On his secret for leading the NFL in sacks
If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret. Nah, it's just hard work. And repeating the moves again and again at practice and then in your head before a game until they become automatic.
On being the NFL's smallest DE, listed at 6'2", 235 pounds
I've always been the smallest. I'm the youngest of six kids. Three girls, three boys. My brother Demario is 6'5", 250 pounds, and my brother Dexter is 6'3", 250 pounds. I grew up [in Atlanta] playing street ball with them and learned to tough it out. I didn't start playing organized football until 10th grade, but I held my own because of my brothers.
On the hardest QB to bring down
Donovan McNabb. Big, and he can move.
On the QB he would most like to bring down
Brett Favre. He's just a legend.
On what he learned growing up with three older sisters
How to respect women and how to use common sense. My sisters have very different personalities. Lorene, the eldest, is really intelligent. She just knows how to pick your brain. Patricia, the second sister, is into the church and is real friendly. She knows how to treat people with respect. And Melissa is the streetwise one. She's up on everything, but she's very down to earth. She's just a really cool person.
On life as a choirboy
I was in the youth choir growing up. My mother, Emma, sang in the adult choir. She's really active in church. Playing on Sundays, it's kind of hard for me to be involved in church now, but my mom doesn't miss a game or church. She goes to the early service and is home in time to watch me. She was up here for the first two home games this season.
On playing for Alabama A&M, where he set a Division I-AA record with 20 sacks in a season
I didn't choose them. They chose me. I'd sent film from high school to a bunch of different [colleges], but they were the only one to offer me a scholarship. They gave me their last one.
On being a fifth-round draft pick
I was actually pretty surprised to go that early. I expected to be a free agent. I would have been happy as the last pick in the last round.
On being recognized in Indy
Nah. I mean every now and then, but I'm not exactly a household name yet.
On teammate Dwight Freeney's calling him a quiet assassin because he doesn't talk much
I'm not going to argue with him.
MATHIS, 24, GOT HIS 10TH SACK LAST SUNDAY. THE COLTS ARE IN PITTSBURGH ON MONDAY NIGHT.
Photograph byAnne Ryan
AL TIELEMANS (BEN ROETHLISBERGER)