Robert Mathis retired after the 2016 season, but he couldn’t stay away from Indianapolis Colts facilities throughout the offseason and summer. Now his desire to stay plugged into the team and help it grow have led to an official position with the team — pass rush consultant.
The Colts announced the move on Monday via the team’s official website.
Back in the spring when Mathis started showing up even though he was retired, he thought it was a good way to “kind of wean yourself off the game.” At this point, it seems that strategy backfired, but that’s great news for the Colts.
“This is the only place that I know, the only place that took a chance on me, so I feel this is my way of giving back,” Mathis said. “I love this organization. I feel like I’m a loyal guy.
“I feel at home here,” he continued. “It gives my family the best opportunity for success being here.”
Mathis is certainly qualified for this position. He spent 14 seasons in the NFL, all with the Colts, and racked up 123 sacks along the way. That’s a Colts franchise record, by the way.
Head coach Chuck Pagano expressed what it means to have Mathis there to tutor the young players.
“He can show them, but he can also communicate to them: here’s the footwork, here’s the hands, here’s how to set the offensive lineman up and all those kinds of things,” Pagano said of Mathis. “He’s really good at relationships. He’s got a great demeanor about him. He’s got a great sense of calm to him. He always stays pretty steady and pretty measured, so I think he’d be an outstanding coach.”
Indianapolis needs the help. While the defensive front has been terrific at keeping running backs from running wild the first two games thus far in 2017, the pass defense leaves a lot to be desired. Though they’ve registered five sacks, it hasn’t been enough pressure to keep opposing offenses from averaging 325 yards through the air.