Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis met with the media today, one day after his team's dominating 30-10 performance over the Jaguars to close out the 2013 regular season. While speaking to media, Mathis stated that, following one of the Colts' blowout loses earlier this season, the team got together and held a players-only meeting.
Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star details:
The team's leadership stepped in.
"There was a players-only meeting of the minds," outside linebacker Robert Mathis revealed Monday. "It was really just a gut-check meeting."
The meeting came after "one of those games where we kind of got blown out of the water. It's a distant memory. But it was guys meeting, men talking and holding each other accountable. And we responded quite nicely."
What's interesting about Mathis' revelation is that, per Holden's partner on the Colts beat, Mike Chappell, the meeting happened after the 38-8 loss to the Rams.
#colts LB Robt Mathis: What got Colts back on track? Players' only meeting,after Rams (he thinks).Men talking,holding each other accountable— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) December 30, 2013
Well, if that's the case, how exactly did this meeting help anything?
Mathis refused to underplay the importance.
"It was a lot of guys who are older and that are in the position of being a leader to speak up," Mathis said. "Actually, anybody that wanted to say anything, the floor was open. We got good results from it."
The Colts got destroyed just two weeks later at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, 40-11. Two weeks after that, the defense was scorched and bludgeoned by the Bengals in a 42-28 embarrassment. Sandwiched in between those loses was a 30-27 comeback win against the Titans and a 22-14 victory over (again) the Titans. It wasn't until Week 15 against the hapless Texans that the team finally started playing better, which was five weeks after this players-only meeting supposedly happened.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad internal leadership finally stepped up and said "Enough!" I'm just skeptical of how much good it actually did in terms of helping the Colts win games.
From our vantage, changes within the line-ups (benching Darrius Heyward-Bey, placing Pat Angerer on IR, promoting Griff Whalen from the practice squad) and tweaks to their systems (power running game gone, more no-huddle, offense working out of the shotgun) have done more to ensure the Colts' 11 wins in the regular season than any internal meeting among players did.