Cory's Corner: Who Is Clay Matthews?

For anyone that thought Clay Matthews was a viable outside linebacker heading into this season was proven wrong in Week 1.

Aaron Rodgers had one of his best regular season games he’s ever had on Sunday night.

But this story isn’t about comebacks, grittiness or heart.

Nope, it’s about Clay Matthews. For much of the evening, Matthews over ran plays, fell to the turf or was downright invisible.

For anyone that thought Matthews was a viable outside linebacker heading into this season was proven wrong in Week 1. Matthews is at best a complementary player in his 10thNFL season. We have all heard the old adage that says that age is undefeated. Well, chalk up another victory for age as the 32-year-old has fallen off a cliff in the last two years.

Just how bad was Clay Matthews? Out of 114 edge rushers, Matthews was ranked No. 113 according to Pro Football Focus — just ahead of Kyler Fackrell, which is awfully poetic. You could probably guess who is No. 1. (If you can’t, it’s that guy that stripped the ball from DeShone Kizer and returned an interception for a touchdown.)

And just when it couldn’t get any worse, Matthews did the most unforgivable thing. With the Packers clinging to a 24-23 lead with 1:46 left, Matthews blew up Mitchell Trubisky — on fourth-and-9. Matthews didn’t just blow him up, he took one-and-a-half steps to do so and for added measure he also used his helmet as a weapon. In addition to being flagged for roughing the passer, he could’ve been ticketed for a helmet-to-helmet hit and ejected. The ball fell to the turf and the game was over. Lambeau Field quickly went to adulation.

However, something was wrong. I saw Matthews make a serious hit on an endangered species and instantly said this game isn’t over. My wife turned to me stunned and within 30 seconds her fears, as well as the rest of Packer Nation, began to crystallize.

Granted, five plays later Nick Perry forced a fumble that was recovered by Kenny Clark. The Packers clawed back from a 20-0 deficit, only to see a defensive player give it all back.

Let’s face it, Green Bay’s linebackers aren’t that good. There’s a reason that the Packers were in the running for Mack — he would’ve made the defense relevant again. That unit is decent with Clark and Mike Daniels but the stars of this unit are the linebackers and Matthews ($11.3 million) and Perry ($10.7 million) are financial albatrosses

So what’s next? How creative does defensive coordinator Mike Pettine have to be in order to hide Matthews’ skill set, while still utilizing his large price tag?

The answer could not be easier: move him to inside linebacker. Matthews simply cannot play on the edge anymore. He’s not fast enough and he doesn’t seem as inclined to take on blocks like he used to. He needs to play inside by default because that’s the only place where Matthews can play.

The only reason Matthews made the boneheaded decision late in the game was because he was trying to bring back the “Claymaker.” Unfortunately, that persona can only be uttered anymore if he hits the quarterback late while using his helmet.

It only took one game for Matthews to prove how important Mack would mean to this team. Now the Packers have to live with a leaky linebacker crew that doesn’t really scare anyone.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (141)

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WilsonMaywick's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:31 am

The Claymaker left the building a while ago. MM has always been slow to embrace the obvious so I expect to see Clay manning the outside linebacker position going forward. Hoping Pettine can convince MM to move him.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:04 am

He’s been rep,aced by the Paytaker.

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Point-Packer's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:32 am

Another ridiculous contract from the latter years of the Ted Thompson era. I was hoping GB was going to trade for Mack and dump Mathews to make the salary cap situation work. Instead Mack goes to a division rival and GB gets the most OVERPAID AND OVER-RATED defensive player in the NFL. I have been saying this for three years, nice to see people finally opening their eyes. Took long enough.

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North-Hudson's picture

September 11, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Totally agree!

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 01:41 am

3 years ago Mathews went to the pro bowl as an inside LB. The past 2 years he's been invisible on the outside.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 12, 2018 at 01:56 pm

That wouldn't have paid for it. You would've had to give up another player, too, or restructure some contracts. The value of Mack is basically Matthews + Cobb.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:32 am

Who is he? An aging player on the decline.
Players want the big $. Once they get it, they better continue to produce or the wolves start howling.

(That is, when they’re not already busy drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s, or checking to see if their hair is perfect.)

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egbertsouse's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:04 am

It’s time to send send in the lawyers, guns, and money.

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Fire_Gute's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:16 am

Id rather see him walking down the streets of soho in the rain on a Sunday than on the field right now

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The TKstinator's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:58 am

Clearly, you guys are picking up what I'm putting down.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 04:31 pm

Thank you sir I laughed out loud and long live Warren Zevon.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:16 pm

We take our goofing around very seriously here at CHTV.

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Spock's picture

September 12, 2018 at 04:34 am

TK, I take it seriously, but I HOWLED at your comment. :)

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The TKstinator's picture

September 12, 2018 at 06:00 am

Touché!

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CJ Bauckham's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:36 am

"Let’s face it, Green Bay’s linebackers aren’t that good."

Thought this article was about Clay? He deserves it. Perry; however, had a pretty good game. And made the game winning sack. And caused the game winning fumble.

Sure he's a walking injury bag, but he's pretty good when he plays, imo

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:37 am

Gilbert had a good game to. He should be the starter instead of CM3.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:50 am

Agree we have a problem at this position. Perry is okay but CM has seen better days and how many other rosters could Fackrell hope to make? Our two first rounders next April are an edge rusher and a tackle.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:40 pm

I wonder if you are saying what Gute was thinking in April Hawg.

