I believe that Matthews is a good enough talent that even if he didn't improve upon the run with Capers or any competent DC, his presence in the line causes opposing OC's to take him into account EVEN during a run.
Originally Posted by short faced bear
Running directly at him has been a "fail". Sure... Mendenhall has good stats. Unfortunately, this is a TEAM effort and being down 21-3 would indicate that running AT Clay was a strategy that was FAILING. Obviously, there are things in place that OFFSET any weakness of Matthew's. And based on the score, as well as the final outcome, I would sat those were more than sufficient.
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I'd like to point a few things out on both sides of this little debate.
First, Matthews is a hell of an athlete. He may be "less great" at run defense, but he is no slouch. A quick youtube search can find just as many plays he makes (actually more) in the run game (many AT him) than ones that he misses. arguement advantage Matthews
Second, when a player 80 pounds heavier than you blocks you, you don't participate in the tackle most of the time. arguement advantage Matthews
Third, the arguement that Mendenhall was taken out of the game by the score is kinda stupid IMO. A) Wasn't he the one running the ball when they were down by 4 and then fumbled? B)Why would you abandon the run early when it was your QB that gave the opposing team the big lead? arguement advantage Matthews
Fourth, football is a game in which players are rarely perfect. There will always be plays that a beast is taken out of by opposing players/angles/incorrect reads/stumbling. arguement advantage Matthews...kinda
Fifth, Matthews does need to work on his run defense, in particular when he can't be in pursuit. His speed is his weapon. Though he is young and all players have areas they need to work on (ala Urlacher shedding blocks). arguement disadvantage Matthews
Sixth, Matthews forcing of a fumble is a great play, obviously, but one play doesn't really make or break any debate about the player's overall ability. arguement disadvantage Matthews
Seventh, and last, this entire thread smells badly of sour grapes and spoiled milk. Superbowl champions aren't perfect, but it is a time honored tradition that they be given the credit they deserve for coming through when it matters. This thread is in bad form, given it's timing. If it were posted the week before we play them next season, fair play. Now, it's just sad straw grasping.
Last edited by BearStuff; 02-20-2011 at 06:38 AM.
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Excellent summary!!!! Like I said before Clay Matthews doesn't need any excuses for his play. Barring a career ending injury the guy will be an all-pro for years to come. I'd much rather be playing with him than against him.
Criticism about Matthews ability to play the run is really no different than the criticism Urlacher gets for not being able to take on blocks and plug the middle. Those minor flaws in their play should in no way detract from the great player that both of them are.
One point that I will dispute though is that it was the Steelers mistakes and inept play that took Mendenhall out of the play calling early and not the Packers ability to stop him. When you're down 21-3 at the half few if any teams can run themselves back into the game despite the poor play of their QB. As for his fumble I can only refer you to your point six.
That play didn't make or break any debate about Mendehal's overall effectiveness at running the ball that day. Not being able to take advantage of his effectiveness did.