Commanders DT Phidarian Mathis' intent
It turned out to be another disappointing year for Phidarian Mathis. His rookie campaign was cut short after just a few snaps in Week 1 of the 2022 campaign, but hopes were high that the formidable interior defensive lineman could become a core part of the rotation. Perhaps even becoming the true nose tackle when the Washington Commanders implemented five-man fronts.
Sadly, an injury before the campaign meant Mathis wasn't able to get on the field until Week 8. The former second-round pick out of Alabama played just 30 percent of defensive snaps when healthy, casting further doubt on his potential to make a significant difference long-term.
Mathis lifted the lid on his struggles when speaking to the team's website recently. He's been through some mental adversity due to a series of unfortunate setbacks. However, the player is determined to give it his all this offseason and show the world what he's capable of in 2024
"I get to train all year, all summer long. I just want to come back next year and just have a full year and turn everything around. I'm gonna give it another try next year. I'm gonna come back even harder. So, everybody will see. You've got people's expectations for you. You've got family expectations. Then you got expectations for yourself. It was kind of overwhelming because you know what you can do, and then you keep having setback after setback. It's kind of a mental game for me. I want to come back a different person. Have a different mindset, different mentality … I know I'm gonna come back a different guy, and I'm gonna put more on tape. I'm going to push. I'm going to work so hard until I can't no more. I know this is an important year for me just to show everybody who I really am."- Phidarian Mathis via Commanders.com
With a new coaching staff coming into the fold and Mathis' fleeting involvement, it'll be a brand-new audition for the lineman when the time to resume football activities arrives. Leaving a big impression immediately is crucial if he wants to stand any chance of featuring heavily next time around.