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Posts tagged with "Clay Matthews"

Key players for this week will be those taking on more responsibility while the Packers heal.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

We at Acme Packing Company know that last week was rough. We’ve discussed it ad nauseum and injuries seem to just be as continuous as ever. Let’s find some bright side here and talk about the potential impact that some key players can have to help secure the Packers a win against Cincinnati.

Quinton Dial

Dial is listed behind Mike Daniels on the depth chart and could be looking at some extra reps during the game Sunday. Daniels is listed as doubtful so Dial or Kenny Clark will have a spotlight on them to take over the defensive line. The Bengals haven’t been able to score a touchdown in the first 2 weeks and I anticipate that they will be desperate to find the endzone.

The Bengals have allowed 8 sacks so far on the season and their line play isn’t getting any stronger. Dial is a strong run defender and can help eat up blockers inside so the pass rushers can do some damage.

Kevin King

Sticking on defense, Kevin King could be in for a bigger role in this game and in the future. King was able to put in pretty good reps against Atlanta’s Julio Jones last week. Matt Ryan was 0-4 when targeting Jones with King covering him. The Packers may need Kevin King to use his large 6’3” frame to help put the clamp on the Bengals’ A.J. Green.

Like Jones, Green is another big wide receiver that commands a lot of targets and attention. New offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor, may target A.J. in the offense early and often with redzone target, Tyler Eifert, and speedster, John Ross out.

Ahmad Brooks

Sticking on the defensive side of the ball, I’m looking at Ahmad Brooks. It’s unknown how long linebacker Nick Perry will be recovering from his recent hand surgery. Brooks, who missed the game against Atlanta with a concussion, is technically listed as Clay Matthews’ back up, but I don’t anticipate that keeping from Dom Capers sliding him over to the opposite side.

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The team that brought you the 2015 “Hulk Lacy/Cheesehead Nation” and the 2016 “Hail Rodgers” murals have plans to create another iconic work on “The Packers Fence” along Lombardi Avenue, directly across from Lambeau Field.

Zane Statz and Spencer Young, along with Cheesehead TV, will feature Packers’ players from the defensive side of the ball in a comic-book themed piece titled “Defenders of Lambeau.”

Mr. Young painted Aaron Rodgers and the Receiver while Mr. Statz did the “Hail Rodgers,” football, CheeseheadTV   logo,   and   stencil   work

Mr. Young painted Aaron Rodgers and the Receiver while Mr. Statz did the “Hail Rodgers,” football, CheeseheadTV logo, and stencil work

One of the subjects of the mural is no stranger to playing the role of comic book hero. This past July, defensive lineman Mike Daniels attended Comic Con, a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, in full costume, drawing national media attention. Only, Daniels didn’t attend the convention as the menacing, disruptive, and run-stuffing defensive lineman that Packers’ fans are used to seeing on Sundays, rather Daniels dressed as a popular character from a Japanese animation series. “This kind of stuff, it wasn’t the cool thing when I was growing up,” Daniels said according to a July 28th ESPN feature. “Now, pop culture is comic books, super-hero movies, anime, manga, and I’ve been doing it for a long time.” The artists play off this passion in the mural with a custom-designed Mike Daniels anime character by Mr. Young. The mural will also feature another Packers’ star who certainly looks the part of superhero. Clay Matthews III, the figurehead of the Packers’ defense with a penchant for flexing his biceps and letting his long blond locks flow, has long been compared to Marvel Entertainment superhero Thor. Mr. Statz incorporaated a custom Thor-inspired design of Matthews to complete the “Defenders of Lambeau” mural.

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Anything is possible with this Packers defense

Dan from Golden, CO

I’ve taken a much-needed break from the Packers and football in general over the past two months. Can you please summarize what I’ve missed on the Insiders articles?

Ty Montgomery kept his No. 88 and yet people continued to ask about a potential switch to the point it became a running joke, fans still haven’t gotten over Seattle, and overtime rules are complicated. And oh, Vic retired.

Tal from Ascot, UK

I understand how an inside rush helps an outside rush, and how an outside rush helps a secondary, and how a secondary helps the pass rush. But how do the inside linebackers fit into all of this, or is it that the ILBs sort themselves out by themselves?

It’s probably somewhere in between rushing and coverage depending on the call. A lot of it is reaction and timing. From a blitzing standpoint, you saw the impact Clay Matthews can have on the game from the inside linebacker position. However, there are several ways to make an impact depending on the player’s skill set.

Chris from Fort Bragg, NC

Regarding the behind-the-scenes: I am also very interested in the operation. I’ll take anything you’d like to share.

I’d just like to add Mike is a saint for dealing with me on the road. I get motion sickness writing in vehicles, so Spoff takes the lead in banging out our game story and editorial in quick succession. He also edits my sidebar and notebook once we’re on the plane. He never complains. At least to my face.

Carly from St. Joseph, MI

Since there are a few weeks of Sundays without football left, I took the opportunity to binge-watch “Last Chance U” on Netflix. What’s the Insiders’ opinions on the show and JUCO ball in general? Do these kids ever make it?

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With Clay Matthews, veteran bookends guide Packers’ outside rush into 2017

This is the sixth in a series of stories that’s examining the Packers’ roster, position by position, leading up to training camp. The series continues with the linebackers.

GREEN BAY – As frustrating as the setbacks have been, Nick Perry remained ever-confident in what he could do on the football field when healthy.

It showed in 2016.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound linebacker enjoyed the first offseason program of his five-year NFL career last summer, the first step in what turned out to be a breakthrough season for the former first-round pick.