There's obviously many a consideration that factor in, and maybe not both in the first round, but if the 2019 draft class is stacked with OLB then it's a good chance that GB take more than 1 early.

Looking at it, if the rookie CB's and the WR's do some good things then OLB\EDGE becomes the most glaring position of need that would correspond with draft class strength.

Side note, I've been sitting on this for about 12 months now and it may be the co-incidence of time too, but Clay Matthews' game has been in decline since the spotlight came onto his supplement regime (and the size of his "guns" - but he hasn't had too many "flex" moments recently).

Side note 2: Keep an eye on the young Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. He won't be out of college for a few years but his timing may be right for GB's heir replacement cycle.

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Crackerpacker's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:01 pm

I was thinking the same that his form plummeted after the Al Jazeera accusations although Julius peppers maintained his form, But he is a lot more talented than Matthews.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:13 pm

Agreed Julius Peppers is a HOF-er in waiting, however even GB started to reduce his snap count in his last year to preserve him. I don't think that GB has that luxury this year with CM3.

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Coldworld's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:43 am

Linebackers are not that good? Well if you are talking OLBs maybe—we have discussed that group’s issues ad nauseam in the off season.

The truth is, Perry was clearly on a restricted snap count and his stats when on the field are impressive. Gilbert looked pretty good to me as well. The OLB problem is depth. I will come back to Matthews in a moment.

As to ILB, we mostly only played Martinez plus DBs. Two key pieces that I would have expected to play a lot were absent: Burks and Jones. Toomer and Crawford only played special teams. It remains to be seen if either has something to offer on D going forward once they know the scheme.

Matthews just got a wake up call. He has has a tendency over his career to seemingly buy into his own hype and have poor games. In his younger days, natural ability often helped to cover over his lack of focus.

Now he has to work smarter? Can he? My view is that he has demonstrated an ability to regularly make smart plays as well as to freelance. He and the coaches need to take this as a chastening moment and he needs to come back and play with focus.

This is a contract year. He knows he needs to justify his next contract (here or elsewhere). This should serve as a caution. It is up to him. If he does I think he can be a valuable cog. If he does not he will be a liability.

I still believe that we need reinforcements at this position. Matthews needs to be the moving piece and we need a number 3 pure outside rusher to spell Gilbert and Perry.

Maybe Donnerson emerges on the PS during the season, but we can’t wait. Fackrell is emergency depth only. Hopefully we can bring in an adequate OLB to slot in above Fackrell from the few remaining in the coming days.

Injury may have prompted it, but I think we saw that Davis’ roster spot is a luxury. If there is no outside help, I would cut Davis and promote Donnerson and use him as a pure rusher in passing situations. As of today, raw though he is, I believe that he would improve the threat on the outside.

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NickPerry's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:10 am

"Matthews needs to be the moving piece and we need a number 3 pure outside rusher to spell Gilbert and Perry."

An excellent comment all around Coldworld but this really resonated with me. I think the "Pure Pass Rusher" is coming in the 2019 draft. Next years draft is LOADED with pass rushers but that's for a different day. I still believe Pettine can get production out of Matthews, but he can't line him up against the opposing LT all game long anymore and expect much more than he got Sunday Night. Matthews just doesn't have the speed or the bend anymore to be effective.

Pettines forte is Scheme. The last several months leading up to the regular season most of what I read was Pettines ability to scheme production out of less than elite athletes. Well Clay isn't elite anymore but he can be productive. Lets just get him in positions to succeed.

Off Topic....Is anyone else PISSED Marcedes Lewis had ONLY 7 snaps the entire game? I mean the Packers O-Line was getting beat down pretty badly in the 1st half yet Lewis sat on the sideline. To have the BEST BLOCKING TE in the NFL last year sitting on the bench when your $134 million QB is getting clobbered doesn't make any sense. I mean does McCarthy have a clue...EVER?

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:16 am

I think we will see Pettine scheme up more looks. Part of it I think he couldn't was missing Burks and Jones to help play ILB. Also probably having Perry on a snap count.
I do think Mathews will be productive this year.

I'm not overly pissed about Lewis not playing more. I thought they would use him more but the offense sucked right away, and then they got behind. After Rodgers came back his injury affected the game. I wouldn't put to much stock into the first game and who played a lot or didn't.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:20 am

"Off Topic....Is anyone else PISSED Marcedes Lewis had ONLY 7 snaps the entire game? "

Not pissed. But surprised. And expecting him to play more as the season moves along for the reasons you mention. But also because I think he can produce at least to the Richard Rodgers level in the pass game.

I think Lewis' snap count was heavily influenced by the horrific start. They had to go to pass-happy, hurry-up mode for the entire 2nd half, which pointed to using Allison instead of Lewis. I'm ok with that for this week. But it will be a mistake to go into that same mode each week against different opponents in different situations.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:43 am

Yeah, I agree.

McCarthy said he had packages for the TE's but he had to skip that due to how the game went.

I think we will see the TE's used ALOT against the Vikings. They really struggled against TE's both against Philly last year and against the 49ers. I think Kendricks will have a big day too.

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jlc1's picture

September 11, 2018 at 01:34 pm

Well it's not like MM's offensive game plan had anything to do with the slow start or anything like that.

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Bure9620's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:45 am

Actually not surprised Lewis did not play much. I did not see us trying to run into the teeth if that front. The matchups in the secondary were more exploitable, so very little 12 personnel, and Graham split out.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:27 am

Am I pissed Lewis didn't play more?

