Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis announced his retirement in a video posted to his Instagram on Friday.
Mathis spoke to the media as well on Friday, and said via the Indianapolis Star, “It’s time to step aside. The game’s been good to me. I want to walk away, not limp away. The rest of my body goes to my kids.
“It’s a joyous moment. I love everything about it,” Mathis said. “It’ll be weird not putting on the No. 98 jersey. Indy is my home. … It’s part of me, it’s in my DNA.”
In his video, Mathis said, “I’m a Colt for life. I bleed blue through and through.”
The best example right now is the Tennessee Titans. They have two tackles that have legit talent. Taylor Lewan just got voted to his first Pro Bowl, with rookie right tackle Jack Conklin being an alternate. They go out of their way to slide protect, have condensed formations to distract defensive ends, and use a variety of chip blocks.
Teams who choose not to use these formations often, or use chips sparingly, help out offensive lineman by design of the offense. Quick passes, play actions, boots, and screen passes are all deterrents for elite rushers. The goal is to make the end just think for a second, or stop their feet, or change their rush just for a split second. That’s all the time that’s needed.
There are various reasons why a team would choose to not help struggling tackles or provide help against elite defensive ends. Pass route concepts use the players that would be doing the extra help. Tight ends are used to remove defenders in the middle of the field or as the hot look in pressure. Backs are used to flood a side of the field to grab the attention of flat defenders or win against man. If these players are being eaten up by extra assignments, it can ruin a timing route offense.
Also, sending too much help to the edges can make the middle of the pocket soft (I’ll get into more about that below). For a quick passing attack, it’s vital to keep the middle of the pocket clean.