Robert Mathis Feeling Like His 2013-Self?

Intro: Entering his 14th NFL season, Robert Mathis says his body is very similar to what he felt back in 2013, when he led the NFL in sacks.


ANDERSON, Ind. – For the locals, it's known as "Raven Softball Field," home to the Anderson University Softball Field.

To Robert Mathis, it's "Dungeon Field," home to a rehab that would have forced many into retirement.

The softball field at Anderson University is just a football toss away from the Colts' practice fields for Training Camp.

Located over a hill, and out of sight from the thousands of fans who show up to observe practice, the field is where the injured Colts migrate to during practice.

Last year, it was Mathis' daily home in Anderson.

It was the final hurdle in a gruesome Achilles' rehab that included 10 different surgical procedures on the then 34-year-old Mathis.

A betting man predicting Mathis would be the Colts' top sacker in 2015 would have earned some pretty good odds.

Sure enough, when the green light was given to Mathis (not until Week Seven last year), No. 98 moved his way to the top of the team's sack leaderboard.

Back in Anderson for another NFL Training Camp, this one at the age of 35, Mathis is staying far away from "The Dungeon."

"It's a big emotional uplift knowing you're not banished to…Dungeon Field," a wry-smiling Mathis says.

Mathis' passion for the game and motivation of proving anyone and everyone wrong has him still quarterback hating in Year No. 14.

Watch Mathis fly around in pass rushing drills at camp and you know who the Colts' best pass rusher is in 2016.

Complacency or contentment for the Colts' all-time sack leader?

Not in Mathis' dictionary.

"The guy just loves ball," D'Qwell Jackson says of his fellow linebacker.

"In my opinion, he is a future Hall of Famer. With the amount of sacks he's generated, from where he started from a small school to where he is now, it's remarkable that he still carries a chip on his shoulder. Even last year, with limited time, he still had seven sacks and led this team. With a healthy Robert Mathis, he is still hitting a ceiling that most of us don't have."

Individually, the height of Mathis' career came three seasons ago.

In his last completely healthy campaign, the 2013 season, Mathis led the NFL with 19.5 sacks.

Now back and healthy, just how good does Mathis feel this camp?

"2013-ish," No. 98 says, "if you feel what I'm saying."

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