Clay Matthews Expects Fewer Double Teams

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Packers linebacker Clay Matthews' sack dance

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews is pretty excited about playing with Julius Peppers.

When the Green Bay Packers signed Peppers, they gave Matthews the biggest pass rush threat he’s had in his career. You know, no offense to Erik Walden…

How that translates to the field remains to be seen, but Matthews thinks it’s going to free him up more.

“This guy’s (6-7), 290. I’m 6-4 on a good day and 255,” Matthews told USA TODAY Sports.

“They’re going to double the big guy, and that leaves plenty of opportunities for me. I haven’t had too many one-on-one opportunities, and when you do, you’re expected to win — at least in our locker room — the majority of the time, because that’s supposed to be a mismatch.”

While the thought of Matthews not getting double teamed makes our panties wet, we also have a tough time seeing that scenario play out.

Matthews is right. Pepper is bigger.

He’s also getting up there in age (34) and it’s probably fair to say he’s lost a step. Peppers has also been known to take some plays off here and there.

We’d double the guy who plays like a banshee every snap and take our chances with the old timer. Our guess is most NFL teams will do the same.

That scenario is not without its upside, though.

In Chicago, opposing teams focused on Peppers because, for the last couple years, the Bears defense was pretty much crap.

Now that he’ll no longer be the focal point, it’s quite possible that Peppers will put up bigger numbers than he has in recent seasons and not look like a guy who’s in decline.

Whichever way it plays out, good for the Packers.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

10 Comments on "Clay Matthews Expects Fewer Double Teams"

  1. the real russ letlow

    Peppers will be able to take some plays off for us too- the ones he’s on the sideline. He’s not going to be an every down player. He doesn’t have to be. If he plays 60% of the defensive plays per game we should get some real production from him. He can go balls out on pass rush knowing he not going to play every defensive snap. Big difference when you have a role to play versus being the linchpin of the defense.

  2. Iltarion

    The Packers were especially bad defensively in end-of-the-game scenarios last season, and MM made his anger about it known.

    I believe the Peppers’ signing has a lot to do with addressing that specific need.

    That is typically what great pass rushers near the end of their career still bring to the table. They can get a key sack in the fourth quarter that can make the difference between getting a stop or allowing a go ahead or winning score.

    • Kozak

      Doesn’t even need to get the sack, if he can just pressure the QB and not let him sit back and pick the secondary apart. Sacks will be the cherry on top.

  3. Pete D

    Peppers is going to be a huge asset. As long as Datone isn’t a bust and we can find a decent linebacker or safety in the draft , our defense could be top 5 I believe

  4. Tucson Packer

    Its simple numbers; double team Peppers or Matthews, you cant do both. They can switch up who “takes it easy” on a play simply by letting the guy who has single coverage go balls out.

    This is what I was hoping to see from our “Bear Killer” in last years draft.

  5. Savage57

    How’s about this? If your on the field, at the snap you go balls out to kill the other motherfucker in the different uniform and don’t stop until you hear that shrill whistle.

    Doesn’t matter if your name is Peppers, Matthews, Jones, Neal, Raji – whatever.

    Kinda like Pryor’s joke about George Foreman’s boxing style.

    “Which one the referree? Cuz ahmo kill the other motherfucker.”

  6. Phatgzus

    LMAO, Savage, got to agree with ya. If you’re making b 6 figures + for half a year of work, the least you can do is bust your ass 16 or so times during that span. There’ll be plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.

  7. Deepsky

    Peppers wasn’t double teamed last year while on the Bears defense, and he was mostly contained. The only good games he had were against central division foes like the Packers. I think he’s mostly done. Unless he more or less tanked it, which is a real possibility playing for the Bears, he’s pretty much done. This would mean Matthews still would get double teamed for the 8 games he’ll play this season.

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