For the first time in his NFL career, linebacker Clay Matthews will be playing for a team other than the Green Bay Packers, as he is entering the 2019 campaign as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
The change of scenery has done Matthews some good, as he is loving the fresh start.
“Obviously, I’ve only played for one team, but there’s something different — an energy around here — and I think that stems from being successful, but that ultimately comes from the right people being on this team,” Matthews said, according to Clarence Dennis of the Rams’ official team website. “The thing is that when you have a young team, you have to make sure you have that right core of players and veteran leadership.”
Matthews is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he registered 43 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. He is hardly the same dominant pass rusher he once was several years ago, but he is still hoping to bring some extra punch to a Rams defense that needs it, and Matthews says he will mostly be playing outside linebacker in Los Angeles.
“Yeah as far as base defense on first and second down, I’ll be playing one of the outside linebacker positions,” Matthews said. “As far as third-down and pass-rusher situations, it’s so flexible as to where I could play on the outside or on the inside, so I think like they said when I first came here, that’s a little fluid. But as far as where they’ll put me in the program, it’ll say outside linebacker.”
A six-time Pro Bowler who played his collegiate football at the University of Southern California, Matthews was originally selected by the Packers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.