Walkthrough: Clay Matthews' move official
Each Wednesday, Weston Hodkiewicz provides an inside look at the Green Bay Packers in his Walkthrough blog.
Clay Matthews is officially an inside linebacker.
The Green Bay Packers finally acknowledged the five-time Pro Bowler’s inside shift when the team released its newest depth chart Tuesday. Matthews is listed as one of the team’s two starting inside linebackers with rookie Jake Ryan, who made his first NFL start in last Thursday’s 27-23 win over Detroit.
Matthews had been listed as a starting outside linebacker opposite Julius Peppers for the first 13 weeks of the season despite playing a majority of his 738 defensive snaps inside. He’s third on the team with 57 tackles and second in sacks (4½). His 258 pass-coverage snaps are more than his 220 in the previous two seasons combined, according to Pro Football Focus.
Matthews was second in Pro Bowl voting at the position behind Carolina’s Luke Kuechly in the most recent fan balloting on NFL.com. The seventh-year linebacker is the latest to go from outside to inside, and he also has been the most successful.
“Clay obviously could go back out and play outside in a heartbeat,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “We try to use him inside, outside. You need athletes in there now. The day of the old box player that just steps up in there and beats guards — you have to protect these guys some too where they don’t have to be taking on a 325-pound guard all day.
“Just look back midseason last year when we put Clay in there. That had a big impact. Clay really had more production once we moved him inside than he was having outside at that point.”
The Packers continue to put Matthews outside in the dime package with first-year linebacker Joe Thomas taking over the lone inside linebacker post. The ability to move Matthews around has made a difference in the defense since the Packers first unveiled it in Week 10 last season against Chicago.
One more thing…
New Packers running back Ross Scheuerman has one of the most unusual pro day videos you’ll ever see.
The former Lafayette (Pa.) College standout, who was signed to Green Bay’s practice squad Tuesday, conducted his pro day in 30-degree weather and snow last March.
The snow begins as flurries but picks up significantly by the time Scheuerman starts running routes for scouts. Scheuerman also was invited to the NFL scouting combine after finishing his career with 3,504 rushing yards and 31 rushing touchdowns.
He ran his 40-yard dash at his school workout in 4.45 seconds compared to 4.62 at the combine, according to NFL Draft Scout. In Indianapolis, he also had a 33-inch vertical, 10-1 broad jump and 7.08-second time in the three-cone drill. He had 15 bench reps of 225 pounds.