Archive for the ‘Clay Matthews’ Category


The Packers have agreed to a long-term extension with a player who will anchor a key position for many years, and he isn’t named Aaron Rodgers.

No, though Rodgers’ extension is surely coming soon, this one has gone to Clay Matthews. The pass rusher who was set to enter the final year of his contract has reportedly reached an agreement in principle on a multi-year extension, according to Ian Rapoport.

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The Packers have roughly $18 million in salary cap space for the 2013 season right now. By the end of the day or the end of next week or something soon, much of that could be gone, and it’ll be put in a very good place. Namely, the pockets of Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews.

Moments after I finished fearing for the financial security of our world due to the apparently imminent extension coming for Rodgers, word of an extension for Matthews in the really, really near future surfaced too.

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In a league that’s lacking significantly in quality offensive linemen, San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley stands out. He has a combination of flexibility, length, and quickness that most don’t have at the position. This triumvirate is a big reason why he’s been so successful since being selected No. 28 overall by the 49ers in the 2007 draft. But in Week 1 of 2012, Staley played one of the worst games of his career. He gave up multiple sacks, pressures, and played with sloppy technique against the Packers’ outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

Now 18 weeks have passed and Staley meets Matthews again, and he knows what he did wrong the first time around (h/t Eric Branch):

“After watching the game, there were a lot of technique issues,” Staley said. “When you’re going against a player of that caliber, you have to be on your technique on every single play, every single snap.”

Those technique issues led to 2.5 sacks and many pressures given up, which can be boiled down to three mistakes: over-extension, slow hands, and poor hand placement. There’s also the talent that Matthews possesses. He has the ability to dip his shoulder and turn the corner with relative ease, it seems, and he possesses a couple of the quickest steps off the line of scrimmage. He’s also quite good with his hands,quickly engaging and disengaging from blockers, and he has a couple of moves in his arsenal. In short, it was the absolute worst day for Joe Staley to be sloppy with his fundamentals.

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Depending on who’s reading it, the headline above can either be bulletin board material that induces instant rage, or yet another bland, generic locker room comment, the kind that’s heard often after a crushing playoff loss.

And if Clay Matthews said that line in the immediate aftermath of a playoff loss, maybe it wouldn’t be getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment among the New York media as it is today, and spun as a lack of respect for opponents. Instead, Matthews’ words would have been viewed as the product of a player venting frustration.

But the game — the Packers’ 37-20 loss to the Giants last January that ended Green Bay’s title defense — wasn’t played yesterday, or last week, or last month. It was played seven months ago during the divisional round, and now a new season is beginning, providing plenty of time for sober reflection. After that win, the Giants continued on a run that at the time seemed improbable given the way they finished the regular season, beating the 49ers and Patriots to win their second Super Bowl over the past five years.

For Matthews, though, time heals zero wounds.

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