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Matthews: 'I'm an awesome player, not a dirty player'

Sep. 12, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) leaps onto 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Matthews was penalized for a late hit.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) leaps onto 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Matthews was penalized for a late hit. / Jim Matthews/Press-Gazette Media

Clay Matthews today wouldn’t reveal whether he was fined for his late hit on Colin Kaepernick or respond to San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh derogatory comments about him.

But for all the outside linebackers’ attempts to sidestep questions about his hit on Kaepernick and the criticism from Harbaugh after the game last Sunday, Matthews when asked directly said he’s not a dirty player.

“Next game!” Matthews said with a smile. “I'm an awesome player, not a dirty player.”

Matthews acknowledged seeing Harbaugh’s comments early this week comparing his tackle to the clothesline tackles of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s that now are outlawed in the NFL. Harbaugh also chided Matthews for not being as tough as he purports to be because he used an open hand rather than his fist to slap at offensive lineman Joe Staley, who confronted Matthews after the tackle.

“Nah, I don't have any reaction,” Matthews said of Harbaugh’s comments. “I'm on to the next game.”

Players usually know by Thursday whether the NFL has fined them, and Matthews presumably was fined for the tackle, which was penalized as a personal foul. He said he can recall only one other time he’s been fined in five NFL seasons.

“Well, I had a facemask (penalty) in 2010 on Jay Cutler,” he said. “Monday Night Football, when we had something like 17 penalties. It's all I can think (of) right now.”

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