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Robert Mathis — He Does It

Posted by craigkelleycolts on September 26, 2013 – 3:38 pm

Robert Mathis got one of the last scholarships available at Alabama A&M, yet made it to the NFL.

Mathis is the smallest of his male siblings, yet he has scaled great heights.

With four more sacks, he will become the 30th NFL player to reach 100 for a career.  He always has proven himself because he’s always been driven.

“I am here by no accident because of the truth of the saying, ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.’  I’m the smallest male in the family,” said Mathis.  “I always was told to fight, but I had it in me anyway.

“You have to fight to exist in every walk of life.  It’s particularly true in my line of work.”

Any fight comes from the existence of a heart, something that Mathis has in abundance.  Part of that heart keeps him in touch with the Alabama A&M, and he has benefited the university in many ways.

Mathis, in turn, is being honored by others.  On Friday, he will be in his native Atlanta as he is inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall-of-Fame.

It, no doubt, will have a special meaning for a man who has made deep footprints everywhere he has been.

Some athletes have quotes that mean something to them.  Some don’t.

Mathis does and carries it to the extent that is it tattooed on his stomach.  Emblazoned on his ripped, 6-2, 246-pound torse is his favorite quote.

“Mine is lengthy, and it’s the poem, ‘It Couldn’t Be Done, by Edgar A. Guest.”


Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.

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Posted in Colts Blog

Jerrell Freeman adds pass rushing dimension to his tackling machine nature

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:55 am

Back in late May, Colts linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald talked about the versatility his group had and how implementing that would be the next step heading into 2013.

Moving players around and allowing the Colts pass rush to thrive on third downs was something Fitzgerald was looking for out of his linebackers.

Jerrell Freeman was a tackling machine in his first NFL season last year but he has taken Fitzgerald’s offseason wish and made it come true.temp2013_0922_SF_2816--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Freeman 3.0 sacks are tied for ninth in the NFL and he’s the only inside linebacker in the league with more than 1.5 sacks.

“It’s just making the most of an opportunity,” Freeman says. “Guys up front, my other linebackers blitzing in and doing their thing. They’re doing all that work, the least I can do is make a play when I get the opportunity.”

Two of those sacks have come on third downs and in both of those cases Freeman has forced a fumble with the Colts recovering the loose ball.

The 15 takeaways the Colts had last season were one of the fewest in the NFL and Freeman is doing everything he can to change that number.

“We just try to get turnovers, try to make a difference out there. That’s what we preach,” Freeman said on Wednesday.

“Last year, we wanted to do more with the turnover battle and I think we’re at plus-four now. It’s a big thing. Get old Andy (Andrew Luck) the ball over there and I think we’ll be pretty good.”

Perhaps the most impressive indication of Freeman’s play in 2013 is he still has 26 tackles, which ranks near the top of the NFL.

Freeman’s 26 tackles is the most tackles for the top 64 players on the sack list after three games.

Last year, Freeman was a much needed catalyst in the middle of the Colts defense.

He is once again doing that in 2013 and has even added another dimension to his game that not many inside linebackers possess.

“He’s a good athlete. He studies the game, he works hard, he can run,” head coach Chuck Pagano says about Freeman.

“The guy’s got instincts. He knows probably what’s coming before it comes. He’s effective both in coverage, he’s effective in the run game, and when we do blitz he finds a way to get to the quarterback, so he’s got a knack for that.”

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Posted in Colts Blog

Colts Daily Headlines: September 26th Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 8:33 am

It was back to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon for the Colts. Today’s news look at the stout Colts defense, the can’t overlook attitude of the Colts and the play of the team’s offensive tackles.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, September 26th.  

Dominant Colts defense gets Jaguars next

By: Michael Marot, Associated Press

Sunday’s defensive blueprint could not have been better scripted for success.

Now the challenge becomes turning that in week-in-and-week-out.

Cory Redding finally got a chance Wednesday to start talking about the Colts defense on his terms.

Aggressive. Physical. Dominant.

Over the past decade or two, those three words have largely been missing from Indianapolis’ defensive lexicon. After last weekend’s impressive breakout performance at San Francisco, they become trendy descriptions.

Now the Colts (2-1) just have to prove they can keep playing this way, week after week.

“That’s what we always try to do,” Redding said. “It ain’t playing bad one week and good the next or good one week and bad the next. You want to play good football every week.”

Colts using mouse traps as a reminder

By: Mike Wells,

0-3 or 3-0, the Colts are treating the Jacksonville Jaguars like they would any other opponent this week.

“It’s a big week for us,” Pagano said. “We know what our ultimate goal is and the easiest way to get into the (playoffs) is to win the division. So our guys understand the importance of this game and this week.”

The Colts are tied with Houston and Tennessee atop the AFC South with a 2-1 record.

The Colts were in a similar situation last season. They came from behind to beat the Green Bay Packers 30-27 only to turn to get blown out by the New York Jets the following week. Quarterback Mark Sanchez only threw for 82 yards, but running back Shonn Greene ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns in New York’s 35-9 win.

Castonzo, Cherilus offer long-term hope as tackle bookends for Colts’ O-line

By: Mike Chappell, Indy Star

It’s a topic that isn’t receiving a ton of attention but Chappell looks at the success of the Colts two tackles, both who figure to be key cogs for a long time.

Exhibit A: Gosder’s work against Miami defensive end Cameron Wake. One of the NFL’s most disruptive pass-rush threats was a non-factor in the Dolphins’ 24-20 win earlier this month. Wake’s line on the stat sheet: 0 sacks, one tackle. He entered the game with 45 1/2 sacks in 63 career games, including 2 1/2 the previous week against Cleveland.

Exhibit B: Castonzo’s work against San Francisco outside linebacker Aldon Smith in Sunday’s 27-7 Colts’ win. Smith brought a daunting resume with him to Candlestick Park – 37 career sacks, including 19 1/5 last season – and was virtually neutralized by Castonzo. Smith had five tackles, but zero sacks and wasn’t credited with any pressures.

That’s what top tackles are supposed to do.

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