Clay Matthews plans to be the defensive leader in Green Bay

Reuters

When the Packers said goodbye to Charles Woodson this offseason, they were doing more than releasing one of their starting safeties from last season.

They were also bidding farewell to the player who had been the leader of their defense for several years, opening the role up for someone else in 2013 and beyond. Linebacker Clay Matthews expects to be that guy.

Matthews has been a strong player for the Packers pretty much upon arrival from USC, which is why the team signed him to a five-year extension this offseason. Matthews believes that the extension carries a responsibility beyond continuing at that same level of production.

“I think it’s just the natural progression with leadership on this team,” Matthews said, via Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Obviously the more comfortable I am in the scheme, which I very much am, the longer I’m here, the more tenured I am, the more I have to take that leadership opportunity. In light of what has happened in the off-season with Charles Woodson departing, the new contract shows trust in my leadership and ability on the field. So you’re going to see that, especially in light of the last few years for our defense. We’re trying to turn it around and get this thing back to where we were when we had the Super Bowl run.”

Strong leadership is important, but the Packers defense is going to succeed or fail based on the way their players perform on the field. If cornerback Tramon Williams can regain his old form and linebacker Nick Perry makes an impact in his return from injury, for example, the unit will be better than it was a year ago. If not, Matthews’ leadership will only wind up meaning so much.

84 responses to “Clay Matthews plans to be the defensive leader in Green Bay

  1. I read in every packers article about how bad the packers defense is, how overrated rodgers is… i dont have a clue how this team has gone 47-17 with a super bowl win in the last four years. Talk about one hell of a run purely on fluke luck, apparently.

  2. No proof of roids. Proof would be a running back who shredded his entire knee and coming back within a year. That’s the power of roids. Don’t hate on Matthews because you’ll never look like him while you sit on your couch eating cheetos and drinking mountain dew.

  3. It’s funny how haters say that Rodgers is only good because of the talent around him. But then they proceed to say how he’s the only talent on this team, and without him, they’d be a 4 win team.

    Haters need to make up their minds.

  4. Packhawk04.

    It’s because the refs Have to hand you wins or they don’t come. It’s no secret either. That’s why they were the only team so upset with the replacement refs(for not handing them games) that they were ready to boycott. They start out 1-3 and cry Til the refs come back to start giving them all the breaks again. To bad even with all the breaks ln the world you can’t best the giants

  5. It is getting old hearing people say the defense is bad. Ummmm, they were the 10th ranked defense last year with multiple kids playing and not having Woodson, Bishop, DJ Smith, then installing a outside LB to MLB. The only thing they failed at was Dom Capers inability to find a answer to the garbage scrambling of Kap.

  6. Seems to me he’s been the leader the last two years. Now he just needs to teach his fellow defenders how to tackle like he does.

  7. He might want to wait until week #2 to take the leadership role. Mike Iupati will have him flat on his back week #1 (just like the divisional playoff game).

  8. GenXJay says:
    Jul 11, 2013 10:52 AM
    If the cheesey defense declines, we all know who is to blame.
    So, toughen up.
    =======================

    Certain things are inevitable in life. Death, Taxes, and GenXJay trolling on a Packer article.

  9. Clay is simply the most over-rated player out there. 13 sacks last year, 6 in the first 2 games, and he plays the Bears twice. A strong wind gust can get sacks against the Bears. Instead of long hair, the guy should be playing with a bag over his head.

  10. I expect Clay to continue leading the Green Bay Packers to their twice yearly wins against the hapless, tasteless Vikings and Bears – like they have in each of the last 3 seasons.

  11. He has a history of Hamstring problems. Those don’t go away……especially when he’s hurt it, what 3 times now in 4 seasons. He is still young, but not getting any younger.

  12. He is a good player. I will say that. I am glad the vikings got Kalil cause Kalil can handle him. And in week 1 against the niners, he’s going to have his work cut out for him.

