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Clay Matthews: Just Getting Started

Clay Matthews III has been a fixture on the Green Bay Packers defense since 2009. Matthews is now 30, which is getting toward the twilight of his career, right?

Maybe for most guys, but not for the Matthews clan.

Clay comes from good genes. His father, Clay Matthews, Jr., played linebacker for 19 seasons, from 1978 through 1996. He retired with the third-most tackles in NFL history.

There’s also a Clay Sr., now 87, who played tackle for four years in the NFL, but also missed two seasons when serving as a paratrooper in the Korean War.

Then there’s Bruce Matthews, Junior’s brother and Clay’s uncle. He was an offensive guard and center, also for 19 seasons, from 1983 through 2001. Bruce shares the record for most Pro-Bowl seasons, with 14.

The Matthews boys are also durable. When Bruce finally hung it up, he had played in more games than any other non-punter or kicker in league history – a record that was broken by a quarterback named Brett Favre.

Clay III is beginning his eighth season. He’s not even at the halfway point of his career, if the rest of the family is any guide.

Now that he appears to be back permanently as an outside linebacker, Matthews ought to also return to having double-digit sack totals, as he had in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Rob Born

I’m with Matt: “You gotta make those chunk plays!”