Mike McCarthy: Clay Matthews not an inside linebacker

Clay Matthews had the best game of his 2014 season as the Green Bay Packers shifted him to inside linebacker to help fend off the Chicago Bears' rushing attack.

However, coach Mike McCarthydoesn't want anyone labeling Matthews -- a career outside linebacker -- as an inside 'backer.

"Clay Matthews is not an inside linebacker. He's a football player," McCarthy said, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "It's really, you go back to the meetings in the spring. We talked about it in the OTAs, and the focus was to play more players on defense, move Clay around and create challenges for the offense, so we'll see here he plays this week."

Matthews was all over the field Sunday night, compiling a career-high 11 tackles (two for loss) and a sack.

"You saw him impact the game last night probably more than he has for a while," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "I think part of that was the fact that he was dropping, he was rushing, he was rushing from inside, he was rushing from outside. ... Those are the types of things that you like to see. I think they create more problems for preparation when they aren't sure exactly where Clay is going to be."

The question is: Why in the name of Lambeau did it take so long to move Matthews inside, at least on running downs? The goal is to get the 11 best defenders on the field and the Packers are much deeper on the edges than in the middle.

While McCarthy insists on not labeling Matthews, we expect to see the linebacker inside more in the coming weeks, especially on early downs, in obvious running situations and against good running teams.

It was just one game against a terrible Bears team, but the Packers wanted to get more multiple on defense and Sunday they showed how dynamic and diverse they can be when Matthews dominates from the interior.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 10 game from an action-packed Sunday. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content