In what was Clay Matthews‘ first media session since Jim Harbaugh called him out on Monday, the star linebacker defended himself against critics of his hit on Colin Kaepernick. Matthews of course performed a blatant late hit on the quarterback during the Green Bay Packers‘ week one loss to the San Francisco 49ers. This came after Harbaugh suggested that Packers’ players were going to target Kaepernick. On that particular play, Matthews sure as heck targeted the young QB.
In response to one of the questions about the incident, Matthews uttered these words:
“Next game! I’m an awesome player, not a dirty player.”
Depending on who you root for, you either loved or hated that comment. But even if it made your skin crawl, you have to admit his response was extremely unique. Who says that in pro football? That’s usually something you’d hear from a pro wrestler.
Regardless, I’m going to agree with Matthews, for now. While his out of bounds tackle of Kaepernick was Busch League, it’s just one incident. The Pro Bowl linebacker hasn’t displayed that type of behavior on a frequent enough basis to earn the classification of being a dirty player. That’s currently a label epitomized by Ndamukong Suh. That guy, is a dirty player.
Now of course, if Matthews continues to hit players late out of bounds while displaying Busch League behavior, then I’ll be right there with the rest calling him dirty. I’m chalking this Kaepernick incident up to Matthews simply not liking the young QB. Until we see further evidence, Matthews should be left out of the dirty players conversation.