It looks like Chuck Pagano's love for Robert Mathis has the Colts working towards giving the Pro Bowl pass rusher a new deal. According to Bob "Peyton Has a Noodle Arm" Kravitz (I kid, I kid), contract talks between Mathis and the Colts are "warming up considerably."
I'm told contract talks between colts and Robert Mathis are warming up considerably— BobKravitz (@bkravitz) February 29, 2012
From day one, Pagano has been open about his admiration for Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. In the Colts soon-to-be 3-4 defense, Pagano even hinted at standing up the defensive ends:
"I was talking to Mr. Irsay, if Wade Phillips can go to the Houston Texans and install the 3-4 with no offseason and make Mario Williams an outside linebacker and stand him up on early downs, that the two explosive, great athletes, the great pass rushers that we have on the edge here, I don’t see an issue."
Perhaps we'll see big boy Mathis standing up on third downs, terrorizing quarterbacks in a completely different aspect than we've seen before. With Mathis' quick bursts, I expect him to fill such a role quite well. And like I've mentioned before, maybe we'll even see Pagano get some worth out of the incredibly underwhelming Jerry Hughes.
In addition to Chuck P's affinity for Mathis, his brother John, who is coincidentally the new defensive coordinator in San Diego, also raved about Mathis' rushing abilities and his brother's willingness to utilize Mathis.
"When you have an impact rusher like Robert Mathis, you can see the presence he brings off the edge," John Pagano said. "In anybody’s defense, in anybody’s scheme, Robert Mathis would make a difference. To be able to have him coming off the edge, I think [Chuck] would most welcome that."
Frankly, I'm very happy that the Colts are negotiating with Mathis. He just turned 31 and has plenty of gas left in his tank. If the Colts don't take advantage of him in their new 3-4, there are plenty of teams out there that will. Let's just hope that they are willing to pay him an amount he is comfortable with.