Clay Matthews on outside linebacker depth: It’s not that great

Getty Images

The Packers’ depth at outside linebacker was exposed Tuesday as Clay Matthews and Nick Perry were rested during team drills. Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel and Reggie Gilbert have combined for only six sacks in 40 games.

“You look at the depth at the outside linebacker position, and it’s not that great,” Matthews said, via Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That’s not a slight to the guys who are behind Nick and myself, but you look around the league, a lot of times they’re rotating in pass rushers. You can look a couple years ago when we had Mike Neal and Julius [Peppers] here, Datone [Jones] as well. We had a pretty good rotation.”

Neal, Peppers and Jones have combined for 183.5 sacks in more than 25 seasons. Peppers and Jones remain in the league.

The Packers’ draft was heavy on the defensive side. They spent a first-round choice on cornerback Jaire Alexander, a second-rounder on cornerback Josh Jackson, a third-rounder on inside linebacker Oren Burks, a seventh-rounder on defensive lineman James Looney and a seventh-rounder on outside linebacker Kendall Donnerson.

“I’m happy with the picks they made,” Matthews said. “And at the same time, it does show, you know, their confidence in Nick and myself, as well as the guys we have. At some time I’m sure [depth at outside linebacker] will be addressed, but for the time being, the guys we have here are the guys who have to hold up their end of the bargain.”

41 responses to “Clay Matthews on outside linebacker depth: It’s not that great

  1. “You look at the depth at the outside linebacker position, and it’s not that great,” Matthews said, via Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That’s not a slight to the guys who are behind Nick and myself, but you look around the league, a lot of times they’re rotating in pass rushers. You can look a couple years ago when we had Mike Neal and Julius [Peppers] here, Datone [Jones] as well. We had a pretty good rotation.”
    —-
    Nope, that is a slight on the Packer’s front office. Take note Mr. Rodgers, now that is how you insult your front office. None of that passive aggressive dancing around.

  2. Bak generally grades out as one of the very top pass blocking LT’s in the league (look it up) and Vince went past him a couple times today and would have had, at the least, QB hits if not sacks.

    While depth isn’t what Clay might want – the guys, if given a chance, should still be able to make plays, especially if you’re running Mo, Daniels and Clark in there to occupy the meat of an OL.

  3. Neal, Peppers and Jones have combined for 183.5 sacks in more than 25 seasons. Peppers and Jones remain in the league.
    _______________

    Nice try by the author to make Mike Neal (out of football since 2015) and Datone Jones (4 teams in 2017) seem relevant.

    Clay Matthews isn’t very good at football anymore. Nick Perry is the better player now. And from the sounds of it, Clay is not that great at recognizing talent. His salary is better spent elsewhere. Enjoy your last season as a Packer Clay, you will be rotated out.

  4. He talks as though he’s a major difference-maker. Maybe he was once.

    Not anymore.

  5. Wow. Depth? How about at the position? A healthy Perry is good, but Clay on the outside doesn’t cut it anymore. He’s still good. Just not there. Hopefully Peyton recognizes those limitations.

  6. Fackrell has been an obvious disappointment thus far, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how Vince Biegel performs now that he has a chance at a healthy start.
    The lack of depth made the selection of Oren Burks in the 3rd round all the more curious.

    Matthews had a phenomenal start to his career with his nonstop motor and he truly left his mark on this league.
    But now that he’s on the wrong side of 30, his game changing plays have become fewer and fewer.
    When he’s on the field he can still provide pressure, but not to the extent his contract demands.

    Pettine has a reputation of getting the most out of his players.
    His skills as a motivator and coach will be tested by this position group.

  7. “You look at the depth at the outside linebacker position, and it’s not that great,” Matthews said, via Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That’s not a slight to the guys who are behind Nick and myself“.

    //////////////////

    Ummm..Clay, you had a whopping 27 solo and 16 assisted tackles. Perry wasn’t much better with only 23 solo and 15 assisted. You don’t need depth, you need starters. BTW Clays 2018 salary counts over 11 million on cap. Pack would have been wise to cut Clay and draft a LB, but who would do commercials with Aaron if he was cut?

