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Packers want Clay Matthews back at outside linebacker

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Inside linebacker Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

For his first five seasons with the Packers, Clay Matthews was an outside linebacker who made a lot of big plays on the edge of the defense.

In 2014, though, Matthews began seeing time at inside linebacker and it was his primary role in Green Bay this season. Matthews adapted to the position, but didn’t have the same impact on games that he did when playing on the outside. That would explain why coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday that he wants to put Matthews back where he belongs next season.

“My goal with Clay is to play outside linebacker,” McCarthy said, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I think it shows the type of player Clay is to go inside and play as much as he did really full time there. The matchup part of it was really always my goal. There’s things he does at that position that he’ll continue to do. He’s an outside linebacker and we need to get back to him playing there and just playing inside when needed.”

Moving Matthews back outside will have impact on several decisions the Packers make this offseason. Outside linebackers Mike Neal and Nick Perry are unrestricted free agents and the team is on the thin side beyond Matthews at inside linebacker, which is a big reason why they had him there in the first place.

Julius Peppers‘ status is also something to watch as he said he’s “not sure” about returning next season. Peppers, who had 10.5 sacks in the regular season and one in the loss to the Cardinals, is signed for next season at a base salary of $7 million.

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64 Responses to “Packers want Clay Matthews back at outside linebacker”
  1. lightninhopkins says: Jan 18, 2016 7:44 PM

    Dude is the most overrated player in football.

  2. jets4thewin says: Jan 18, 2016 7:48 PM

    Clay is a great pass rusher but he looks completely out of place dropping into coverage.

  3. raiderapologist says: Jan 18, 2016 7:58 PM

    Starting in 2014? Nice roster management. Maybe in a year or two you can move him back outside.

  4. totalbreaks says: Jan 18, 2016 8:02 PM

    With a healthy Barrington at ILB and Clay at OLB the Packers are a much better defense.

  5. allight59 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:06 PM

    Clay would be a bench player for the Vikings….He should ask Barr, Kendricks, Greenway for advise…btw, thanks for letting Kendricks fall to the 2nd round so the Vikings could scoop him up.

  6. ariani1985 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:07 PM

    I am sure TT will find another 37 year old LB to put next to her.

  7. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:13 PM

    Well Ted is going to need a bunch more inside linebackers if he is going to move Clay outside. Perry finally started to look the part this year. I’d hate to see us lose him. Mike Neal plays well too. This is a deep,deep team that is well poised to make another deep playoff run and contend for a NFL record 14th world championship.

  8. crazyhorse2609 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:16 PM

    The Packers might have won the game yesterday if he spent a little more time tackling than worrying about his hair.

  9. meximyke says: Jan 18, 2016 8:24 PM

    Matthews should grow up and get a haircut! You are a professional player, it’s not high school or college anymore. Be a role model and present yourself professionally.

  10. purplepeople1 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:26 PM

    Clay is a good player for sure but a little overrated along with 100 percent of the packers team

  11. richcranium2112 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:26 PM

    This is an opportunity for a TT FA move or draft jump to improve the linebacker corps. Ted is usually pretty good (this years secondary approach). Also needs to beef up the OL. WR should be good with baptism by fire for Janis and Abbrederis proving worthy. JJ may become expendable, possibly Davante Adams is a Javon Walker in the making.

  12. lukeshow says: Jan 18, 2016 8:30 PM

    Advice and advise are two different words

  13. powersnatch0102 says: Jan 18, 2016 8:32 PM

    Fabio wants out of gb. Can you blame her though?

  14. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Jan 18, 2016 8:35 PM

    Good idea, and the Larry that gave Clay Fitz approves. This way, Clay can miss more tackles.

  15. shlort says: Jan 18, 2016 8:37 PM

    Clay Matthews will have 2x more sacks next season than the Vikings end up with wins. Book it!

  16. fartweasel says: Jan 18, 2016 8:38 PM

    Fabio is a a great pass rusher, but he’s not a linebacker. As we all saw the other night when he missed tackling Fitzgerald at least three times during his 75 yard run. But his hair sure looked nice flying in the wind from under his helmet.

  17. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Jan 18, 2016 8:46 PM

    Let Mike Neal bulk up with his magic potions and play inside. If he starts now, it will only take him two months and he’ll be eight feet tall, 540 lbs.

  18. stellarperformance says: Jan 18, 2016 8:46 PM

    Proof positive the Viking trolls take more pleasure in Packer negativity than they do Viking positivity. Every time, all the time.

