Excellent observation from McGinn (as usual) in regards to second year linebacker Clay Matthews so far in camp:
Clay Matthews hasn't been close to a dominant performer. Everyone seems to just assume that the second-year man is on the fast track to greatness because of his excellent rookie season. His impact has been minimal so far.
...Matthews hasn't been special against the run, particularly in his jousts with much-improved run blocker Jermichael Finley . On Tuesday night, it was shocking to see Finley demolish Matthews with hundreds of fans looking on in the first of 10 fiercely contested one-on-one's between the LBs and TEs. They later battled to a draw.
I have to admit, I was surprised at how little Matthews flashed the entire time I was in Green Bay. There were a few times when he got into the offensive backfield (one time he caused Rodgers to curse pretty loudly when Matthews blew up the timing of a screen pass) but most of those were due to the design on the blitz and not as a result of Matthews winning a one-on-one.
Here's a good example of Matthews' pass rush being negated in a one-on-one matchup with Mark Tauscher, who actually throws Matthews to the ground at the end of the play (apologies for the shaky video)
Now, before everyone starts calling me a hater...
It is very, very early in camp. And the defense as a whole is at a disadvantage because they are not allowed to tackle or even hit the ball carrier at full speed. Their natural aggressiveness is noticeably dulled by the multiple restrictions they are under. (No touching the quarterback either) I can see a case being made that Matthews has been told to "mark it" until it's time for some live hitting.
But for a team that is counting on Matthews and little else when it comes to getting to the passer, it would be nice to see even one or two plays that make you go "Wow." So far in camp, there's been precious little of that from Matthews.
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