Yes.

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NicGee's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:36 am

I didn't even see him on the field. Guess I missed him when he did get out there. I was really looking forward to seeing him play. He looked great the day I was at training camp. Hopefully we'll see him again Minnesota.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:07 am

Yes. It seems like the GM goes out and spends big bucks on TEs and then McStubborn refuses to use them.

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Demon's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:09 am

MM is a very good coach! And if you dont believe it , just ask him he will tell you that.

I belive the truth is, that MM is as washed up as Capers was. All that BS about retooling the playbook, was just that BS!

I dont believe for a minute that MM outcoached anyone saturday night. The 1st half of the game was indicative of his coaching and playcalling. The 2nd half was the Aaron Rogers show, end of story.

Some say that they give MM credit for the team not quitting, i wouldn't say that either. AR brought that team back and Pettines crew put clamps on the Bears offense. The packers won that game despite MM, not because of.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:27 am

He would have helped protect Rodgers... AND helped the running game which wasn't very good. It was strange to see how little the TE's were used after an offseason of hype

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:22 am

I am pretty sure that I wrote immediately that not using Marcedes Lewis in the first half was appalling. To suggest that using Lewis could not be done because it would have hurt the offense (which was just rolling without Lewis) strikes me as, um, er, something I don't agree with.

Face it, MM is stubborn and has always been really reluctant to give help to his OTs. He isn't a good OC.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 04:39 pm

I can't thumbs up enough, always great comments. Tip of the hat sir. Yeah I also didn't understand Lewis not playing, man I was hoping for a double pancake on Mack after that first GB series. BB needed to get up to speed, what better than a TE that can block?

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:59 pm

The only thing that I can think of - and I'm not being an MM apologist here - is that they wanted to keep some looks up their sleeve for the Vikings game. A risky ploy if indeed that was the motive.

I do think that the O-line played way better in the second half though, but MM should have preempted the ambush and snuffed it out with Lewis before it began

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 04:44 pm

No way he was hiding anything up his sleeve, MM needed to stomp the Bears and who cares if the Viks saw it. Thats what MM is missing screw the trickery, show all your cards and make the next opponent stop you. The trickery will be to change the plays to the calls coming from Rodgers.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:12 am

I didn't see your post until after I posted mine. Well said Coldworld!

My thinking is they need someone that has played before. While Donnerson maybe able to come in towards the end of the year to help, they need someone that can come in and provide help right now.

I don't know who all is available, but I know Jayrone Elliott is. I would take him over Fackrell anyday! Elliott can play special teams and can rush the QB.

I agree about Davis. I do wonder if his spot maybe the one they use to bring back Jones.

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L's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:00 pm

1. Nate Orchard - recently signed by the Bills so never mind him. Packers should have at least inquired.
2. Tyrone Holmes

^ Are the top two candidates I'd like to see the Packers bring in for a visit.

3. John Simon
4. Jayrone Elliott
5. Steven Means - recently signed by the Falcons so never mind him.

^ Would be a few additional guys worthy of kicking the proverbial tires on. Beyond that there's the veterans below too:

Shea McClellin
Junior Galette
Ahmad Brooks

Could E.Dumervil be talked out of retirement?

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canadapacker's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:19 am

I think that one of the underlying things that has caused us issues goes back to the 2017 draft class Biegel,Yancey, Dupris, Amiche not on the roster - and a better OLB than Biegel was picked by Pittsburgh after us. That draft class by Ted was obviously his worst and showed his decline or maybe the organizations decline. It is just as hard to replace all the administrational staff ( coaches and scouts) that get plucked by other teams over the years and we have lost a lot. Sometimes that shows up in the draft and hopefully Pettine and the boys can develop some of the lesser lights and rely less on CM3 - but I hope that game was a one of - for his sake but I believe that his fate now lies as an ILB and he can expend his energy of shedding blocks and making tackles rather than trying to run around guys.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 03:18 pm

Re the 2017 class, Packers traded the watt pick to get King - they jury is still out if that was the best play, but for me if King delivers (and he's showing signs of it) then I'm comfortable with that call....... the other side of that being that the other part of that trade haul was Biegel as the 1st pick of the 4th (not great).

Perhaps a bigger hit than the 2017 draft class status is the 2015 one - of which it' been widely reported that there's only 1 player left on the active roster (Ty Montgomery). With 3rd and 4th year players expected to be solid contributors to a team, that one hurts the Packers.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:27 am

This is a very well-reasoned take on Clay, and the LB crew. Matthews remains, even on the decline, an incredible athlete. Now it's up to coaching to put him in position to be effective. Look how the Steelers used James Harrison for all those years.

I've attended training camp the last few years, and it's a dramatic contrast to see Perry next to the other linebackers; dude is huge. I was equally as impressed by Gilbert, his mobility and strength. Very much agree with Coldworld that the issue at LB is depth.

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JonnieB12's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

I did not read what everyone had to say about Biegel getting cut. So why did the Packers cut biegel in his second year (first full year) and keep fackrell when he has shown ithing and is in his final year of his contract? Did they not think biegel would give them any more than fackrell?

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JonnieB12's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

I did not read what everyone had to say about Biegel getting cut. So why did the Packers cut biegel in his second year (first full year) and keep fackrell when he has shown ithing and is in his final year of his contract? Did they not think biegel would give them any more than fackrell?