    Get a life.

  19. balaspackfan says: Jan 18, 2016 8:48 PM

    One of the best pass rushers in the league and you have him dropping into pass coverage 50% of pass plays. No brainer getting back outside.

  20. genericnflfan says: Jan 18, 2016 8:59 PM

    this will be made possible when they grab Reggie Ragland late in the 1st this spring

  21. nicopenelope says: Jan 18, 2016 9:03 PM

    This Packer fan says…uh, they are just figuring this out. The inability of Thompson to address the ILB position and TE position the past two seasons cost them at least one Super Bowl.

  22. doe22us says: Jan 18, 2016 9:05 PM

    Vikings fans are still sickened by that 27 yard chip shot lol, excuse them for their misery… Loosing to a couple of great plays by a HOF aint even that bad.

  23. jboody79 says: Jan 18, 2016 9:14 PM

    doe22us says:

    “Vikings fans are still sickened by that 27 yard chip shot lol, excuse them for their misery… Loosing to a couple of great plays by a HOF aint even that bad”.

    You got beat by a Vikings Ball Boy! LOL

    As for the Pay Taker, how many times did he miss our ball boy on that play? That was on cold blooded connection from Palmer to Fitz.

  24. codythao35 says: Jan 18, 2016 9:17 PM

    He’s soft, soft as sour cheese.

  25. mnjoemama says: Jan 18, 2016 9:20 PM

    They are moving him Because of that amazing tackle attempt on Larry and the A+ effort running down the field shadowing him so he didn’t get embarrassed again !

  26. dirtyhelmet says: Jan 18, 2016 9:38 PM

    OVER-RATED……
    Nice princess hair Suzie!!!

  27. packmanfan says: Jan 18, 2016 9:40 PM

    Neer mind that. Just how in the heck did they leave the #1 receiver for the other team wide open in OT? Whose fault was that? The players or Capers?

  28. usdcoyotesfan says: Jan 18, 2016 9:46 PM

    Forget McCarthy and Capers, the training staff is wasting Rodgers by not keeping the team healthy. In Rodgers’ 8 years with the Packers, they have led the league in injuries 5 times. You can call it bad luck if you lead the league in injuries for one year. When it happens in 5 years, something isn’t right.

  29. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 18, 2016 9:48 PM

    Clay would be a bench player for the Vikings….He should ask Barr, Kendricks, Greenway for advise…btw, thanks for letting Kendricks fall to the 2nd round so the Vikings could scoop him up.
    ————–
    SKOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Yet another reason why Vikings fans are always ridiculed. Greenway sucks. Barr is Ok. Kendricks is undersized which is why nobody wanted him in the first. Let me know when one of them ends up being named an All Pro like Clay.

  30. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 18, 2016 9:50 PM

    Neer mind that. Just how in the heck did they leave the #1 receiver for the other team wide open in OT? Whose fault was that? The players or Capers?
    —————
    It was a blown coverage according to the players. Each one thought the other guy had him after the play moved to the right side of the field.

  31. gopackgocausecowboysblow says: Jan 18, 2016 9:51 PM

    allight59 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 8:06 PM
    Clay would be a bench player for the Vikings….He should ask Barr, Kendricks, Greenway for advise…btw, thanks for letting Kendricks fall to the 2nd round so the Vikings could scoop him up.

    Greenway couldn’t carry Clay’s jock and the other two can’t carry what goes inside.

  32. thebigkuhuna says: Jan 18, 2016 10:04 PM

    So he figures this out at the end of the season??

  33. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 18, 2016 10:26 PM

    They should go back and watch tape of him trying to run down Fitz in OT. That’s the first time I’ve seen a player wave to the sidelines for a sub, in the middle of a play.

  34. squared80 says: Jan 18, 2016 10:28 PM

    There’s one reason that Aaron Rodgers only has 1 Super Bowl , and that’s because Ted Thompson is the most overrated GM in professional sports. Plugin a non-all-world-quarterback, even an average one, and that team is awful. Some playmakers here and there, but awful.

  35. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 18, 2016 10:30 PM

    Odd, I really thought their strategy of bringing in no inside linebackers other than a sixth round pick last offseason would really work out.

  36. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 18, 2016 10:32 PM

    They should go back and watch tape of him trying to run down Fitz in OT. That’s the first time I’ve seen a player wave to the sidelines for a sub, in the middle of a play.
    ————-
    You do realize he was a pass rusher on that play, right? The guy rushed Palmer 10 yards up field and then ended up running all the way back down the field to try to get Fitzgerald. The fact that he was even there was ridiculous. Amazing how not knowing what you’re talking about has a way of making you look foolish, isn’t it?

