Around the NFL  

 

Will Robert Mathis light up Andrew Luck in Pro Bowl?

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- To hit Andrew Luck or not to hit Andrew Luck? That might be the question facing Robert Mathis at Sunday's Pro Bowl.

Pro Bowl Draft Day 2 recap
QUARTERBACK
Pk Team Player
1
Team Sanders
2
Team Sanders
3
Team Rice
4
Team Sanders
5
Team Rice
RUNNING BACK
Pk Team Player
1
Team Rice
2
Team Rice
3
Team Sanders
4
Team Rice
5
Team Sanders
Alfred Morris (assigned)
WIDE RECEIVER
Pk Team Player
1
Team Sanders
2
Team Sanders
3
Team Rice
4
Team Rice
5
Team Sanders
6
Team Rice
7
Team Sanders
8
Team Rice
Larry Fitzgerald (assigned)
TIGHT END
Pk Team Player
1
Team Rice
2
Team Rice
3
Team Sanders
Jason Witten (assigned)
4
Team Sanders
Jordan Cameron (assigned)
OFFENSIVE TACKLE
Pk Team Player
1
Team Rice
2
Team Sanders
3
Team Rice
4
Team Sanders
5
Team Sanders
6
Team Rice
Jordan Gross (assigned)
DEFENSIVE END
Pk Team Player
1
Team Rice
Robert Mathis (trade)
2
Team Rice
Cam Jordan
3
Team Sanders
4
Team Rice
5
Team Sanders
Mario Williams (assigned)
LINEBACKER
Pk Team Player
1
Team Sanders
2
Team Rice
3
Team Rice
4
Team Sanders
5
Team Rice
Derrick Johnson (assigned)
6
Team Sanders
Paul Posluszny (assigned)
7
Team Sanders
8
Team Sanders
Brian Orakpo (assigned, trade)
9
Team Rice
DEFENSIVE BACK
Pk Team Player
1
Team Sanders
2
Team Sanders
3
Team Rice
4
Team Sanders
5
Team Sanders
6
Team Rice
7
Team Rice
8
Team Sanders
9
Team Rice
10
Team Sanders
11
Team Sanders
12
Team Rice
Antrel Rolle (assigned)
KICKER
Pk Team Player
1
Team Sanders
2
Team Rice
Stephen Gostkowski (assigned)
RETURNERS
Pk Team Player
1
Team Rice
2
Team Sanders

One byproduct of the NFL's new Pro Bowl draft was that some players will face off against teammates. The biggest question is whether a defensive player is willing to wallop his franchise quarterback if presented the opportunity.

For most of Wednesday's three-hour draft, outside linebacker Robert Mathis didn't have to worry about whether he'd be put in a position to take a shot at Luck.

After both Indianapolis Colts players were selected early by Team Sanders, Mathis admitted he never planned on hitting his team's franchise player.

"No. It's my quarterback, I'm not going to hit him," Mathis said. "We joked about it. It was just jokes. I'm glad it didn't happen."

However, Mathis' perfect world wouldn't last. At the very end of the inaugural draft, Mathis, a sixth-round pick, was traded to Team Rice.

The veteran was succinct about how that might change his goal of not hitting Luck.

"I got traded so maybe (I'll have to hit him)," Mathis said after the draft ended.

The Colts linebacker isn't the only player who could face the conundrum.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe likewise might see quarterback Alex Smith across the line of scrimmage. Poe said he wouldn't be too harsh if he got his hands on Smith.

"I won't be too violent," Poe said. "I know how important he is, but at the same time I'm trying to get that truck (for MVP) so we'll see how it is. I might be gentle. I got to get the sack though. I might get him the smoothest way I can, but we'll see about it."

The idea of hitting one's own quarterback was clearly something the players had thought about.

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said he joked with Drew Brees about possibly facing the quarterback in the Pro Bowl.

"I teased him in the locker room a couple weeks ago, like, 'Yeah, bro, we could end up on opposite sides. I'm comin' for you,'" Jordan said.

Jordan said he's glad he ended up on Brees' team and wouldn't want to take a shot at the veteran quarterback.

"I need him the next couple years," he said. "I'm already on a quest for Arizona (site of Super Bowl XLIX). Drew is the man that is going to take us there."

Mathis, Poe, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and Eric Weddle are the only defenders facing off against their regular-season quarterbacks. If the chance presents itself, we'll see if any of these men take a shot at the signal-callers usually off limits when they are on the field together.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" looked at weaknesses for the two Super Bowl teams.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15