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:03 am

Apparently they felt Biegel couldn't even give them what Fackrell does, which ain't much. How bad is Biegel if he couldn't beat out Fackrell who was rated 114 out 114 edge rushers who played week one? Lol, just recalling all the hype on Biegel once OTA's started. Even some of writers here thought Biegel was better than Gilbert. Apparently they were believing all the hype on Biegel Justis Mosqueda was putting out there.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:05 pm

Donnerson has shown absolutely nothing, and how has Davis shown to be a luxury? By being injured? This is a guy who will actually impact games with his return ability. He's clearly head and shoulders above anybody else on the team at KR right now. We could put a young CB back there, but I want to keep their responsibilities limited to CB as much as possible. We've been using Montgomery, who has a history of fumbling. Why get rid of a player who is actually going to impact the field once healthy?

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:03 am

While most will pile on Mathews for having a really bad game and making a dumb play at the end which could have cost them the game, the problem isn't Mathews.

The problem is they have Perry, Gilbert and Mathews and that is it.

They need to add an OLB. Fackrell played 4 defensive snaps. One of those snaps he didn't set the edge, got pushed back inside allowing Howard to cut back and run right where Fackrell should have been for a big gain. They have to find an upgrade over Fackrell. They need guys to be able to rotate.

I'm all for moving Mathews to ILB more often. Or simply having him moving around and blitzing/rushing from ILB. The problem is they don't have enough bodies to play OLB. Unless they change the scheme more. Which they may do. Maybe they go with more 3 and 4 DL with 1 OLB. Either way, they need more help at OLB.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

Yes, they absolutely need to add an OLB. But I'd suggest that the problem isn't just depth. It's that we don't have a lead dog rushing from the edge. Perry is a good 2nd OLB who's hurt too much. CM3 isn't even that anymore. Gilbert is promising, but I want to see him start at this point.

We need an OLB1, and there are none of those for sale. Failing that, perhaps we can shore up depth via a trade. The Jags have a surfeit of pass rushers and need help at WR. I'd fully support sending them a rook for, say, Fowler or one of their rotational pieces.

Clay is done. He should not be taking any snaps at OLB.

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4thand10's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:51 pm

I would love to see that...at least until OLBs or outside bigger edge rushers can be found. then just let the cbs and ILBs do their thing. I think there are 8 LBs on the roster not including Jake Ryan....maybe 3 are legit outside pass rushers clay, Gilbert and perry. . Green Bay carried as few as 7 when Capers was runnng the show. But we’ve always had more players for rotation on the DL now we only have 5 so it would be real hard to use a 4 man front consistently...but id like to see it deployed occasionally. We have what looks to be good inside backers and corners...which could work with that.

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4thand10's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:55 pm

Or just look for some defensive ends from 4-3 systems to play OLB. They may not be ale to cover...but it could generate more pressure.

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Handsback's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:09 am

I don't think Mack was the answer having to give up those picks.
Clay will play better, but is in decline. Green Bay had to fix their DBs before the edge guys. Biegel didn't work out but Donnerson has potential. The difference between past years I believe is the line. Strong and young...good combo and if they progress this year will cover for weak edge guys....for a while just not forever.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:56 am

The DB's played really well too! I really like our DB's. Alexander and Jackson look like great picks!
Jackson looks like he could be a steal!

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CheesyTex's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:20 pm

Nice, Handsback. We do need to take a deep breath and realize "Rome wasn't built in a year". CM3 is making a strong case to free up a lot of cap $ for Gute to do his thing.

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:14 am

The only alternative to CM3 is Gilbert. Use that up and what have you got? No alternative to CM3 when Perry inevitably gets hurt. The truth is, the Packers are two (highly likely) injured OLBs away from not being able to field a pair of respectable NFL OLBs.

The good news is that Mike Pettine gets pressure without OLBs. At least that is what everyone kept saying during the off-season. The bad news is that there were numerous running plays where no one was setting the edge against the Bears. Last year we said, "Yeah, but he is still great against the run." Not any more.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:53 am

CMIII hasn't been great against the run in quite a while.

When Perry is on the field, teams run directly at Clay.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:20 am

I was begging for Matthews to be cut all off-season (and took my usual beating for it), but I think this article is putting too much on one game.

Was he awful? Sure. Will he be that awful against Minnesota? Doubtful.

I strongly agree we need to release someone and activate Donnerson immediately. Just send this kid on passing downs. Blitz Jones, too--a lot.

It wasn't just Matthews. The overall lack of LB speed compared to other defenses was striking. Perry sets a great edge and can close well when disengaged, but he's not a "burst" guy. Same with Gilbert, to a lesser degree. Clay is near the end. Missing Burks and Jones inside robbed all speed from that group as well.

Cut someone, activate Donnerson, blitz Jones, unleash Burks--see the pattern here? We need to rush some new speed out on the field pronto.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:40 am

I do think missing both Burks and Jones really handicapped what Pettine wanted to do defensively.
Hopefully this week he can at least get back one of the 2.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:54 am

Agreed.

I'm sure Burks will return, and hopefully Jones can make it as well. Then we'll see if Pettine can be creative with speed, or if he's just another "misuse every player's strengths" guy like Capers.

Without Burks and Jones, this LB unit has to be the slowest in the league. It just has to be. Perhaps by a wide margin.

And what does that say about Ted Thompson?

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:31 am

And Pettine knew it so he used mostly DB's. Team speed was damn good this game, better than we've seen for years

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:02 am

Sure, but DB's are light, Johnny. We need some speed in the linebacking group.

