Clay Matthews will continue to play multiple positions for Packers

Clay Matthews Cashes in With Contract Extension_-6616628385264087947
(WFRV-TV) –  Many people assumed moving Clay Matthews to inside linebacker was a short term-fix during a crucial stretch late last season.

But there was Matthews practicing with the middle linebackers during the first OTA open to the public and media Thursday.

“Am I happy with that?” Matthews said when asked about the move.  “Yeah, of course.  I think you saw both our team, our defense how well we did in the second half of the season.  How well we improved in the run, the pass, win column.  Everything down the board as well as my personal statistics.”

“He’s a great pass rusher and he’s going to continue to play as many different positions as we can possibly get out of him,” head coach Mike McCarthy said after practice.  “We need to utilize Clay as much as we can.  He’s a great player, and we need to give him as many opportunities as we can to make plays.”

After being thrown into the fire last year with very little practice playing inside, Matthews is using this off season to learn as much as he can about his new position.

“I almost feel like one of these rookies out here,” Matthews joked.  “But at the same time I think I possess a multitude of talents other than just rushing the passer. I need to make sure I know the little nuances.  Last year was kind of a patchwork as far as throwing me in there, so now that I’m actually learning why I’m doing things it’s making the transition a lot easier.”

Over the past 6 seasons few have rushed the passer like Matthews.   He’s piled up 62 sacks during that span, and everyone believes he’ll be able to find the quarterback no matter where he’s lined up.

“He wants to make sure he’s got a clear understanding of the new things we’re doing and from every perspective, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, McCarthy said.

“Wait until you see him play nose guard; that’s going to be really cool.”

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