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MATHIS TAKING STEP BACKWARDS, NOT FORWARDS

Posted by Kevin Bowen on August 16, 2012 – 9:00 am

Some of the loudest cheers that have come from the practice field during the Colts 2012 training camp have been due to a Robert Mathis play in pass coverage.

For nine seasons, Mathis was a Pro Bowl defensive end and now making the transition into pass coverage, his teammates know the type of work that he has put into the offseason.

On Tuesday at practice, there was a small eruption from the Colts defenders when Mathis went up for a jump ball in the corner of the end zone with tight end Coby Fleener and knocked away a potential touchdown.

It’s moments like that which makes Mathis believe he can make the switch. But even he admitted it was difficult taking a step back, not forward, once the ball was snapped on Sunday.

“It’s very hard especially personally, myself, been in it for nine years and trying not to revert back and just do what you’re supposed to do,” Mathis said.

One of the biggest adjustments Mathis has been forced to make this season is on the mental side of things. It’s the ability to process things pre snap from a stand up position that Mathis has been working on all offseason.

“It’s a little bit more thinking,” Mathis said. “Once you get the system down where they just call the play and you can run the play without thinking that much, it’ll be that much greater.”

From a unit standpoint, Mathis and the defense had a successful opener allowing just three points against the Rams.

The first team defense is expected to play a little more this coming Sunday and will look for more of the same against the Steelers.

“Just try and improve, maximize our pluses and minimize our minuses,” Mathis said. “Just get better each and every week. (We) can’t get too ahead of ourselves.”


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