ANDERSON, Ind. —
“I don’t think I’m ever going to be comfortable with covering (Colts
receiver) Reggie (Wayne),” he said. “I mean, I probably can cover Reggie about two yards. The first two steps, I got him. After that, it’s up to the blitz or whatever is going on.”
Pagano’s defense will play to the duo’s strength, and that means rushing the passer. But there’s plenty that must be done right before the defense can turn Mathis and Freeney loose.
“They fully understand that in order to do (rush the passer) we’ve got to get people into third and longs,” Pagano said. “So we’ve got to play great run defense on first and second (down) in run situations. They’ve adapted extremely well. Obviously, it’s all new to them. But putting the time in that they put in in the offseason is making this camp a heck of a lot easier for both of them. They both bought in hook, line and sinker and hats off to those guys. That’s just the kind of men that they are.”
The short sprint to the regular-season opener on Sept. 9 in Chicago begins today when the full pads come on for the afternoon practice. Mathis said he can’t wait to mix it up with the offense — “If you’ve got the ball, you’ve got to get hit.” — and he feels his teammates are ready for the same.
“Everybody is hungry and ready to hunt,” he said. “Everybody is having fun. You just have to get the grind out of the way, and that’s camp. So we’re going to do that, and then we’ll be on our way.”