix it. And it’s been fixed, so it’s good.
Castonzo reads to the kids. Notice the boot on his left ankle.
Colts Authority: Do you have any offseason goals other than just getting healthy?
Castonzo: I want to improve my overall athleticism. I want to come back next year at the beginning of the year, obviously much better mentally considering I’m no longer a rookie, but I want to be better physically too so I can continue on that upward trend.
Colts Authority: What does that look like…getting better athletically?
Castonzo: A lot of foot quickness stuff. Once I can get to where I can move again, I’m going to do a lot of foot quickness stuff, hip flexibility stuff. Just stuff where it’s natural to be low. That’s what I’m going to focus on, staying low and making that natural because it will help you in every phase of the game.
Colts Authority: How are you making the transition in your first offseason as a professional. Now football is a job, not to say it’s not fun, but how do you make that mental/emotional transition?
Castonzo: It’s not really that different. The only thing that’s different is that now I’m injured. I haven’t been injured my entire career. I was looking forward to this offseason where I could just get after it. I finally had a time where I could focus on just improving myself. Even last year you focus on running the 40 and that kind of stuff. Where as this year, I finally had an offseason where I’d be able to just work on getting better at football. But then this happened so that’s a little frustrating. But it’s still the same game and it’s still fun.
Colts Authority: Any thoughts on reading to the kids?
Castonzo: I’m really excited! I hope it’s a book with multiple characters so I can use different voices! I’m looking forward to doing voices. I actually read in one of my cousin’s preschool class. It was Go Dog, Go! That was a solid performance. I hope I can match that one here.
Castonzo and the kids were enthusiastic.