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CheesyTex's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:26 pm

That TT liked LBs who fit his image when he played?

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:02 am

I agree. His play hasn’t justified his salary for years. Cutting Matthews would have forced the Packers to be more proactive at the OLB position.

Now Matthews is a problem for Pettine. How does he scheme him while hiding his faults? That’s not easy to do.

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Lare's picture

September 11, 2018 at 01:18 pm

Wonder what it would cost the Packers if they cut Matthews & Fackrell now? There has to be LBs out there on other team's practice squads that can do better than them at a fraction of the cost.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:10 pm

Thank God Gutekunst was smarter than to release Matthews like you wanted.

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Packer Dave's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:44 am

My two cents - Clay is still pretty fast, he just can't rip out of his blocks. He would much better serve the team inside. We were gashed for too many yards on runs up the middle and he would help bring some size inside for that.

Outside, Gilbert should start. Adams needs to play more and I bet he could play on the edge if given the chance. He has a super first step. If Fackrell isn't going to play any outside snaps he needs to go, Donnerson to take his place.

The problem I see game after game is that outside of Perry and Gilbert, we have no power at OLB. Might as well add another down lineman than watch Clay get locked down over and over.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:44 am

Pettine has said nothing to lead anyone to believe he wants ILBs like Clay Matthews. Pettine managed to get 6 sacks out of Aaron Maybin, so lets see what Pettine does with Matthews moving forward. I expect Clay will not be nearly as overpaid next season.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Clay will almost certainly be overpaid, perhaps even more so than his is today, next season.

It just won't be the Packers footing the bill. The free agent market for Pass rushers always overpays.

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Lare's picture

September 11, 2018 at 01:20 pm

Matthews will be overpaid next year even at veteran minimum.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:44 pm

Tell us how you really feel, Lare! LOL

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:12 am

Adams outside? There are a number of 300 lb defensive lineman in the NFL with extremely quick breaks out of their stance but I've yet to see any who could play OLB.

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shmelbs's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:48 am

Has anyone else ever noticed that Matthews often launches himself at the ball carrier's head instead of using proper tackling technique? It's why he often whiffs on tackles, not to mention the fact that it's dangerous. I've always wondered why his coaches haven't corrected that.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:56 am

Yes.

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Cubbygold's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:54 am

Yup, he's got a natural instinct to play dirty. He's the guy twisting ankles and hitting late. When that guys on your team, you tend to like the 'toughness'. When he's on another team you hate him for being 'dirty'. Either way, its not a great way to be effective in todays game

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CheesyTex's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:30 pm

'roids?

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The TKstinator's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:21 pm

Hemo-?

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shmelbs's picture

September 11, 2018 at 03:34 pm

For a long time I've wondered if he's more interested in making highlight reel film than in playing well and assignment-sure. Someone else in this thread mentioned how he launched himself at Kaepernick in one game, and he did the same thing trying to tackle Zeke Elliot in the playoff game last year (watch the NFL highlights). Elliot scored on that play, if I remember.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 03:32 pm

I too wonder why he's still persisting in over-committing on the outside rush leaving the inside escape lane open. Colin Kaepernick exposed that in 2013 and it still hasn't been corrected.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 03:34 pm

I'm putting this down to a bad game. He still has some redeeming aspects of his game that the packers can use and it's up to the coaches to extract that.

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:17 am

Plain and simple Clay needs to be playing inside where he last made the pro bowl in both 2014 &15. The problem is the Packers depth at OLB is so bad they have Clay, who is now truly ILB material as one of their top 3 options outside forcing Pettine to use him there.

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Razer's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:53 am

Need more talent to rectify the linebacker deficiency and I am not seeing it on this team. Maybe Oren Burks or Josh Jones or Donnerson can provide some relief but these are high hopes at best. We run a 3-4 where talent at linebacker is critical and yet we are struggling to get enough talent on the field.

I suggest that we find another stud Dlineman and make the DL our strength. We are closer to making this work than finding two good linebackers to make the current scheme viable.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:09 am

Honestly, I would go to a 3-3-1-4 base alignment right now, with these players:

3 DL -Daniels, Wilkerson, Clark.
3 LB - Perry, Martinez, Burks
1 LB/Safety - Jones
4 DB - King, Clinton-Dix, Alexander, Williams

Naturally, there would be lots of rotation with guys like Lowry, Adams, Gilbert, Donnerson, Brice, Matthews, Jackson, and House. But the base alignment would stress speed and explosion--two things in terribly short supply with the current starters.

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Razer's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:55 am

I like it. Make it so number one...

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:02 am

Engage!

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Razer's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:23 am

Ha, ha

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:22 am

Star trek nerds that are Packer fans? My kinda bro's! Where we meeting for beers fellas? All we need is a bar named the holodeck. :-}

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:46 am

Your front 7 is honestly similar to what I was expecting before. Maybe the lack of it was Pettine dealing with Burks/Jones injury and Trubisky's inexperience.

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GVPacker's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:57 am

Matthews could've had two sacks during that game. In one instance He simply whiffed on the tackle and on the other he was unable to get a hold of Mitch Trubisky's jersey!

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:25 am

If it were a game of horseshoes he'd have been MVP!

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Demon's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:13 am

Hey I have a question, just when is McCarthys QB guru status going to show itself? I know it's early with Kizer, but come on now. When are we going to have a QB besides Rogers that looks like he has played football before?

