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Robert Mathis will make 'huge' impact, Pagano says

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Returning from a torn Achilles tendon, Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis vowed last month to be back on the field by September.

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Once Mathis does return, coach Chuck Pagano expects him to regain the dominant form that has resulted in five Pro Bowl berths.

Pagano recently told ESPN.com's Ed Werder that Mathis "will make a huge impact this season."

That optimism is a promising sign after early offseason speculation suggested Mathis had suffered a setback in his recovery.

Colts fans shouldn't expect a repeat of Mathis' 19.5-sack campaign in 2013, however.

Returning from Achilles surgery at age 34, Mathis' snaps figure to be limited now that the Colts have two-time Pro Bowler Trent Cole and promising second-year edge rusher Jonathan Newsome to go with Erik Walden and Bjoern Werner.

Although Pagano's defense managed a respectable 41 sacks last season, the unit was forced to manufacture pressure via heavy use of blitz packages.

A healthy and effective Mathis would help the Colts generate heat on opposing passers while maintaining play-calling integrity on defense.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the triumphant return of Dan Hanzus and discusses the biggest mysteries heading into training camp.

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