Titans rookie right tackle Michael Roos has the assignment of trying to slow pass rush specialist Robert Mathis on Sunday. Although still very raw at the tackle position, Roos does move well and has good initial quickness. That quickness will be tested against a premier speed rusher like Mathis. And with the way Dwight Freeney is drawing double and triple teams, Roos will likely be forced to handle Mathis one-on-one. So we will see just how good his quickness really is.
When on the field, the game is very simple for Robert Mathis. He usually only has one focus -- get the quarterback. Mathis plays with a high motor, is relentless in his pursuit of the QB, and has excellent closing speed. He illustrates a solid lean and turns the corner about as well as any DE in the league. The key to slowing Mathis is to negate his speed with contact. Mathis' size and weight can be a disadvantage if opposing lineman are able to get their hands on him and can use their weight and leverage to dominate and control him at the line. Roos outweighs him by Mathis by 80 pounds, so his hands work is going to be a key to this matchup. Over-pursuit is also a problem for Mathis at times. He will too often get sucked up the field against delays or draws.
Because of his size (6-7', 315) and athleticism, the Titans love the potential of Michael
Roos. His naturally quick feet are his strength. He displays good initial quickness, and changes directions well. He still needs to get stronger and add
muscle, though. He is not one to overpower or outmuscle you and will struggle against powerful DEs that take the fight to him. His lack of ideal strength will also result in the more physical defenders pushing him backwards in pass protection. Because of
these strengths and weaknesses, he prefers lining up against speed rushers over bull-rushers. But
he has experienced problems against the speed rush when he does not get a good anchor.