  37. patriotsticketssince1978 says: Jan 18, 2016 10:47 PM

    Charlie Sly can probably make it happen.

  38. diveleft says: Jan 18, 2016 11:02 PM

    stellarperformance says:
    Jan 18, 2016 8:46 PM
    Proof positive the Viking trolls take more pleasure in Packer negativity than they do Viking positivity. Every time, all the time.

    Get a life.
    ____

    Hypocrisy at its best. This guy is trolling on every Viking thread and usually multiple times on each one.

    Also, that was a stellar performance by Claytlyn in OT.

  39. kcarpenter1245 says: Jan 18, 2016 11:04 PM

    I don’t understand where all the “Clay missed the tackle” is coming from. He had to chase down Fitzgerald from the side and while he’s gotten older, he’s still not slow. Matthews had one chance to make the tackle and Fitz out ran him

  40. youngs79 says: Jan 18, 2016 11:05 PM

    Most over rated player in the league. He went two complete games, in a row, with zero tackles. Watch the replay of Fitz’s touchdown yesterday. Keep an eye on Fabio the entire play. He gets exposed as a fraud. He was interested in running along with Fitz rather than taking an angle to make the tackle.

  41. jhtobias says: Jan 18, 2016 11:06 PM

    Mr, Thompson this means you must draft an ib before the 7th round or spend money in fa on a ilb

  42. contra74 says: Jan 18, 2016 11:20 PM

    Ho hum

    Another vision of clarity from the packers afters they are done for the season.

    They’ll never get it.

  43. tommytd says: Jan 18, 2016 11:30 PM

    GET A HAIRCUT! You look ridiculous…

  44. packertruth says: Jan 18, 2016 11:43 PM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jan 18, 2016 10:30 PM

    Odd, I really thought their strategy of bringing in no inside linebackers other than a sixth round pick last offseason would really work out.
    ________________________
    Jake Ryan was a 4th round pick. I know you like your posts to be factually accurate.

  45. frank booth says: Jan 18, 2016 11:47 PM

    contra74 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:20 PM

    Ho hum

    Another vision of clarity from the packers afters they are done for the season.

    They’ll never get it.
    ==================================
    Meanwhile, Vikings’ fans consider Bridgewater to be an excellent QB. Ignorance is bliss.

  46. Teddy Bustwater....The Next Failed QB in Minnesota says: Jan 19, 2016 12:18 AM

    Mr, Thompson this means you must draft an ib before the 7th round or spend money in fa on a ilb
    —–
    You are aware they drafed an MLB in the 4th round last year, correct? Hard to predict Barrington getting injured and out for the season.

  47. tqaztec says: Jan 19, 2016 12:25 AM

    49 tackles for the season = pro bowl?

    Just a little overrated.

  48. schleusryn says: Jan 19, 2016 3:42 AM

    Matthews certainly is not overrated. McCarthy gave it a shot because he is an incredible athlete. It’s a coaching move that didn’t work out and it’s looking obvious of what’s to come in the draft.

  49. gtodriver says: Jan 19, 2016 5:32 AM

    packertruth says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:43 PM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jan 18, 2016 10:30 PM

    Odd, I really thought their strategy of bringing in no inside linebackers other than a sixth round pick last offseason would really work out.
    ________________________
    Jake Ryan was a 4th round pick. I know you like your posts to be factually accurate.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    In the interest of being completely factually accurate, Jake Ryan was an OLB when he played at Michigan State.

    The fact that he ended up playing ILB is due to TT failing to draft properly for the position.

  50. teamnorsecore says: Jan 19, 2016 5:36 AM

    frank booth says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:47 PM
    contra74 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:20 PM

    Ho hum

    Another vision of clarity from the packers afters they are done for the season.

    They’ll never get it.
    ==================================
    Meanwhile, Vikings’ fans consider Bridgewater to be an excellent QB. Ignorance is bliss.
    …………
    ….and you think Cutler is still going to do something. Ignorance IS bliss!!!

  51. teal379 says: Jan 19, 2016 7:35 AM

    Those cracking on his hair – you do realize both he and Hawk kept it long as a tribute to Pat Tillman and what he did.

    I’ll wait while you google Pat Tillman and I promise not to say anything when you realize how dumb you look.

    Maybe less jokes about someone’s hair and more concentration on how your own team was sitting home last weekend watching the Packers play.