  13. Ksarnum

    You do.realize that was the replacement refs right? you also realize I addressed the replacement refs and How the packers got sad over one bad call. The season before they went 15-1 because the refs gave them games. Like the td that wasnt by Jennings or the no td that was by Jake Ballard. Or the hit also by osi where he hit the air or the fumble by driver that was clearly a fumble but overturned. The packers true colors showed when the replacement refs came in and stopped giving the packers all the calls. That must have upset the powers that be brought back the refs once GB decided to cry

  14. Well yeah, when you are the only defensive player on the team that could be a starter on another NFL team, you are the default “leader” of that defense, however sorry that defense may be

  15. giantsfanlewis-
    i’m tryin to figure out who was cryin more, the packers, or u about the packers gettin all the calls from the refs. Especially when the giants beat the packers in the first game of the playoffs. so the refs are doing all they can all season for the packers to go 15-1 but in the playoffs they let em lose? so does that mean the refs like the giants more and made sure they won the playoff game? or are they off the hook cuz they went into the playoffs 9-7 and won the super bowl, which is pretty similar to what the packers did the year before. 15-1 doesnt mean crap if u dnt win the superbowl.

  16. Its funny how people hate on the Packers. The smallest market in all of sports, one the oldest, one that’s always contending for a title, and one that year after year has rookies come in and break out

  17. filthymcnasty1 says: Jul 11, 2013 11:53 AM

    I expect Clay to continue leading the Green Bay Packers to their twice yearly wins against the hapless, tasteless Vikings and Bears – like they have in each of the last 3 seasons.

    —————–

    In denial that Ponder threw for 3 TDs in a Vikings victory over GB last year. But sure, whatever u say

  18. giantsfanlewis says:
    Jul 11, 2013 10:28 AM
    Packhawk04.

    It’s because the refs Have to hand you wins or they don’t come. It’s no secret either. That’s why they were the only team so upset with the replacement refs(for not handing them games) that they were ready to boycott. They start out 1-3 and cry Til the refs come back to start giving them all the breaks again. To bad even with all the breaks ln the world you can’t best the giants

    ————————————-

    Packers were the ONLY team? Please. All 32 teams were complaining as well. The only reason it points to the Packers is because it was one of the most obvious blown calls and it clearly determined the outcome of a game.

  19. Lol… A Vikings fan saying we only have one good defender?

    Look at the stats. The Vikings were worse than the Packers on both sides of the ball.

    I think the only players I’d take on the Vikes defense would be greenway and smith.

    Everyone else is too old or not good at all.

    And cue bblaster/Rick/contra or whatever his screen name is today.

  20. If the Packers get more calls than the average team, it’s for the same reason Michael Jordan did, the same reason Lebron does. Refs will always err on the side of greatness.

  21. “No proof of roids. Proof would be a running back who shredded his entire knee and coming back within a year. That’s the power of roids. Don’t hate on Matthews because you’ll never look like him while you sit on your couch eating cheetos and drinking mountain dew.”

    No, that would be called top of the line sports medicine and around the clock training.

    Being an average Joe I was playing sports full speed 6 months after an ACL reconstruction w/o a knee brace. If I can do that–I’m sure AP could play in the NFL. He probably trained harder after the reconstruction than ever before in his life.

    signed,

    A GBP shareholder.

  22. tokyosandblaster says: Jul 11, 2013 12:39 PM

    Lol… A Vikings fan saying we only have one good defender?

    Look at the stats. The Vikings were worse than the Packers on both sides of the ball.

    I think the only players I’d take on the Vikes defense would be greenway and smith.

    Everyone else is too old or not good at all.

    And cue bblaster/Rick/contra or whatever his screen name is today.

    —————–

    So you would pass on Jared Allen? The best DE in the NFL and you would pass on him?
    Oh yeah I forgot the lame Pack D is still stuck in the 4-3 defense. HAA no wonder Adrian runs for 500 yds in 2 games

  23. youngs79 says: Jul 11, 2013 12:25 PM

    Clay Mathews = Overrated Fabio

    ———————————————–

    I am guessing Rashard Mendenhall doesn’t call him Overrated Fabio.

    #ItIsTime

  24. tokyosandblaster says:
    Jul 11, 2013 12:39 PM
    Lol… A Vikings fan saying we only have one good defender?

    Look at the stats. The Vikings were worse than the Packers on both sides of the ball.

    I think the only players I’d take up the rump on the Vikes defense would be greenway and smith.
    —————————-
    Is this too much information?

