Since the time he entered the league in 2009, Clay Matthews has been one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and one of the Green Bay Packers’ best defenders.
Matthews’ primary position has always been outside linebacker, but the Packers were forced to give him significant time at inside linebacker last season. Rather than suffer a decrease in production due to inexperience at the position, Matthews responded by giving an immediate boost to a struggling linebacker corps.
He began playing inside during Week 9, and took a significant portion of snaps there for the rest of the year. Before the switch, the Packers’ run defense was dead last in the NFL. By the end of the year, aided drastically by Matthews’ presence, Green Bay’s run defense rose to 23rd in the league.
Overall, Matthews simply showed that he can do more than just rush the quarterback. He proved that he is a versatile defender who can adequately cover and stop the run from the middle of the field.
The Packers’ biggest need in the offseason was to address the inside linebacker position. While Matthews did a more than sufficient job, Green Bay would still prefer to keep him on the outside, where he is one of the best in the league.
But the Packers did not draft a linebacker until the fourth round, and Matthews has been getting reps in on the inside during practices as well. It appears that Green Bay is prepping Matthews to once again see a significant number of snaps at inside linebacker this year. Read more... (739 words, estimated 2:57 mins reading time)
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Inside or Outside, Green Bay Packers Can Count on Matthews
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