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:23 am

Good point.

I still have high hopes for Kizer, but I felt bad for Bulaga when he cleanly steered Mack deep--only to have Kizer waltz into his arms.

Does McCarthy teach a thing called "footwork?"

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:47 am

"Does McCarthy teach a thing called "footwork?""

No I think that is the QB coaches job.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:39 pm

He works for McCarthy. Does he teach footwork?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:36 pm

To early to judge Frank Cignetti, but I'm not sure what Van Pelt taught. Probably not much.

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:29 am

Footwork can be taught. Pocket presence however, cannot. Much of it will depend on a how comfortable a QB is within a system. The jury is still out on Kizer although I think he has more potential than Hundley ever did.

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Rebecca's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

Tim Boyle

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 04:56 pm

Stop while you're at bring back Hill and Callahan. Throw them into a ring winner gets the backup job, cause if we hear any of those names under center our year is done.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:16 pm

Ironic that you ask this when Rodgers just had the game of his life.

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stockholder's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:29 am

Mathews is the packers fastest LB. He gave up his position for Perry. Who isn't any better! Perry's bull rush is why they moved him. Seniority should have rights. But CMIII is still a team player. He's not peppers and neither is Perry. They must go to a 7 man front like the eagles. Then they'll be that guy we always wanted. Get off his back. ( WE still need CMIII. ) And you can't trade either of them. Look for the packers to draft that Mack type player. CMIII will make more money and return to his glory years with the right scheme. It's no longer with the packers as long as they have Perry. I remember some bone head plays Nick Barnett made before he left. MCIII knows the writing is on the wall. So did Barnett. MCIII still has that strong will. The more the players get pushed out the door, the more will be in a rebuild. There just aren't enough Elite players in the NFL. The NFL can defense any player now. The packers need to change their front. Put Perry back on the Line and let CMIII play behind him. Perry still makes mistakes too. The RTs are dominating the packers defense.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:04 am

Actually, Perry is faster than Matthews. And stronger.

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Demon's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

You think CM3 should have kept his ROLB/elephant position because of seniority, are you [email protected]@ing me, right? This is the NFL not a union factory job. In the NFL you earn your place on the field every season, every game, every snap.

By your logic we would still have Capers on the staff. He was the longest tenured DC in the league.

As the HC it is MM's job to put the best player in the best place EVERY game. If MM let it be known that a player was playing only because of seniority (like AJ Hawk) or god forbid it might hurt someones feelings, he should be fired immediately!

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

I was right, you didn't know what AJ Hawk's job was
:)

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stockholder's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:25 am

No, I'm saying the packers should of let CMIII stay in his college position. He moved inside then out on the other side. Because Perry sucked and still does there. Peppers left. I'm saying the packers made the same mistake with Hawk. I said , "Capers should go and so should Moss." (Don't use persuasive thinking here. ) The Packers have not stopped the regression in their players. Their to busy using a thermostat, $salary$$, instead of letting people get back to where football was fun. MMs job? Seniority vs. Draft pick status. Aren't we seeing the packers stay with a higher draft pick first. CORY AND OTHERS WANT CMIII INSIDE! MM SHOULD HAVE MOVED HIM BY YOUR COMMENT. I'm saying to get the most out of CMIII they should give him a new job evaluation and ask him his choice. I really should of used the word CHOICE instead of seniority. Is Perry better than MCIII. Or do we tell CMIII=. YOU suck and I want your salary more than your play? The packers use up players. Isn't this why Favre was upset and wanted to play for the Vikings? If I'm CMIII I play out my contract and go play for the patriots. Seniority, Hasn't CMIII earned the same respect as they gave to Peppers?

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Rebecca's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:55 am

Perry’s hands are useless. He has no moves, but yes string and big. He can’t jump and hasn’t great vision. Matthews would be more effective as a traditional middle linebacker.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2018 at 01:01 pm

Perry's hands have been broken for two years, of course they're useless :)

As to not being able to jump.. he had a 38.5" vertical at the combine.. that's more than 2" higher than the average vertical for any position group in the NFL (Free safety leads the league with an average vert of 36.3").

I do agree Matthews would be more effective in the middle, due to his natural ability to flow to the ball through garbage and his c.o.d. skills. I would never advocate for Nick Perry to play anywhere besides on the edge, either two point or three point stance.

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:43 am

I remember when I played , I used forearm pads that had padded gloves attached with extra cushion under the palm of my hands because I had previously broken my thumb on a RB's helmet making a tackle. I broke it 2 consecutive years and then started wearing the gloves/forearm pads and never broke it again all the way through college. Are those legal in the NFL? And if they are I wonder why Perry doesn't use them.

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:38 am

Perry is a better OLB than Mathews period. I do think Clay could move back inside and make a couple more pro bowls {as he did in 14 &15} and top 100 lists which will never happen for him at OLB at this point in his career.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:31 pm

Perry didn't replace Matthews, he plays the opposite side (and was drafted to). Perry is meant to collapse the pocket and get the QB if he scrambles while Matthews is intended to pin his ears back and get to the QB as quickly as possible.