  25. “vikings28 says:
    Jul 11, 2013 11:56 AM
    He has a history of Hamstring problems. Those don’t go away……especially when he’s hurt it, what 3 times now in 4 seasons. He is still young, but not getting any younger.”

    ————————————————

    I find this hillarious coming from a viking fan. A lot of you viking fans were praising the signing of bishop and how he is going to make an impact and be a really great linebacker. His hamstring was completely torn, yet he will be awesome for you guys right?

    Then you rip on Clay saying his hamstring is a problem. A lot, NOT ALL, of you vikings fans are hypocrites.

  26. Uh, who else would be the leader on that defense? What an odd statement by Clay. You have to tell everyone you’re going to be the leader? Hmm….

  27. giantsfanlewis says: Jul 11, 2013 1:19 PM

    Go watch the giants packers playoff game and if you think the refs were not trying to help GB you should join the concussion lawsuit

    ________________________________

    I saw bad calls going both ways, admittedly more in favor of the Packers. Much like every other football game I watch. There are always bad calls, and one team always benefits from them more than the other. If you think it means the refs were “trying” to help the Packers win, I suggest taking off your tin foil hat and joining us in the real world.

    Unlike you I watch every Packer game, and can say with certainty that they get screwed just as much as they benefit from bad calls. If ever there was a game where you would think the refs would try to help the Packers win if there was some grand pro-Packers conspiracy in the league, it would be the game against New Orleans the week following the fail mary play. I challenge you to watch that game and try to make your argument. The Packers probably got screwed more by the real refs in that game than they did by the replacements the week before, just not in such crucial moments.

  28. getsome636 says: Jul 11, 2013 10:43 AM

    “It is getting old hearing people say the defense is bad. Ummmm, they were the 10th ranked defense last year…”

    Actually GB was ranked 11th. in both yards-against and points-allowed…That said, Clay Matthews is already the leader of that defense.

  29. veence69 says: Jul 11, 2013 1:17 PM

    “Is it just me, or is Packer nation extra defensive this offseason?”

    It’s not just you…GB knows – even if their fans won’t admit it – that the NFC North will be a three-team race this year, and even Detroit may contend for a bit.

  30. No. I wouldn’t take Allen (who isn’t even a top 10 Defensive End anymore). He played 16 games last year and still didn’t have as many sacks as Clay Matthews, who was injured 4 games.

    You see, in the 3-4 defense, the outside linebacker plays a similar role as a traditional defensive end.

    Matthews >>>>>>>>>>> Allen

  31. Reading these Packer comments you can still see the butt hurt from the Favre signing. Btw…Allen played all of last year with injury…and still put up modest numbers. He’s two years away from almost breaking the sack record and he “is no longer a top 10 DE”.

    Also if you want to compare HGH suspicion get real. Peterson has been a consistent beast his entire life. From High School to the NFL. Clay was a walk on at USC who’s best friend (Cushing) and roommate was busted for cheating. Get fing real!!

  32. The Packers are hated because they are the whiniest group in all of sports. I don’t think I have ever heard a Packer fan or player say “The other team was better the better team. No, its always excuses, blaming referees or a beat ourselves cliche.

  33. Why does everyone just come on here and talk crap about every team that isnt the one they cheer for???

    Im a Lions fan, probably the biggest Lions fan there is, and Im gonna tell ya Clay Mathews is a heck of a player. Why wouldnt he be the defensive leader??

    Some people need to learn the game of football and how it relates to the whole NFL, not just their team.

  34. I’m really looking forward to mid November – by which point the Vikings trolls on this site will have disappeared.

    Vikings 6-10 this year? Could very well happen.

  35. The schedule this season will tell the real truth. the North will have a New division king. so packers fans can get the excuses ready. they will blame Dom for this season.

  36. @themackweak

    Like queen fans saying if ponder would have played the Packers would have lost in the playoff game?

    Or like how every single Packer fan I know and have seen on this site has said that the 49ers beat us fair and square?

    Which one of those facts helps your argument?

