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Clay Matthews embracing inside linebacker role

Clay Matthews didn't initially love being bumped to inside linebacker last season. Even his brother, Casey, didn't believe Clay liked the move.

But heading into 2015 the Green Bay Packers linebacker is embracing playing inside.

"I think anytime somebody asks you to make a position change, you're going to be very reluctant about it," Matthews said Thursday, via Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Given the Packers' dearth at the position -- and the fact he played so well in the role -- Matthews will play inside much more this season. But coach Mike McCarthy made sure to point out that Matthews is a "great pass-rusher" and will bounce around the linebacker corps.

"I think it just shows the versatility that I possess and can bring to this defense and help this defense by doing that," Matthews said. "I think I can do it, I think I can excel at it, and I will."

Despite outside linebackers Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry all sidelined, Matthews still started OTAs on the inside with Sam Barrington and remained there full-time for the workouts.

"I need to make sure I know the nuances," Matthews said. "Last year was kind of a patchwork as far coming in there. Now that I'm actually learning why I'm doing certain things. It's making the transition a lot easier."

Moving Matthews inside will bolster the Packers' defense immensely -- especially the run defense. In the end, it's about defensive coordinator Dom Capers getting his 11 best defenders on the field.

"I'll still rush the passer and I'll still get after the quarterback, but maybe I'll do it from the inside this time and drop into coverage other times," he said. "I think what you saw last year might be an indication of what you'll see this year. We'll always have something up our sleeve."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the latest news including Adrian Peterson's contract situation, Ryan Clady's injury and Chip Kelly's response to LeSean McCoy. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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