Robert Mathis has a unique belief on how to fix Colts defensive line
Indianapolis Colts legend, Robert Mathis, offers an unpopular approach to improving the team’s defensive line play.
One of the biggest struggles for the Indianapolis Colts the past couple of seasons has been the defensive line play. That’s been obvious. That is why the team spent the first two draft picks on edge rushers last year.
Although rookies Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo showed promise, they didn’t remedy the Colts’ defensive line issues. That leaves Indy entering another offseason looking to upgrade.
Chris Ballard, in his end-of-season presser, mentioned the idea of needing eight quality defensive linemen to rotate and get after the QB. After admitting that Indy didn’t have that this season, the question became who will the team acquire to have it next season.
There are several veteran free agent defensive linemen that the Colts could go after, but one respected voice in Indianapolis feels that won’t be necessary.
Pass-rushing legend, Robert Mathis, argues that Indy already has the talent it needs on the defensive line, but the unit needs better coaching to showcase it.
Robert Mathis argues Colts don’t need to sign defensive linemen
Mathis knows a lot about defensive line play, especially in Indianapolis, playing 14 years as an edge rusher for the Colts. His words come from a place of credibility.
Additionally, Mathis has experience with some of Indy’s current defensive linemen, working as a pass-rush consultant for the team since 2017, so he knows what the players have to offer.
As far as the defensive line’s actual coaching, the unit was run by Brian Baker since 2020, under defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Both Baker and Eberflus have now moved on from Indianapolis.
The Colts’ defense will now be coordinated by Gus Bradley. Bradley has selected Ron Milus as the defensive backs coach and Richard Smith as the linebackers coach. A defensive line coach is yet to be selected.
Considering this is the group that needs the most growth on the defense, the hire will be important. As Mathis points out, coaching can have a lot to do with the production of players.
While that is true, the Colts should still attempt to land some pass rushers in free agency. It’s still possible the young defensive linemen will keep developing, but Indy can’t afford to wait on their development when the team is in position to compete now.
The Colts should make sure they hire the right coach that will get the most out of the guys currently on the roster, but Indy must also upgrade if that’s an available and affordable option.