While a broken hand forced him to sit out two games in December, Perry still established career highs in tackles (52) and sacks (11) in 14 regular-season games with 12 starts.

The Packers quickly identified the 27-year-old pass-rusher as a priority in free agency, re-signing Perry to a long-term contract shortly after the negotiating period began in March.

The defense will be counting on Perry, six-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews and a blend of young linebackers to help fill the void of 15-year veteran Julius Peppers, who returned to Carolina after three seasons with the Packers.

Despite having to wear a club, Perry was still effective late in the season. He added three sacks in the Packers’ final two regular-season games and another against Dallas in the NFC Divisional playoff, pushing his postseason sack total to seven in five games, third-best in franchise history.

Matthews, back at his natural outside position, got off to a strong start in 2016 with sacks in each of his first three games. However, the momentum was stymied by a nagging hamstring injury that forced him to miss four contests.

Two weeks after his return to the field, Matthews then suffered a shoulder injury on a blind-side block from former teammate Allen Barbre in the Packers’ Week 12 win over Philadelphia.

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The Green Bay Packers defensive line and linebackers were not spectacular last season, but they were solid thanks to guys like Nick Perry and Mike Daniels. And now the group knows where they stand against the rest of the NFL.

Pro Football Focus ranked every NFL team’s defensive front seven and the Packers were placed right in the middle of the pack at No. 16. Here’s what PFF had to say about the Packers.

The Packers lack a difference-maker at linebacker, and saw a huge dip in production from Clay Matthews last season. The interior looks to be in good shape with the consistently solid Mike Daniels finishing last season as the ninth best interior defender, while Kenny Clark had the best run stop percentage (8.8) of all 3-4 rookie defensive ends. Nick Perry looks to build on a season that earned him a new five-year contract, in which he led all 3-4 outside linebackers with a 12.4 run stop percentage.

The Packers are now in the offseason and there’s a lot of work to be done to get ready for next season. Make sure you’re in the loop – take five seconds to Sign up for our FREE Packers newsletter now!

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Mike Daniels knows the Green Bay Packers defense could be better. But he also knows it’s not as bad as many would think.

The defensive lineman was recently interviewed by Sports Illustrated and he said the defense should get a lot more credit than just Clay Matthews.

“It’s not fair at all,” Daniels said. “We really don’t get the credit we deserve. We have some guys that are really good players.”

Daniels went on to say Ha Ha Clinton-Dix started to get some recognition for his play last year. He also talks about Nick Perry‘s breakout season and he did not leave out himself as he said he had a good 2016 campaign.

The Packers are now in the offseason and there’s a lot of work to be done to get ready for next season. Make sure you’re in the loop – take five seconds to Sign up for our FREE Packers newsletter now!

“We were No. 8 in run defense and we were No. 6 in sacks,” Daniels continued. “We’ve been doing a heck of a job. We’ve been really making steps towards the right direction and I’m really excited about our draft class.”

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The offseason prepares you for the worst-case scenario

Gary from Columbus, OH

Wouldn’t it be better to draft a starter now in the first round with Aaron Rodgers at his peak than drafting two lower round potential starters two or three years out?

That’s the idea in theory, but it doesn’t always work out that way. You may have a hunch about how a prospect will transition to the NFL, but everything changes once a player steps on the field. That’s what separates the players from the prospects. Every player learns and develops at a different pace. I think Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are good examples of that. Matthews blew the doors down as a rookie, while Perry needed a few more years of seasoning. Both can get the job done.

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INDIANAPOLIS — At one point last season, Clay Matthews couldn’t lift his left arm high enough to pull off his shirt sleeve because of the separated left shoulder he sustained in November.

Even by the end of the season in late January, the AC joint that got knocked out of whack when he took what he called a cheap shot from Philadelphia Eagles guard Allen Barbre still gave him trouble. Matthews played through it without missing a game, although his playing time — and production — was limited for a while.

Nonetheless, the Green Bay Packers expect their linebacker’s ailing shoulder to be just fine without surgery. Several times after the injury, Matthews said he would need to see a specialist after the season.

“I think he’s out of the woods,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said at the NFL scouting combine. “I know there was a period of time where they were [considering surgery]. Last time we talked, [team physician Dr.] Pat McKenzie thought he was out of the woods and wasn’t going to need surgery.”

Matthews’ agent, David Dunn, confirmed to ESPN that no surgery was required.

The Packers have only had five sacks over the last three games as Clay Matthews remains out with an injured hamstring. Daniel Gluskoter/Icon Sportswire

It means Matthews can spend his offseason doing on-the-field work during OTA practices and minicamp instead of having to devote the bulk of his time to rehabbing. That will be key as the Packers try to both figure out how much to play Matthews at outside linebacker or inside linebacker.

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In his full-time return to outside linebacker after spending a season and a half at inside linebacker, Clay Matthews recorded a career-low 5.0 sacks in 12 regular-season games. Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

GREEN BAY, Wis. — With free agency less than a month away, it’s a good time to take a look at whom the Green Bay Packers have returning and what they might need to add this offseason at each position.


Under contract for 2017: Clay Matthews, Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan, Kyler Fackrell, Reggie Gilbert, Derrick Mathews.

Free agents: Datone Jones, Julius Peppers, Nick Perry, Jayrone Elliott (restricted), Jordan Tripp (restricted), Joe Thomas (exclusive rights).

Position review: It was another injury-filled season for Matthews, who battled through a separated left shoulder the last two months of the season without missing any games. Earlier in the year, Matthews missed four games because of ankle and hamstring injuries. In his full-time return to outside linebacker after spending a season and a half at inside linebacker, Matthews recorded a career-low 5.0 sacks in 12 regular-season games.

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