2. Will Mike Pettine use Matthews at inside linebacker?
Back in 2014, the Packers were struggling against the run and needed some help in the middle of their defense. Dom Capers made the call to shift Matthews inside, and it worked beautifully. Green Bay became stronger against the run, and the defense played well enough to get the Packers within a game of the Super Bowl.
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Matthews continued to play primarily inside throughout the 2015 season, before moving back to outside linebacker on a more frequent basis in 2016.
In 2014, the Packers were better prepared on the outside to move Matthews inside.
Julius Peppers was playing his first season in Green Bay. He started all 16 games and finished the year with seven sacks.
If Pettine wanted to use Matthews at inside linebacker more frequently this season, the Packers would first need to have solid depth on the outside.
Who would start opposite Nick Perry? Second-year Vince Biegel? He missed a lot of time as a rookie and needs to show he’s taken the step up to the next level. Reggie Gilbert? Despite playing well at the end of last season, he needs to prove he an take on a more significant role on defense.
Pettine will likely move Matthews around, but he’ll primarily rush off the edge. If the Packers can get better production from their young outside linebackers, Pettine will have more freedom to use Matthews at inside linebacker.