What’s the plan for Clay Matthews?
During Mike McCarthy’s season-ending press conference, he revealed his intention to move Clay Matthews back to outside linebacker.
“We’re obviously a lot better with him playing the outside position,” McCarthy said. “He’s an outside linebacker, and we need to get back to him playing there.”
Matthews spent the majority of his time during the past season-and-a-half inside, dropping into coverage and supporting the run defense. He was still a menace on quarterbacks, but was doing so primarily from inside positions.
Despite making a successful transition to a new position, Matthews’ best work has always been on the outside. He struggled at times when moved back outside in 2015, but the pounding taken from playing inside will have taken its toll.
For Matthews to switch permanently outside, the Packers need to ensure the talent inside is up to the challenge. Sam Barrington will be back after being lost for the 2015 season, but is he capable of leading the way? Jake Ryan is a young talent who should enter year two a much better football player, but Nate Palmer was disappointing.
Whether it’s in free agency or the draft, the Packers must add enough talent at inside linebacker to be able to move Matthews back to his natural position, rushing the passer from the outside.