  37. As a Bears fan, maybe I shouldn’t post comments favorable to GB, but all the delusional Heidi fans on here leave me no choice…

    First of all, any of you trolling about how Matthews is the only good player on the Packers D need to remember 2 things…GB’s defense was ranked higher than yours last year, and your team’s offense has no one but AP doing anything worthwhile.

  38. themackstrong-
    how many packer fans do u know? i’m a die hard packer fan, live an hour away from GB so i know a few others too, and the majority of em blame a lot more than refs and the packers beating themselves. For example, not a very good offensive line, defense has been struggling, no running game, dom capers, players being soft, injuries, giving up 5million yards rushing to a QB, the list goes on. the refs blow calls for every team and i think every team has used the we beat ourselves quote.

  39. Matthews is going to be the leader of the defense. Makes sense to me, he probably will be.

    It hardly seems like a story that should start some of the arguments going on here.

  40. tokyosandblaster says: Jul 11, 2013 3:10 PM

    “Osos, you make fun, but I’d rather have a long haired guy on my defense than a defense comprised of really old, balding players, like Chicago.”

    The old, bald guys finished as a Top 5 defense, and four of them went to the Pro Bowl…And we have enough young guys (Melton, McClellin, Bostic, and Greene) waiting to step up when needed.

    Go Bears!

  41. Giants aren’t likely to make the playoffs this season. Sorry Lewis.
    Vikings have nothing to hang their braided helmets on except a running back who is in the last couple years of his true effectiveness. Poor Frazier can’t even get a one year extension. Bears may surprise people early if Trestman is good, but I can’t see them as year-long contenders. I look for the Packer D to be better this season. We’ll see.

  42. Last year is gone. this is a new season and the Bears.. Vikings.. and packers will fight for the division. packers fans think its a given that they will win BUT thats why they play the games.

  43. themackstrong says: Jul 11, 2013 2:20 PM

    The Packers are hated because they are the winningest group in all of sports.
    ______________________________

    Well said.

  44. So Packers and their fans are whiny? It’s Vikings fans ALWAYS trolling our boards, get a life and go read about your own crappy team, please stay off our boards, its getting down right sad.

  45. jrmbadger & rtp295. (tears of sadness)

    I’m on your board as much as your cheese cohorts attend my favorite team. Get over it.

    Vikings are adding another packer “great” this year. His name Lombardi. Keep them tears coming cry babies.

  46. themackstrong says: Jul 11, 2013 2:20 PM

    The Packers are hated because they are the winningest group in all of sports.
    __

    Not even close. Ever heard of the New York Yankees? The Packers are hated because their fans are insufferable.

  47. The vi… ugh!
    This Off-Season is taking FOREVER!!!

    Hurry up and bring on the 2013 season, I wanna see our D show up in crucial games against good offenses, I wanna see our Oline man up and our Kicker become accurate.

    Blah… Snail Pace of a Summer.

  48. GenXJay says:
    Jul 11, 2013 11:05 PM
    jrmbadger & rtp295. (tears of sadness)

    I’m on your board as much as your cheese cohorts attend my favorite team. Get over it.

    Vikings are adding another packer “great” this year. His name Lombardi. Keep them tears coming cry babies.

    ——————–
    LOL!! Thank you, I needed a good laugh today. That’s right up there with “We’re going to Miami”.

  49. axespray says:Jul 12, 2013 1:57 PM

    Hurry up and bring on the 2013 season, I wanna see our D show up in crucial games against good offenses, I wanna see our Oline man up and our Kicker become accurate.
    _______

    Good news. The only place you’re going to see those things is in your dreams, so you can get started right now.

  50. Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    Jul 12, 2013 11:02 AM

    themackstrong says: Jul 11, 2013 2:20 PM
    The Packers are hated because they are the winningest group in all of sports.
    ______________________
    Not even close. Ever heard of the New York Yankees? The Packers are hated because their fans are insufferable.
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    It’s hard being a fan of a winning franchise. The Yankee fans know what I’m talking about. Be thankful you’ll never have to know the feeling.

  51. Clay doesn’t have to worry about it. He’s already the leader on one of the best defenses in the division, and they’ll only get better this year.

    I think they should be a top 5 defense this year.

  52. Also, I know I don’t speak for all of us, but I never said it was a given we were going to win the division this year. This year’s division race is going to be tight.

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