I think your point about the Packers looking to draft a pass-rusher this next Draft is probably right, though. It is still very interesting to me that Gutekunst chose to pass on Marcus Davenport. I'm always amazed people don't talk about this more, but we could've had our guy. Davenport has a lot of potential but is raw. Instead, Gutekunst picked up an extra 1st and got Jaire Alexander. I wonder if he would've taken Davenport if he knew he would get Josh Jackson in the 2nd. I like the way things turned out although I don't hate Matthews or Perry like others do. I think our pass-rush is solid enough, but we'll need to upgrade soon. I hope we Draft someone and then re-sign Matthews for cheap.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:42 am

Clay Matthews III is son of Leslie Matthews & Clay Matthews Jr., husband of Casey Matthews (born Noble) and father of Madeline Joy Matthews & William Clay Matthews IV!

I think I was detailed!

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:45 am

My question wasn't relevant. Removed.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:36 am

Cutting CM3 now doesn't save one dime this season and since he is already a UFA next season, saves nothing next season. It does deprive GB of any chance of securing a comp pick next, but he has to play better to make that a relevant issue.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:44 am

It's too late to save on his weekly pay? Then never mind. We should have done it over the summer. I'll remove the post.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:48 am

Vested Veteran.

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Rak47's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:49 am

If they want a 3rd rounder for him they better move him inside. They'll be lucky to get a 7th rounder if he looks as bad the rest of the season as he did week one.

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JRome Coaxum's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:45 am

Stop being stubborn Guty. Give Brian Robinson a call. He can set edge and give us pass rush options. From the inside and outside. As long as we dont try to make him a hybrid Standing up OLB. We need to pick him up ASAP anyway. He might can give us insider information on the Vikings Defensive calls.

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4thand1's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:02 am

Watching Monday night countdown, Steve Young made an interesting comment. He said September is the pre season for the NFL now. Even Belichick said we'll know what we have after game 3. All eyes are on CM, he is supposed to be a leader and his play should set an example for the younger guys. This where AR comes in, he has the right to call out anyone on the team. Don't do it publically, but he can let someone like Clay know he has to shit or get off the pot. We are stuck with him for this year, but if he doesn't play like a true starter, this will be his last hoorah in GB.

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Lare's picture

September 11, 2018 at 01:32 pm

Maybe Matthews was referring to himself when he told the media that the Packer's depth at OLB was "not that great".

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 03:56 pm

I watched his post-game interview on Packers.com and he jokingly said that regarding the bone-head play at the end he'd "charged his tablet and was bringing it to training" next - a reference to it being a dismiss-able error. He also conceded that this wasn't his best game...... mea culpa accepted, now atone on the Vikes.

I think that having read through all the posts on this thread the collective thought that he needs to play better and the coaches need to scheme him and the D-front better holds true.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:03 pm

4thand1, Hey, how are you doing? 3 years ago I posted GB would throw 50 more million $$$$ at Clay Mathews & then cut him, Remember? What a waste of money. Hope you're enjoying Retirement?? Take Care
LVT

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Oz40's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:29 am

Any body heard of T J Watt? OR Kahlil Mack?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

No, who are those guys?

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:43 am

Don't worry about Matthews play...he'll be hair flipping with a hammy soon enough.Should have dumped him last year. Perry made a play and I applaud, as it was finally a game changer. However, don't get used to it, his disappearing act will be seen again soon in a game where appearance matters.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:30 pm

Hey Taryn, Don't Overlook Jacksonville this year. I think they are a team to beat. JMO
LVT

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dobber's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:53 am

What's the old saying? "You're only as good as your last game?"

Doesn't ring well for CMIII, but we all know he was better than what he showed Sunday last season. Same was true for James Starks in 2016: he was serviceable as a fill-in for Lacy in 2015 and his return made good sense. He dropped off a cliff in a heartbeat and was just plain lousy. I think CMIII is still an incredible athlete: I'm not saying that I think he's dropped off that much at this point, but you can't help but wonder when it starts. I can't help but wonder if a new scheme is emphasizing his warts as he tries to get comfortable in it.

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Spock's picture

September 12, 2018 at 05:06 am

dobber, "I can't help but wonder if a new scheme is emphasizing his warts as he tries to get comfortable in it." That's a good point. CM3 has ONLY played under Capers scheme his entire career now and was one of the few players who seemed sad to see Capers go as I recall. Also, Clay was quoted as saying at (I think it was the Packers official site) that he (I'm paraphrasing) "usually has a feel" if he was being considered for playing inside (ILB) but that he "didn't have that feeling" under Pettine. I thought it was a weird comment at the time, and still do.

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Rebecca's picture

September 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Matthews is saving his hamstrings or else he’s lost whatever moves he ever had. We’re stuck with him. I still don’t know who he is. Too bad he got the Super Bowl ring when he was young. That media attention spoiled his ass.
His blond warrior locks and build gave him product endorsements that he milks to this day despite having not done anything very exciting since his “...it’s time!” moment in the SB.

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stockholder's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:33 pm

I don't blame the media. I blame Moss/Capers. CMIII must go after the football. Not the player! That was his biggest mistake Sunday night. He's still fast. Watch the tape. I tried to trade Perry for Mack. But are we at that point where CMIII is Raji. Remember Raji's move to DE. IT wrecked him. Moving players around is to help the club. The problem is CMIII is only being Raji now. Wreck Havoc was his pat on the back.. Don't play the ball. Free the mis- match. CMIII understood this with Capers and Moss. Problem: no one else is stepping up. CMIII said Help Wanted. The trouble is he's under the microscope after Sunday. The Line must supply the rush. The line was suppose to make holes for the LBs to get to the QB. Ryans down, Burks is down, Jones is down. Martinez must stay home. ( Matinez made several CLUTCH tackles Sunday!!! ). It"s MCIII Time again. To shut the hole of people that think he's washed up. It's starts by going for the ball first. Forget the Pat on the butt. CMIII can still be that impact this defense needs. Everyone says ILB. Morrison is not Ryan. Clay has to be himself. Speed,anticipation, don't look around like Raji. It's time! CMII Time. He must play the football and not be a Defensive Lineman.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:09 pm

One question when was the last time he beat any above average LT or RT with his speed? I'm too use to him over running a play or on his back side. Do you think that Defensive coordinators game play for him anymore? MY belief is that view him as just another OLB, so they just take their chances and run at him whenever they can. You are right about one thing the D-Line has to create more holes.

