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Robert Mathis goes from sack specialist to teaching Colts how to get 'em

Robert Mathis retired after the 2016 season, his 13th with the Colts, with 123 sacks. Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robert Mathis voiced his opinion about possibly coaching Dec. 30, 2016, the day he announced his plan to retire after 14 NFL seasons.

“I think I have made it known that I definitely want to push my knowledge of pass rushing on to the younger players,” the Indianapolis Colts' franchise sacks leader said that Friday afternoon. “Any shape, form or fashion that can be done, I am more than open to it.”

It also turns out that Mathis wasted little time in jumping right in to pass along the knowledge he developed during a career that included 123 sacks and five Pro Bowl selections.

It was only a matter of days before Mathis was asking about what he could do to help the team.

“He came to us right after the season and said, ‘What can I do to help?’” defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said this week. “We just sent him to work on it and he went and talked to everybody he needed to talk to, got it approved and here he is.”

And Mathis has been a regular at the Colts facility since getting the OK to offer his services. The 36-year-old is not considered a staff member; rather, Mathis is classified as a volunteer.

Any knowledge Mathis can shed will be helpful for a defensive unit that has undergone significant changes this offseason after finishing 30th in the NFL in 2016 and is moving forward uncertain about who will pressure opposing quarterbacks next season.

“He does a nice job,” Monachino said. “He’s a good communicator, he’s sharp, he thinks ahead, he sees the game through a barn door instead of through a straw. So I can see how he fits. I think he’s got a trait to [become a coach].”

Robert Mathis, a full-time coach?

Not so fast, he says. He currently has no interest in doing it full time.

“I’m positive about that," Mathis said during a recent radio interview on WNDE-FM 97.5 in Indianapolis. “I want to maximize my time with my family. But I definitely want to be around the game in some shape ... and ideally it would be my team that I’ve been a part of for 14 years.’’