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Indianapolis Colts

Robert Mathis To Colts Teammates: "Let 2006 Happen Again"

Intro: As Robert Mathis continues to rehab for a 13th NFL season, the Colts franchise sack leader is determined to deliver.





INDIANAPOLIS – Practice had ended, but the emotion was alive and well.

Robert Mathis was speaking and his teammates were listening.

The longest tenured Colt is never much of a pontificator, but his words were resonating with the 100 men around him.

"Let 2006 happen again," Mathis told those within ear shot.

For those who have trouble remembering the years, 2006 was the Super Bowl campaign for the Colts. Now, in 2015, Mathis is just one of two players still donning the horseshoe nearly a decade later.

Mathis was speaking to his teammates after the Wednesday night, mini-camp, practice at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Jim Irsay had called Mathis into the middle of the huddle following the Colts Owner presenting his all-time sack leader with a watch, signifying the historic 2013 campaign for No. 98.

The NFL-best 19.5-sack season in 2013 earned Mathis the Deacon Jones Award.

Upon receiving the watch from Irsay, Mathis had his teammates' full attention.

"I was fired up," safety Mike Adams said after Mathis' talk.

"He has the same goals we have, to hang another banner up and to win that Super Bowl. That's what we want to do and that's the plan."

The emotion on Mathis' face during the presentation was quite apparent.

Before the motivational message to end the evening at Lucas Oil Stadium, Mathis tried to hold back tears when Irsay spoke.

"It was heartwarming," Mathis said of the watch gesture.

"I didn't see it coming at all."

The 34-year old Mathis enters his 13th NFL season in a cloud of unknown.

Mathis, who is trying to return from an Achilles injury that forced him to sit out the entire 2014 season, is adamant when the season debuts on September 13, he will be out there.

Chuck Pagano hasn't gone on record in placing such a time frame.

He does know in a time period where players get away one last time before the NFL grind picks back up, Mathis remains in Indianapolis, just weeks away from Training Camp commencing.

"When he gets cleared, we'll get him back on the grass," Pagano said of Mathis at the end of the team's mini-camp. "Then when we get him back, we've got to be smart with how we get him back in the lineup and those type of things.

"Time will tell. I'm not Kreskin or Nostradamus. I don't know. I'm not trying to be a jokester. I don't know. If anybody can do it, I'm putting my money on him."

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