Former Alabama Offensive Lineman Evan Mathis is on Top of Game with Denver Broncos at Super Bowl 50

Evan Mathis plays in the “Mile-High City” of Denver. Appropriately, the veteran guard is at the zenith of an 11-year career competing in his first Super Bowl for the hometown Broncos. A 2005 third round NFL Draft choice of Carolina, the former Alabama offensive lineman is recognized as an elite talent. Ironically, he faces the Panthers on Sunday in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

The behemoth, chiseled 6-5, 304 pound Mathis is considered extremely strong in a league saturated with workout warriors.  He has capitalized on the niche for keeping in superb shape by opening a fitness center, Zone Athletic Performance, in Scottsdale, AZ.  Ascension into the top echelon of offensive lineman was a steady journey.  He started a mere 22 games for three teams (Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins) between 2006 and 2010.  Signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, he was transformed into a two-time Pro Bowl (2013 & 2014) and First Team All-Pro performer (2013).

Released by the NFC East team in June of 2015 over a contract dispute, Denver pursued one of the top free agents available on the market.  The “late bloomer” was a welcomed addition to the 2015 AFC Champions.  John Elway, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos told at Super Bowl 50 Media Day in San Jose at the SAP Center, “He’s had a great year.  We were real young inside.  We needed some veteran experience, a guy that’s been in the league.  He came in and really added some leadership to the offensive line and he’s had a great year.  So we’re really excited that we were able to get Evan.”

Although scheduled to make $5.5 million with Philadelphia, Evan Mathis signed for substantially less money.  The fortuitous union proved beneficial to both parties on many levels.  Monetary matters can be trumped by reaching the pinnacle team goal, a Super Bowl victory.  Questioned about the loss of salary on Monday afternoon, Mathis replied, “But when I look back at my career, or when anyone looks back at my career, are they going to say, ‘How much money did Evan Mathis lose in 2015?’  I think the opportunity to [play in the Super Bowl] is much more valuable than that could ever be.”  

Four quarters, sixty minutes of trench wrestling competition will be a factor determining if Mathis celebrates.  No rearview mirror regrets moving forward.  Matter of fact, all of his focus is centered on the Sunday spectacle.  Future plans beyond the weekend are a distant afterthought for the 34-year old.  “This is the ultimate dream for a football player to be able to play in a Super Bowl, win a Super Bowl,” said Mathis battling injuries (hamstring strain, high ankle sprain) all season.  “I’ve been in the league a long time and I haven’t had this opportunity yet.  I’m extremely excited to be here.”     

Evan Mathis becomes only the seventh Alabama offensive lineman in school history to be part of a Super Bowl team joining in alphabetical order:  James Carpenter (Seattle Seahawks), Alonzo Ephraim (Philadelphia Eagles), Charley Hannah (Los Angeles Raiders), John Hannah (New England Patriots) Dwight Stephenson (Miami Dolphins) and Steve Wright (Green Bay Packers).  His Uncle, Bob Baumhower, was a defensive lineman in two Super Bowls for the Miami Dolphins.   

Listen and watch the videos as Denver Broncos Offensive Line Coach, Clancy Barone and left tackle Ryan Harris chimed in to sing the praises and provide observations about the former University of Alabama Crimson Tide lineman.

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