Saturday, February 26, 2011
Combine'11: Two Matthewses for Packers?
By Kevin Seifert
INDIANAPOLIS -- It makes sense from a dramatic perspective and would be the latest chapter in a storybook period. In 2011, the Green Bay Packers could pair All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews with his look-alike little brother, Casey, with but a simple draft-day decision.
Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews has similar hair, but a different playing style than his brother, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
Many of you have asked if the Packers might draft Casey Matthews, a question that remains elusive here at the NFL scouting combine. Here is what I can report: Casey seems to have his brother's subtle, smirking sense of humor. He also has followed the family tradition by growing his hair long enough to flow from the back of his helmet.
But that's where the similarities seem to end. Casey is more of an inside linebacker, a position that currently is overstocked in Green Bay. At 235 pounds, he is at least 20 pounds lighter than Clay, and probably doesn't have the same pass-rushing capacity.
"Clay, he's more of an explosive athlete," Casey said Saturday. "I think my position requires a little more instinctive side and getting to the ball quick. I think that's a part of my game that Clay doesn't necessarily have as well ..."
Casey allowed that final sentence to hang in the air a minute. Realizing it could be construed as a shot, he chuckled and quickly added: "He has a pretty good game though."
The Packers finished the 2010 season with A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop as their two inside linebackers. Veteran Nick Barnett (wrist) was on injured reserve, but is expected to be fully healed when preparations resume for the 2011 season. That glut means the Packers could part ways with Barnett or Hawk. Would they re-stock depth with Casey Matthews? That's a question we won't be able to answer for months.
If it did happen, though, Casey admitted he would have mixed feelings.
"I guess it goes both ways," he said. "I would definitely like to go play with Clay. That would be fun [and] easy on my family. But then, again, I don't know how people might perceive it. You're playing in the shadow of your brother. That's what it would start out as. I would like to prove them wrong. I want to prove a name for myself, and not be known as Clay's son or Clay's little brother ..."