Colts linebacker Robert Mathis led the NFL with 19.5 sacks this season, and talk that he may win the defensive player of the year award has put a smile on his face.
Mathis has come a long way since entering the NFL as a 2003 fifth-round draft pick out of Alabama A&M, and he said today that an award like defensive player of the year would represent a reward for a decade of hard work since he entered the NFL.
“It would mean a lot,” Mathis said. “It’s definitely something coming in as a rookie that you couldn’t foresee, just trying to make the team. But hard work pays off and I got a lot of teammates that I was able to lean on this year and they were able to help get to this spot right now.”
Mathis topped his previous career high in sacks by eight, something he didn’t expect to do.
“Yeah, it’s hard to get sacks in this league. To be able to get to double digits, to get to 10 sacks is a feat. Being able to get to 19 is way out there. I just feel blessed, honored and just thankful for it,” Mathis said.
Mathis called a players-only meeting today and talked to the younger Colts about the importance of playing their best in the playoffs.
“It’s all well and good. That has to just transform into postseason success. So whatever, got to play within the framework of the defense. They look at me to get after the quarterback and I was able to do that a few times this year, so it just has to continue in the postseason,” Mathis said.
If Mathis continues playing in the postseason like he did in the regular season, that’s bad news for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.