The Packers’ Clay Matthews was a bit hesitant about going back to the role of inside LB, but the player said that it’s not easy to contest the results of his old position with his new one, something that many online bookmakers can clearly see.
The Pro Bowler was able to record one sack and 11 tackles – a high in his career – which came after playing as an outside LB when Green Bay beat the Bears 55-14 on Sunday.
“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,” the player said on Thursday. “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.”
However, it continues to be a work in in the making as the Packers move into the meeting with the Eagles at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
“I don’t just like going out there and kind of freelancing, so to speak,” said Matthews. “With that being said, I’m still learning. I’m still learning the nuances of the position, just from a different aspect and viewpoint. That being said, obviously I’m getting more comfortable with it, but there’ll still be some bumps along the way.”
After the team’s bye week, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy came to the player with the role change, but Matthews also didn’t know then how those positions would be so different in so many ways.
Online bookmakers saw that at the inside LB position, he was able to play 38 out of his 53 snaps as he tried to help the team’s running defense – which had a ranking of ninth place in the NFL. Green Bay were able to go up a couple of spots in the league rankings after the player held Chicago to only 55 yards on their ground game.
“You put someone in position to make plays like that, and you come up with making those plays, you’re obviously a little more warm to the idea of playing those different personnel changes,” said Matthews.
“So, I mean, if I had no action the other night, I’d probably be saying, ‘Hey, put me at safety or somewhere where you can figure out how I can get after the ball.’ No, I think that’s what we were going for. I think it worked out.”
Casey, the brother of Matthews, who plays for the Eagles as a LB, said this week that Clay was not very excited about making the move, telling reporters “I don’t think he liked too much about it.”
“I told him to look at it this way: He’s the highest-paid inside linebacker in the league,” said Casey Matthews. “He got a laugh out of that.”