In Phil Wilson's latest 'Getting To Know' article for the Indianapolis Star, he focused on second year defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews. Mathews was a seventh round pick last year out of Cincinnati, and the big man everyone called 'Rico' suited up for six games.
While we Colts fans obsess over who will play the nose tackle position in 2011, one option we've often tossed around is Rico. however, last season, he was listed at 294 pounds. Again, for a nose tackle in this defensive scheme, the player needs to be at or near 310. If not, offensive linemen will simply blast the NT off the line. See Eric Foster in 2008 as an example.
However, in Phil's article profiling Rico, we got an interesting little nugget of info that might make a few of us obsessive compulsive types breath a bit easier about the NT position.
(Note: The questions Wilson poses to Rico are in bold while Rico's answers are in regular font):
You have big goals this season? You have to be in the tackle rotation, right? "I worked hard in the offseason. Staying on the grind. Glad football is back."
You stayed lean by eating fish? "Oh, yeah. How big do I look?
Maybe 270. "I haven't been 270 since my sophomore year in college. That's too low."
Maybe 290. "Nah, 315."
You look a lean 315. "It's still hard carrying around all this weight, but I try to carry it the best I can."
Interesting. I've watched Rico's play closely in both preseason games, and he has improved. He also looks bigger, and against second unit offensive lines, he's holding his own. He seems to work very well next to Drake Nevis.
I don't know how much of Rico we'll see on Friday against the Packers, but it should be interesting to see how he holds up against their offensive line should he get some work with the first unit.