If the return of Clay Matthews, a Southern California-bred USC alumnus, to Los Angeles to play soccer in 2019 sounded to you treasure a great, evident match, you were not on my own. Matthews idea the identical valid thing.
“As quickly as my probability to return to Green Bay used to be more or less past me, I knew I needed to return to the Rams,” Matthews acknowledged at his introductory press convention Thursday. “I attach it on my agent and I attach it on these guys right here to raise a stare at and fetch something accomplished. Luckily, the feeling used to be mutual and so they had been receptive to the premise. Talked with [linebackers coach] Joe Barry, as well to [Rams coach] Sean [McVay] to behold how I match within the defense and it seemed treasure a great match.”
Matthews used to be space free by the Packers this offseason after 10 seasons in Green Bay. The 32-yr-gentle Northridge-dwelling native signed a two-yr deal fee as much as $16.75 million with the Rams for the period of the 2d wave of free company. Matthews reportedly had more lucrative affords on the table, nevertheless he and his family couldn’t withstand returning to L.A.
“From a soccer standpoint, it makes perfect sense,” Matthews informed newshounds. “But for me personally, the build I am at with my profession, having grown up in the dwelling, living 20 minutes away from right here, it made sense.”
The linebacker added for the period of his presser that the location has not been foreign to him since Green Bay drafted him in 2009. Matthews has trained in Los Angeles every offseason since coming into the league and is constructing a dwelling in the dwelling.
As Matthews intimated, his addition to the Rams makes correct soccer sense to him, too. The reigning NFC champions struggled to construct an edge speed for most of final season earlier than procuring Dante Fowler, who they re-signed to a one-yr deal as effectively this offseason. Matthews, who has performed launch air and inner linebacker over the route of his profession, believes he might well make a distinction on the edge in L.A.
“I ask my space to be fluid. I might well possess a diversity of roles,” Matthews acknowledged. “But the most effective thing is pressing the quarterback, making him make defective choices and keeping the warmth and keeping the stress on him.”
“Our programs are repeatedly adapted to our gamers’ strengths and must you possess a player that has that versatile capability space, it’s possible you’ll profit from of him in a diversity of solutions,” McVay acknowledged of Matthews. “I impart obviously what he does at an extremely degree is when he’s trying to head forward and have an effect on and influence the quarterback, surroundings the edge in the urge game, so I impart you’ll be in a position to behold a great deal of that. Whenever you fetch into some of these known passing instances, it’s possible you’ll also fetch inventive with the build you progress him around.”
It remains to be seen how much of a ingredient Matthews will play in Wade Phillips’ defense. The LB is joining a corps currently populated by starters Cory Littleton and Samson Ebukam. Matthews used to be on the subject for 71 p.c of Green Bay’s defensive snaps in 2018, logging 43 total tackles and a profession-low 3.5 sacks.
No subject how much enjoying time he gets or what feature he performs, Matthews promised to bring the identical energy and play that propelled Green Bay to eight consecutive postseason appearances and a Expansive Bowl title in his time there.
“I wait for showing to all people right here, you guys, the followers,” Matthews concluded, “that what you seen these past 10 years is what you’ll be in a position to fetch these subsequent two.”