Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis made headlines when he called out his team for a lack of mental toughness. Now he’s mad at the media for reporting what he said.
Here’s what Mathis said that (justifiably) got some pretty big play.
“I’m not bashing — I’m just telling the truth. I’m the leader and that falls on me. I’m the first one the fans should be angry at,” Mathis said on 1260-AM WNDE, via ESPN.com. “If I can take those bullets for my teammates, I’m taking them. I have to do better. … The talent is there. We can play with any team, when we are on our A-game. It’s [just] a lot of mental. We are not the strongest mentally as a team. The physical ability, the coaching, the players — it’s all there. Mentally, we need to get stronger.”
Just a few days later, Mathis is upset that the media took his quote and ran with it. And wouldn’t you know it? He offered up an even juicier quote as his frustration got the better of him.
“Honestly, I think it’s media people acting like little junior high school girls trying to create some stuff,’’ Mathis said, via FOX 59. “My team knows me. They know I speak from the heart. I don’t throw a rock and hide my head. They understood me and I put a lot of it on myself. I say what I feel, feel what I say. I thought I needed to say it.’’
Media people did not “create some stuff.” The media simply reported what Mathis said and offered opinions based on what he said. And to be quite honest, what he said originally had plenty of merit — the Colts are soft mentally. Mistakes and a lack of discipline on both sides of the ball have caused this team to perform extremely inconsistently this year.
Of course, there is also a talent deficiency in the trenches, especially on offense. But a team that plays sound, fundamental football and does not make critical mistakes late in games can make up for a certain lack of talent. Especially a team with a top quarterback like the Colts.
Indy has been a train wreck since last year. The dysfunction that has become commonplace begins with owner Jim Irsay, who refused to get rid of Ryan Grigson or Chuck Pagano. The head coach and general manager have consistently failed to provide the team with the talent, development and discipline it takes to win.
Nobody’s making this stuff up. There are no “little junior high school girls” penning fiction about the Colts. This team is legitimately broken right now, and a fix won’t be painless.