Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker Robert Mathis has put fear into the minds of many quarterbacks over the course of his NFL career. On Thursday afternoon, the league announced that Mathis should be commemorated with an award named after a player that has perhaps scared even more.
The Pro Bowler Mathis, who broke a Colts’ franchise record by finishing 2013 with a total of 19.5 sacks, was named the winner of the first-ever Deacon Jones Award for most sacks in a season. Mathis will receive the award the week of the Super Bowl in New York on February 1st.
“He’s the creator of the sack,” said Mathis about Jones. “To be able to win the first award in his honor, it’s an honor. It’s nothing to sneeze at at all. Very proud that I was able to get it, win it and I think about my teammates, mainly the D-line, very instrumental in helping me get to the quarterback. It’s a unit award more so than an individual.”
Jones, a Hall of Fame defensive end that reportedly coined the phrase “sacking the quarterback”, was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in 1967-68. If all goes well for Mathis, who was just named the Defensive Player of the Month award winner for the second time this season, he should be winning his first according to Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano.
“There’s no question, no doubt about it,” said Pagano about Mathis.
“I’d be shocked if he didn’t receive that award. Robert, does he really care? If you know Robert like we all know Robert, he wants to win this game. He wants to be in New York in February. That’s his number one goal and only goal right now. Hats off to Robert. Congratulations to him for winning AFC Player of the Month again a second time, I think he won it in October. Hopefully he’ll keep playing at the level he’s playing at. I know he will.”