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Bills quarterback Trent Edwards meeting Clay Matthews

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews has been receiving high praise this season after racking up six sacks in the team’s first two games, but none more so than the praise coming from linebackers coach Kevin Greene.

Greene, an outside linebacker in his playing days, says Matthews has the tools to be the best all-around 3-4 outside linebacker in NFL history and he should know what he’s talking about. In his playing career, Green notched 160 sacks, the bulk of which came during his time with the Los Angeles Rams.

“He has more athletically than I ever had,” Greene said. “He really is a special outside linebacker in the history of outside linebackers playing the 3-4 defense. And I’ve said this before, I’ve not seen another outside linebacker possess the all-around quality of abilities that he has. And I’m talking about the best ones that have ever played the position.”

Before we all get too excited, it should be noted this is only Matthews’ second NFL season, so he still has a long way to go in order to be considered one of the all-time greats. On the other hand, Matthews already looks like the Packers’ best draft pick in the Ted Thompson era.

Matthews presence and play is making both the players around him and the Packers’ defense as a whole better.

His non-stop motor makes teammates like Brandon Chillar play harder.

“It’s ridiculous,” Chillar said. “It’s fun to watch. I’m glad to be a part of it. When you have some guy going like that that hard, it makes you want to cover better so he can get some cover sacks.”

Opposing offenses also have to game plan for Matthews and have been double teaming him more consistently, as well, opening up opportunities for other players. All of the attention is something Matthews is getting used to.

“They have to deal with double teams and sometimes triple teams, and they still produce numbers,” Matthews said. “It’s only going to benefit our defense. If I can take away two blocks, that leaves someone else free. That’s how you’ve got to look at it. It’s all a puzzle that fits together. One for one, if there’s a mismatch, we should win. I feel confident in the other players, especially on the front line, if they’re doubling, to make a play.”

Through two games the Packers lead the NFL with 10 sacks. Overall, the defense ranks third behind the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens. The Packers are giving up an average of only 253 yards per game.

Obviously, much of that success can be attributed to Matthews. What will be telling is how the Packers defense fares if opposing teams focus specifically on stopping Matthews.

It looks like there will be a lot more opportunities for other guys to make plays as the season goes on. Then again, we wouldn’t count a guy like Matthews out even if he were quadruple teamed.


Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. 3000 September 23, 2010

    I personally can’t wait to see Matthews murderizing Jay Culter!


  2. Matt September 23, 2010

    ya kno i gotta say im not super crazy about the “CM3” nickname. i mean this guy is an absolute BEAST out there and he’s got a nickname similar to “C3PO.” I’ve always been a fan of Clay “The Murderer” Matthews but ive also heard “The Crippler” and “The Serial Rapist” bc he’s constantly doing terrible things to unwilling victims. Please comment with some other great names for this PHENOMENAL player…wait…”The Phenom”?? oh no wait thats Jermichael “The Phenom” Finley nm

    1. Abe Frohman September 23, 2010

      awww you ruined it. I never once thought of C3PO – until now.

      I think the “murderer” nickname works better for Ray Lewis.

      Cyborg; Borg (resistance is futile); the Kolb Killer; Machine Man…. Billy – whaddaya got?

    2. Abe Frohman September 24, 2010

      Clay Borg
      Clay Maker – the sacked QB could be Clay Dough.

      1. 3000 September 27, 2010

        Hopefully you guys are better at your day jobs than coming up with nicknames. First, CM3 makes sense because of his initials. Secondly, the C3PO comparison breaks down because the cadence of the two is totally different. If anything, “CM3” makes me think of something like T-1000, which, being a terminator is more apt than “The Crippler.”

        Seriously, our boy Clay deserves than sounding like a backyard wrestler.

        But, hey, as long as we can agree that Green Bay’s gonna mess up the Bears tonight, we’re cool!

  3. average fan September 23, 2010

    lets just hope we don’t see Matthews in the news one of these days for substance abuse… i’m a skeptic when i see this kind of talent come out all of a sudden

    1. Abe Frohman September 23, 2010

      Look at his bloodlines. He’s a third generation NFL player. His Dad was a beast back in the day. His uncle was too. Each played for at least 17 seasons.

      Even if he was marginal athletically, he’s got such a phenomenal understanding of the game because he’s been exposed to it since he was born. But when your Dad and Grandpa were both elite athletes, why would Clay III be any different?

      You don’t get a non-stop motor from juicing, either. That’s just the guys mentality. I doubt there’s a player on the Packers that out works the guy.

  4. Vijay September 24, 2010

    He’s fun to watch but isn’t A-Rod, Ted’s best draft pick? Or luckiest? If you are talking jumping up the draft board for value and grabbing Matthews, then yeah, he’s the best pickup in that manner.

    Also, Clay Maker is pretty cool. How about Clay ‘will make you pay’ Matthews?

  5. Daniel W. Scharpf September 25, 2010


  6. Daniel W. Scharpf September 25, 2010

    the Krackin was one bada$$ mideval monster

  7. Andy December 19, 2010

    well he is gonna be one of the best.. hes also in MMA which helps with football alot…. wait till he is in the best shape of his life, he will be unstoppable.