Matthews, Raji See Improvement in 2014

By Leslie Spoon

Published 08/18 2014 06:05PM

Updated 08/18 2014 06:09PM

It's no secret the Packers defense must improve and Clay Matthews thinks this is the year, he says there's a certain feel around the locker room.

“I'm always, I always have a positive outlook on our defense but this year especially when you look around at the guys they kind of exude a certain type of energy and a certain prowess about them,” Matthews said.

Success starts with stopping the run and the Packers are on the right track. Green Bay's starters only gave up six yards on the ground against the St. Louis’ starters on Saturday.

“It's early but I like our tenacity and our pursuit to the ball. You can always cleanup technique things, but I think overall if you have the point of attack and the pursuit down you'll have a pretty good defense,” said Raji.

B.J. Raji moved back to his traditional nose tackle spot this offseason and says getting his bearings is an ongoing process.

“I've been going against a certain offense all camp then you start playing these games and they have different concepts so I think that's probably been the toughest part for me. But (Coach) Trgovac has been helping me out as far as blocking schemes so I'm coming along,” explained Rajil.

Matthews is still healing from not one, but two thumb surgeries in 2013 and says he's feeling good.

“It has been a little more integral as far as my play, just because getting the mental confidence to go back out there throw my hand around, throw my body around and feel good about that. I think by the time season rolls around be flying around out there and making plays and having fun,” said Matthews.

The Packers finished last season ranked 25th overall in total defense and 25th in run defense. Matthews and Raji may have a good feeling about this unit, but it's all about proving it in-between the lines.

“We can sit here and talk about how good we're going to be or change this and that but ultimately the numbers don't lie so we have to go out there week one against a good team and show up and look forward to doing that,” said Matthews.

“Ultimately all that matters is how we feel and how we execute on Sundays so that's our mindset and we'll let everyone else do the talking,” said Raji.

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