Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers always felt Clay Matthews could be a Pro Bowl inside linebacker.
Now, Matthews officially is one.
Matthews joined quarterback Aaron Rodgers and left guard Josh Sitton as the three Packers players who were voted to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday night. Matthews earns the sixth selection in his seven-year career (2009-12, 2014), and his first at inside linebacker.
Fullback John Kuhn was named first alternate with other alternates including receiver Randall Cobb, defensive tackle Mike Daniels, receiver James Jones, running back Eddie Lacy, guard T.J. Lang, outside linebacker Julius Peppers and cornerback Sam Shields.
Matthews, who has 63 tackles and 5½ sacks this season, has two more selections than any Packers linebacker and is tied with DE Reggie White for the second-most selections by a defensive player in team history, trailing only S Willie Wood (eight).
It’s the fifth Pro Bowl selection for Rodgers (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014), which surpasses Bart Starr (1960-62, 1966) for the second-most selections by a Green Bay quarterback. While his numbers aren't as gaudy as past years, the offense has leaned heavily on Rodgers' ingenuity this season without Jordy Nelson (torn ACL) this year.
Sitton earns his third career Pro Bowl honor (2012, 2014) and his second straight as an original selection. He is the first Green Bay guard to be named to consecutive Pro Bowls since Marco Rivera was selected to three straight from 2002-04.
Sitton has battled a back injury for most of the year, but hasn’t missed a game. He leads the offensive line with 995 offensive snaps, according to Football Outsiders. He’ll also earn an additional $250,000 for the 2016 season after hitting the Pro Bowl escalator in his contract.
The Pro Bowl players were determined by fans, players and coaches with each group counting one-third toward the final selections.
Packers last five Pro Bowl selections:
2015: QB Aaron Rodgers, LB Clay Matthews, G Josh Sitton
2014: WR Randall Cobb, FB John Kuhn, LB Clay Matthews, WR Jordy Nelson, QB Aaron Rodgers, CB Sam Shields, G Josh Sitton
2013: RB Eddie Lacy
2012: LB Clay Matthews, QB Aaron Rodgers, C Jeff Saturday, G Josh Sitton
2011: WR Greg Jennings, FB John Kuhn, LB Clay Matthews, DT B.J. Raji, QB Aaron Rodgers, C Scott Wells, CB Charles Woodson