Clay Matthews doesn't have a lengthy history of late hits, but his out-of-bounds tackle on Colin Kaepernick on Sunday had 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh accusing him of being dirty. Matthews denied that criticism in a locker room interview on Wednesday, but then went one farther. He's not a ''dirty player'', said Matthews; he's an ''awesome'' one. Matthews' talent is undeniable, but is he treating this too lightly?

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