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Double duty for Colts' Garcon: Getting ready for Jets, trying to help Haiti

Pierre Garcon #85 of the Indianapolis Colts looks

Pierre Garcon #85 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens. (January 16, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Communication has been sketchy, but from what Pierre Garçon has been able to divine, a large portion of his family still living in Haiti is in good shape after the devastation of the earthquake that crumbled that island's infrastructure last week. Like millions of others, his relatives are homeless, but at least they survived a disaster that took an estimated 200,000 lives.

That's why it was important to second-year wide receiver Garçon to express his support for those in desperate need by displaying a Haitian flag at the Colts' 20-3 AFC divisional playoff win over Baltimore last Saturday.

"The people back home that saw it enjoyed it," Garçon told reporters Thursday in Indianapolis. "It helped put a little smile on their face, I guess.

"So we haven't heard from everybody. The communication is not the greatest, but a fair amount that we've heard from are doing well. Their houses are damaged and they are still homeless, but as long as everybody is all right, they'll be OK to move on."

In the NFL cocoon, the business of preparing for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Jets is considered serious stuff. Teammate Dallas Clark praised the character and professionalism Garçon has shown in the way he has gone about his job, even while doing all he can in his spare time to aid the recovery effort in Haiti.

Describing his days now, Garçon said, "It's been a lot of phone calls, a lot of radio interviews, a lot of PSAs and doing stuff like that, trying to get the awareness out there. Anything I can do to help . . . I've been trying to slow down as much as possible, but I have to try to help my people and still have to worry about football."

By now, Garçon's devotion to duty, no matter where it lies, comes as no surprise to the Colts. Coach Jim Caldwell said the undrafted receiver from 10-time Division III national champion Mount Union arrived last season with the raw speed and power to succeed, and he also had the intangibles.

"He was hungry, very determined, a hard worker," Crawford said. "He's a guy that, I think, probably came in with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder coming from a little smaller school."

In his first season as a starter, Garcon emerged as the Colts' deep threat, catching 47 passes for a 16.3-yard average and four touchdowns. Against the Ravens, he demonstrated his speed and determination by chasing down Baltimore safety Ed Reed after an interception and forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Colts.

He looked like a player who really wanted to win. For now, Garçon is focusing on helping the Colts advance to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, where he has many relatives. It's not far from where he attended high school in Green Acres, Fla. Then it's on to Haiti for a first-hand look.

"It's really needed down there - the medical people, water, food," Garçon said. "They still need a lot more help."

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