  52. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 19, 2016 8:21 AM

    Shanks for all the great advice Viking fans!

  53. lindacaseauthor says: Jan 19, 2016 8:56 AM

    Claitlin needs to be investigated for illegal drug use. By the way his face has changed I’d say HGH and/or steroids. Even if he isn’t investigated, it will all catch up with him. Either destroy the body.

  54. zjpz02 says: Jan 19, 2016 8:59 AM

    Barrington is an average linebacker at best, they need talent in the middle if they are going to run a 3-4 defense, ala the Pittsburgh Steelers. All of their LB’s are 1 st rounders! ALL!

    Fortunately, some very good LB’s coming out this year. Palmer and Ryan ain’t that good!!! This is a position(LB) that needs serious upgrading along with OL.

  55. jeydrade says: Jan 19, 2016 10:15 AM

    Matthews is a very good player, regardless of the rants on here. He made some great plays. His sacks were down a little, but his tackles were up there around normal.

    Overall, GB’s defense played very well considering the initial perception. They kept them in a lot of games.

  56. thejuddstir says: Jan 19, 2016 10:37 AM

    “……we need to get back to him playing there and just playing inside when needed.”……….now that statement made a whole lot of (non) sense. Didn’t you play him at MLB this year because “it was needed?” With current state of Packers LB crew, my guess is it will be needed again next year. As for Clay…..perhaps it’s not a matter of what position he plays as much as it is his need for that added “juice.”

  57. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 19, 2016 1:44 PM

    shlort says:
    Jan 18, 2016 8:37 PM

    Clay Matthews will have 2x more sacks next season than the Vikings end up with wins. Book it!
    _______

    That would be an NFL record. Considering he was 4.5 sacks behind Vikings wins this year, I don’t think I’ll be “booking it.”

  58. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 19, 2016 1:46 PM

    packertruth says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:43 PM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jan 18, 2016 10:30 PM

    Odd, I really thought their strategy of bringing in no inside linebackers other than a sixth round pick last offseason would really work out.
    ________________________
    Jake Ryan was a 4th round pick. I know you like your posts to be factually accurate.
    _________

    I know he was a 4th-round pick, but he was only worth a 6th-round pick.

  59. frank booth says: Jan 19, 2016 2:00 PM

    lindacaseauthor says:
    Jan 19, 2016 8:56 AM

    Claitlin needs to be investigated for illegal drug use. By the way his face has changed I’d say HGH and/or steroids. Even if he isn’t investigated, it will all catch up with him. Either destroy the body.
    ==================================
    Funny. There is HGH and steroid use on every team. Maybe some of your favorite Vikings are on them. These guys need every edge they can get, and there are plenty of people willing to provide them, and provide masking agents.

    The NFL doesn’t want to find these guys.

  60. frank booth says: Jan 19, 2016 2:21 PM

    gtodriver says:
    Jan 19, 2016 5:32 AM

    packertruth says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:43 PM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jan 18, 2016 10:30 PM

    Odd, I really thought their strategy of bringing in no inside linebackers other than a sixth round pick last offseason would really work out.
    ________________________
    Jake Ryan was a 4th round pick. I know you like your posts to be factually accurate.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    In the interest of being completely factually accurate, Jake Ryan was an OLB when he played at Michigan State.

    The fact that he ended up playing ILB is due to TT failing to draft properly for the position.
    ==================================
    In the interest of being completely factually accurate, Jake Ryan played at Michigan, not Michigan State.

    He was an outside linebacker up until he was injured in his junior year. He was moved to MLB for his senior year and made 1st team All Big-Ten at the position. Seems that McCarthy drafted properly for the position.

    He was projected to be a 4th or 5th round pick.

  61. ariani1985 says: Jan 19, 2016 2:41 PM

    Laidies, ladies, relax! You got your 2nd place ribbon so be grateful!

  62. rlpftt says: Jan 19, 2016 4:30 PM

    So instead of Clay overrunning the play from the middle, he will overrun it from the outside?

    There isn’t a guy in the NFL more overrated than Clay Matthews.

  63. crazy580 says: Jan 19, 2016 5:31 PM

    Why is everybody so concerned with Matthews and his hair? You want to complain, complain about some of the guy’s with there ugly ass dread-locks

  64. azblonguy says: Jan 19, 2016 8:20 PM

    I don’t get why there are so many Vikings trolls…. those numb dumbs still need to get past the first round of playoffs yet. How long has it been???

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