  8. He speaks the truth. You have to rotate. Hes just letting these young guys know its time to step up. Hes earned that, and thats what leaders do.

  9. Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel and Reggie Gilbert have combined for only six sacks in 40 games.
    _________

    Snap count seems a little more relevant than a games count.

  10. One can only take so much HGH before he reaches the point of diminishing returns. Otherwise said, that stuff don’t do you any good any more.

  11. Clay should focus on not getting hurt and returning to his reckless aggressive former self. He’s really mellowed since getting the big bucks.

  12. I guess I don’t get Fabio talking like he is a stud or something when he has been more harm than good. All for over $12 million a year. Doesn’t he realize that he is blasting the front office with this comment? The same front office that over pays him. Not too bright.

  13. Daniels, Martinez & HaHa make the plays on defense these days Fabio not you. You are late and jumping on piles for you half a tackle credit.

  14. Of course Clay is worried about OLB depth. He knows he will miss 4-5 games with a hamstring or groin injury again this year.

    He makes too much for as little as he has been producing. Honestly, he should have been gone after he got outran by 50 year old Fitzgerald in OT of that playoff game.

  15. He talks as though he’s a major difference-maker. Maybe he was once.

    Not anymore.

    He defintitely was. His forced fumble on Mendenhall saved the Superbowl in my opinion.

  16. It appears that even most of the Packer apologists have given up on the Claymaker by the responses posted.

    While intelligent football fans noticed the huge drop off in Mathews play years ago, it is now so obvious that even Packer fans can see it.

  17. This unit will make or break the defense.

    If they play strong, the young corners should be able to hold up.

    If Clay keeps running himself out of plays, its gonna be another long year.

  18. An understatement. Should definitely have hung on to Peppers a year ago.
    =====

    They wanted him back.

    Peppers has been in the League long enough to spot a sinking ship.

  19. Ummm..Clay, you had a whopping 27 solo and 16 assisted tackles. Perry wasn’t much better with only 23 solo and 15 assisted.
    ======

    Well, Doms scheme, originating during the Crusades, pretty much had these guys running upfield away from the football.

    Lets see what Pettine does with them.

  20. allight59 says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Well the entire Packer defense would be depth for other teams…none worthy of starting.
    _____________

    Any team(s) in particular? Be specific.

  21. gtodriver says:
    May 23, 2018 at 6:44 am

    While intelligent football fans noticed the huge drop off in Mathews play years ago
    ___________

    And then somebody called you yesterday?

  22. aarons444 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 9:39 am
    Ummm..Clay, you had a whopping 27 solo and 16 assisted tackles. Perry wasn’t much better with only 23 solo and 15 assisted.
    ======

    Well, Doms scheme, originating during the Crusades, pretty much had these guys running upfield away from the football.

    Lets see what Pettine does with them

    ///////////////////

    Capers scheme was running away from the football? I can’t believe McCarthy kept him on that long

  23. The statement that they’ve only had 6 sacks in 40 games is not a statement about Biegel or Gilbert, who have not had that many snaps at the position. Biegel was injured as a rookie and missed all of training camp and played much more on ST than on defense. Gilbert shined on the practice squad and then performed well in his couple of games on the roster last year. Okay, they may not have a Julius Peppers on this team, but Biegel and Gilbert won’t have a hard time playing as well as Neal or Datone Jones did. But yeah, Kyler Fackrell hasn’t done much in his 2 years at the position.

  24. Mathews is saying that because he knows they will have problems getting to the QB. He us even doubting himself and his own ability. I know they need corners… but how bad? Nobody would ever know how bad the packers needed corners because it is unknown… it’s unknown because without a legitimate pass rush, you will never know.
    The game is decided in the trenches on offense and on defense.
    Is it important to have a corner that can run with receivers. I am sure most corners can run with receivers in this league. The point is for how long?? Running with the receiver is easy… but how long can you chase this receiver? Not the whole game I am sure of that. Corner will be dead by second half.
    An effective pass rusher is the key to a corners success. The packers building backwards.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!