Mathis expected lead Colts' Pro Bowlers

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts should have some happy players when the Pro Bowl teams are announced Friday.

Linebacker Robert Mathis, who has 17.5 sacks, should be named to the team for the sixth straight year.

“Pro Bowl? He’s Hall of Fame from my standpoint,” Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. “He’s just the type of player that if he was playing the rush end for all the years that he’s been playing defensive end, he would probably have a lot more sacks.”

Mathis, in typical fashion, brushed off the Pro Bowl talk because he’s more worried about bigger things.

“I’m trying to get to New York [for the Super Bowl],” he said. “That’s the team goal, and that’s a cherry on top of the cake if you’re able to get voted in.”

Mathis could be joined in Hawaii by quarterback Andrew Luck, linebacker Jerrell Freeman and special-teams ace Sergio Brown. On Thursday, Mathis made a plea for Freeman, who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week this week, and who has 118 tackles and 4.5 sacks this season.

“I don’t think, I know he’s a Pro Bowler,” Mathis said. “If he’s not in the Pro Bowl, it’s a crime. Recount or whatever you need to do, he definitely needs to be there.”

A draft of the players chosen will take place Jan. 21 to determine the two teams.