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stockholder's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm

They would have CUT CMIII if they thought that.

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marpag1's picture

September 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Are we going to remove Blake Martinez, a young ascending player who led the NFL in tackles last year, AND are we going to make Kyler Freakin' Fackrell an active member of the OLB rotation so that we can move Clay Matthews to ILB?

"Hell, no."

Are we going to remove our only viable options as coverage linebackers - namely Oren Burks or a hybrid/Josh Jones sort of guy, AND are we going to make Kyler Freakin' Fackrell an active member of the OLB rotation, so that we can move Clay Matthews to ILB?

Again, "Hell, no."

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:11 pm

To add to that no one in the coaching staff, is going to make that call. MM doesn't want him inside and CMIII doesn't want to either. For me its just not going to happen.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:11 pm

To add to that no one in the coaching staff, is going to make that call. MM doesn't want him inside and CMIII doesn't want to either. For me its just not going to happen.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:11 pm

To add to that no one in the coaching staff, is going to make that call. MM doesn't want him inside and CMIII doesn't want to either. For me its just not going to happen.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:12 pm

Sorry for the unnecessary reposts fat fingers.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

September 11, 2018 at 05:12 pm

Sorry for the unnecessary reposts fat fingers.

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Imafan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

I'm going to swim upstream on the Matthews thinking against the Vikes! I believe Matthews will have at least two sacks and possibly an interception! I also believe he will be moved around to try and find the gaps for blitzing. I truly believe stars rise to the top when pressure and controversy are in the room. Hey, with as many concussions as he's had over the years flying around, I understand, and didn't like, his terrible decision to launch himself late on Trubisky. I believe he learned from it and that will make him a better player and teammate moving forward! Go Pack!

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NoNonsense's picture

September 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Go look at some college highlights of James Crawford on the edge. I would like to see them give him a shot outside a few plays over Fackrell.

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L's picture

September 11, 2018 at 01:23 pm

Size wise, he seems a bit on the small side to be playing edge in the NFL given he weighs 235-239 lbs.

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Spock's picture

September 12, 2018 at 05:16 am

Someone (in the insider question section) on the Packers official site claimed Crawford was Charles Woodson's nephew. Anyone know if that's true? Just curious.

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jfajas's picture

September 11, 2018 at 02:36 pm

About CM3: should be cut.
Slow is an understatement. Strong? He is manhandled by TEs and running backs. Falls to the ground every 5 snaps. The only people he scares are the green bay fans because he's that horrible...
Let Pettine do something else with that D. Every OLB in college would be more productive than him.
Should have been cut 2 years ago... Which is indicative of poor management. Hoodie would have cut him 3 years ago. Never overpay declining players. It's a golden rule... Cut him now. He's done

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Cartwright's picture

September 11, 2018 at 09:06 pm

Players of Mathews' caliber know when they have played a shitty game, no excuses. Expect an inspired game out of him before the home crowd to atone for the abysmal performance. Hopefully, the return of Burkes and Jones will pick up his game.

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MITM's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:45 pm

Overreaction to 1 terrible game. Sorry.

Clay isnt 2010 Clay Matthews but he isnt 1 better right now than Kyler Fackrell bad either as per PFF week 1 rankings. Kinda like how Blake Martinez was their top coverage LB comin out into that years draft also.

We need Clay Matthews this season like it or not, and he is going to make his plays. They may be fewer and further between, but he is going to make his plays. The whole Al Jeezera theory is total bullshit also. Lets not even utter those words again or reference that terrorist organization, ay?

Oren Burks is coming. And he's going to kill everything. Reggie Gilbert is going to get better and better. Injuries could be catastrophic. Cross that bridge when we come to it. John Simon would be a nice addition.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 12, 2018 at 01:43 pm

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have our scapegoat for the week! Bears fans obviously think it's a bad hit and Packers fans who were mostly anti-Clay going into the week also think it was a bad hit. My argument is that what Clay did was perfectly legal. The arm hits the back, not the helmet, and he's pulling off anyways so it's not forcible contact even if he hit the head. He's also within one step so it's not late. So we have a hit within one step to the back while he's pulling off. That should not be called, especially on a 4th Down. Gotta love the argument how Matthews was invisible, but on the play the author is complaining about it's Matthews getting the pressure on a 4th Down that would've ended the game had the flag not wrongfully been thrown.

And since I'm going to get the downvotes anyways, I my as well just say how shitty this article is. It's obviously just an emotionally whiny article because the author wanted Mack and didn't get him. So now, the author is trying to claim after one week we have proof Matthews can't be an effective starting OLB. We'll just ignore that most of Mack's impact came in the first half and when Deshone Kizer was in. Oh, and btw, the Packers won. Mack wasn't the difference in the game.

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