Clay Matthews and The Middle Linebacker Question
On Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles Rams released Clay Matthews. This sparked immediately attention from Packers fans. Some wanted Matthews back. Others would rather not see a return. My biggest issue with Matthews in his last couple of years with the Packers is he never faced reality. Three years ago, the former All-Pro excelled at the middle linebacker in Dom Capers’ system. He was truly great there, and that should have been his new position. But Matthews dug his feet in and wanted to go back to an EDGE rusher. He never amounted to anything going back outside. If the former Packer wanted to head back to the middle, Packers could consider a spot for him.
Matthews needs to face facts and realize that he is done as an edge rusher. That might sound harsh. That might sound over-the-top. But he cannot play on the outside any longer. The true question is does Matthews finally get that? He didn’t get it two years ago when the Packers EDGE rusher’s skills started to decrease. He still didn’t get it a year ago either. It was maddening to watch Matthews put up such a fucking fit about this versus just facing reality.
In my opinion, the former Packers player would have to engage Green Bay about wanting to return and wanting to play inside linebacker. Green Bay should not chase him in any sense of the word. Or ask Matthews if he has any interest to play inside again. Mike Pettine also needs to sign off that Matthews works with his system inside. Every defensive player they have signed or kept has worked for Pettine. It seems like Brian Gutekunst has a lockstep relationship with the defensive coordinator, and I doubt they would make a decision that doesn’t involve him.
We’ll see if the Packers reach out but I’m assuming that it will not happen.