INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson spoke to reporters Thursday addressing a wide range of topics, including the health of outside linebacker Robert Mathis and right tackle Gosder Cherilus, T.Y. Hilton's contract, and the roles of key players for 2015.
Here is what he had to say:
Are you still in a wait and see mode with Robert Mathis? What do you expect?
"I think you kind of hold fast to the fact that he's a great pro. He's a special athlete, and he's a warrior. Like Jim (Irsay) eluded to when he talked about him yesterday, Robert when we took over here with the new regime, he was the guy to make sure he's here because of all the things he brings to the table. We want him to bring all those things to the table again, but we have to be smart. We have to make sure he's 100%. That's the bottom line, and we'll do that when the doctors clear him."
Even at his age, what will he bring to the defense when he's back?
"Burst, pass rush savvy, non-stop motor, killer instinct. I could go on and on and on. You guys all see it. People that see him in the stands can say all the same things about him. He's a special player, leader, and person. Love his approach, he's a man of few words, but when he speaks it's E.F. Hutton time.
Is it hard to tell (Robert Mathis), "Slow down. Wait until you're 100%"?
"You tell him that. You can be the guy that tells him that (laughs). That would be good, we'll get (Indianapolis Star reporter Zak Keefer) to tell him that. Then Chuck (Pagano) won't have to, and I won't have to. That guys got a lot of punch, and you don't want to get in his crosshairs. I saw him in the weight room not too long ago, and I said something to him about still laying in the weeds. He looked at him like, "I'm about ready to jump out of those weeds," but we have to make sure that he's obviously 100%.
If you have to go with Jack Mewhort at right tackle, what do you like about him there?
"Well, I like the fact that he's played the position, both sides in college. I like the fact that Jack, in a similar way like Anthony Castonzo, he has a certain determination about him and a certain aptitude and intelligence and toughness. He cares so much that he's going to get the job done. I think the athleticism is there at right tackle. I think he's a tough guy, just like I said. Just like (Castonzo), if he has to play that position, he's going to do a good job, because he won't accept otherwise. He's his own harshest critic.
Is Mewhort's future at tackle, whether now or two years from now?
"I think the situation will determine that. As a rookie, doing what he did, he had his rough moments, just like any rookie's going to. He was also battling through a knee all year. To his credit, he didn't let that conquer him. He helped us. He played a lot of good football for us, but you're always going to be better your second year, regardless of the position you're at. I think that will shake out itself, because we want to have the best five.
Do you feel like talking to the doctors Gosder Cherilus will be ready to go come training camp?
"We hope so. You have to look for the field tests. You have to take it piecemeal. Like right now, we're kind of not focused on that, because he's just starting to get out here and starting to move around and do certain things. So, you can't even start evaluating him until he starts getting in a bent knee position and starts sliding, doing football-type stuff to see if that movement and mannerisms are there that you want in an NFL starting right tackle.
Jim Irsay talked Wednesday, and you've talked before about some of the free agents you've got coming up. With T.Y. Hilton, is there a chance at getting him done before the season, or is this something that will be done next offseason?
"I think Jim also talked about you draft players, and you want to keep them here. (Hilton)'s obviously one we want to keep here. We'll address it at the proper time, just like all those guys we want to keep here. Now we're focused on '15. That's what we're focused on is 2015 and keeping our main focus on the field right now.
Has your first round pick (WR Phillip Dorsett) impressed you more than he thought he would?
"He's been impressive. No doubt, but the things that you saw kind of in a small sample size in college, I think his consistency has showed out here. He's going to have some things to clean up, just like any rookie will. The thing about Phillip is you meet his family, you know why he's got a great support system at home. You know why he's the type of person he is. He's going to be someone that hits the ground running, because of how he's wired. He's already a pro. He's learning multiple positions, which is not easy in this offense. We wouldn't be moving him around, if he wasn't able to handle that. His aptitude has impressed me. Obviously, his speed is his calling card, but it's not just that. He's a fast guy that can play football. He has receiver's hands, and he has elusiveness laterally and has change of direction that a lot of times true speed freaks don't have. A lot of times they're straight-liners, they can't catch, or they're little guys that lack toughness or lack true hands. He has that skill set. He's going to be fun to watch. He's got some things to work on, but we're excited about him, obviously."
You've seen Frank Gore and Andre Johnson at a distance. Now that you've had them here, what has impressed you most about those guys, along with Trent Cole and Todd Herremans?
"I just like how they're all business. Those guys are all business. It shows. They've got Father Time in the rearview, and you can tell by Andre last night (at the Colts open practice at Lucas Oil Stadium). His catch radius at 229 pounds shredded at 6'3" and change. I mean that guy is impressive, and he just goes about his business. He's out here working. He doesn't say a peep. Neither does Frank, and they just work. They're not prima donnas by any stretch. They are hungry for a ring. That's why they're here. They're a lead by example type guys, which we really love."