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Clay Matthews Admitted He’d Prefer to Play Outside

Clay Matthews

Casey Matthews, Clay Matthews’ younger brother, let it be known that the Green Bay Packers’ Matthews didn’t think too much of moving from outside linebacker to inside linebacker. On Thursday, Clay more or less confirmed that, but also let it be known that, hey, he’s a team player.

“Yeah, I got some heat from a few of the guys around here about that,” Matthews said. “But, no, there’s not much truth to that. I think any time there’s a position change – as I mentioned last week – there’s some hesitation obviously with what I was comfortable doing.

“I think anytime you’re put in position to make plays like that week, it’s not only going to benefit yourself, but it’s going to benefit the defense as well. Yeah, in a perfect world, I’d love to line up outside 100 percent of the time, get sacks, but we were able to do that from a different position. It worked out.”

So, yeah. Like we said earlier this week, Clay wants his sacks.

And just think if his debut at inside linebacker hadn’t been successful. There would probably be all kinds of pouting going on in Green Bay this week.

Instead, everyone is excited about the Packers actually having an inside linebacker who can, you know — make plays! Matthews had a team-high 11 tackles and a sack from the position against the Bears.

Well, everyone except Matthews is excited about that, anyway.

He’s playing the old I’m a team player card, as well he should. At the same time, you can tell from what he says that he’s pretty much ready to move back to outside linebacker at any time.

“I’m sure they’ll have – much like some of our personnel early in the season – a lot of moving around,” Matthews said. “Teams will try to combat that. Like I said, we’ll see what that means moving forward.”

“Please move me back to outside linebacker!”

Oh, yeah… we added that last part ourselves.

As you’re probably aware, the Packers have made similar positional switches in recent years. None of them have yielded very impressive results.

There were two notable scheme-related moves. A.J. Hawk was an outside linebacker back when the Packers ran the 4-3. He moved inside in the 3-4. At the same time the Packers were making that switch, they moved Aaron Kampman from defensive end to outside linebacker.

Hawk was average before and average after. Kampman was a Pro Bowler before and lost after.

There have been a number of guys who’ve moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker since the Packers have employed the 3-4, as well. Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore and Carl Bradford come to mind. These moves came because these players were able to make little to no impact on the outside.

It’s too early to make a call on Bradford, but neither of those other moves have been a roaring success. Jones shouldn’t even have a job and Lattimore, although he’s shown flashes, is maddeningly inconsistent.

He’s also part of the reason Matthews was moved to the inside.

Just because the Packers haven’t had much success in this area before, doesn’t mean they won’t this time. Matthews is a legitimate playmaker, not a guy who failed at playing another position or one who moved because he was deemed too small to fit a schematic ideal.

Unfortunately, the Packers don’t play the Bears every week. We’re going to expect results, but not necessarily THOSE results.

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. THE MONEY MIKe November 14, 2014

    Clay for what we gave you for $, if McCarthy asked you to play fullback because it was needed, you fucking better say yes Sir and do your best.

  2. Savage57 November 14, 2014

    I don’t care if they have Matthews bungee-jump onto the field before the snap, I just like the idea of the other team never really knowing where the hell he’s coming from.

    And the other thing for Clay to consider, is who gives a shit about the departure point? Isn’t the destination the important thing? I would think that in this case, the end justifies the means.

  3. Howard November 14, 2014

    Clays primary destination against the bears was stopping Forte and he did his job well plus tallied a sack. He should have the same destination against the eagles except the name of destination should be McCoy and Sproles.

  4. Brett F. November 14, 2014

    I can play ilb.

  5. Packer Bob November 14, 2014

    “There would probably be all kinds of pouting going on in Green Bay this week.”

    Yeah, no fucking shit. TotalPackers would be like, “Waaa, that was a terrible decision!”, “Waaa, fire everybody!”, “Waaa, Olivia Munn called somebody a stupid face!”.

  6. the real russ letlow November 14, 2014

    all we ever wanted was an ILB who could make plays and smash people!

  7. Vijay November 14, 2014

    The departure point makes a difference in this case because ILBs are there to sift through multiple blockers whereas OLBs have to turn the corner and usually beat just one guy. So, the probability of getting more sacks and TFLs goes up when there are less people to potentially block you. Clay is taller, leaner but still strong and agile which gives him rare scheme versatility. One would think a trade before the late Oct deadline would’ve been in order for this team because this year the league/ team parity of wins vs losses suggests it’s a wide open race to hoist the trophy. This would be another great year to have pushed our chips in and grabbed an effective ILB from a bad team for a mid to late round pick. Ah, but we love our picks in Green Bay.

    1. Phatgzus November 14, 2014

      Julius Peppers not enough for you eh? And just who would we trade for a decent ILB? Hawk? Lattimore? Jones? Some combination of the three? Surely not someone worth keeping around.What team would want to make a trade for any player the Packers would be willing to part with? And why would the Packers want someone another team would be willing to discard for peanuts?

    2. Shawn Neuser November 14, 2014

      Not a bad idea, VJ, but who and how high a pick are the key elements to that plan.
      The Cowboys picked up Justin Durant and Rolando McClain and both immediately helped that sad sack defense. Makes you wonder why we can’t improve the damn position.

  8. Carlos Goodman November 14, 2014

    Shouldn’t Montgomery be a Chargers fan? LA turned dude into a fucking bitch.

  9. Shawn Neuser November 14, 2014

    People can talk like Clay should just do that and do this, but THIS is a real problem. If they guy doesn’t want to play the position, his production has got to suffer at some point. Sure, everyone was all smiles the first week out, but what if he realizes that he is pretty much stuck there as long as he plays well?
    Clay’s feelings regarding his own position is a fricking factor in this. There is no way to get around that.

  10. Richard C November 14, 2014

    Quit being a pusshole and play fucking football….

    The MONEY is right… If they ask him to fucking kick he better strap up his single chinstrap, put on his square toe cleat and jog the fuck out there and kick!

  11. rebelgb November 14, 2014

    Agreed Shawn. This is the Pro’s, his opinion DOES count, as much as us regular non millionaire Joes dont want it to.

    Let him move in and out of the position until the end of the year, we will have to figure the shit out in the post season….

  12. Richard C November 15, 2014

    He signed a contract to play for the Packers… Even if the contract specifically stated it was for him to play LB he’s still playing that position. What does it do for the GOOD of the team to voice your displeasure publicly? Starting to sound like a fuckhead to me….

  13. David November 17, 2014

    Hawk doesn’t get injured. That’s his main selling point… how many LB’s have come and gone during his tenure due to injury? There is one thing to complain about how well you play… but you can’t play if you are injured, on IR, PUP or have taken your injury settlement.