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Oregon LB Casey Matthews

By Richard Cirminiello

Who is Casey Matthews? … The fifth of five children, he’s the newest member of the Matthews clan to be making plays in the Pac-10 and laying the foundation for a possible career in the NFL. After getting a taste of action as a true freshman, he became an important part of Nick Aliotti’s defense a year ago, breaking into the lineup and finishing third on the team with 13 stops behind the line. With DE Nick Reed and defensive backs Patrick Chung and Jairus Byrd now gone, he’ll be asked to play an even larger role in the upcoming season. Matthews’ pedigree is obvious to everyone who watches his film. Well-coached and rarely out of position, he consistently puts himself in the best possible place to make stops. When you combine those intangibles with good speed and athleticism, the Oregon defense has a young linebacker who’s ready to make a strong push up the Pac-10 pecking order in 2009.

Casey Matthews’s best game so far was … last Oct. 4 versus USC. Matthews grew up watching USC and understanding the connection with his family, so his first game at the Coliseum had a little extra special meaning. He also played real well with his older brother on the other sideline and his family in attendance, making eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack.

Why you should care about Matthews? … His best football is ahead of him. In general, the Matthews men tend to reach their physical peak late, and Casey is no exception. He’s just now beginning to blossom physically, which bodes well for his final two years in Eugene. After playing regularly as a true freshman and really taking flight as a sophomore, he could finish his junior year with All-Pac-10 recognition.

Positives about Matthews … At 6-2 and 235 pounds, Matthews has decent size to go along with his great athleticism, but his greatest attribute has no measurement. He’s a naturally instinctive player, who can get to the right spot as fast as any Duck on the roster. Fundamentally sound, he diagnoses plays well and has a knack for filling the proper lane, a couple of keys to being a successful inside linebacker.

Negatives about Matthews … More than anything else, Matthews hopes to improve his top-end speed and get a little stronger over the next two seasons. Although he’s headed in the right direction, he still needs to add a few more pounds of muscle in order to handle the rigors of being an every-down player in the Pac-10.

A cool thing about Casey Matthews you probably didn’t know … He comes from a long line of successful athletes, including a grandfather (Clay), father (Clay), uncle (Bruce), and brother (Clay), who’ve either played in the pros, or, in the case of his brother, is about begin a career in the NFL.

Career Statistics

2007: 18 tackles, four tackles for loss, and a sack

2008: 67 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and two sacks

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Casey Matthews is the son of Clay Matthews II, who played for the Falcons in the mid 90's. He is listed as a MLB but could play all LB positions in our system - he is very versatile. Currently he is projected to go between rounds 3-5.

Check out this video...

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http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindducksbeat/2009/12/rose_bowl_with_oregon_casey_ma.html

Rose Bowl: With Oregon, Casey Matthews extends the granddaddy of family traditions

By Rachel Bachman, The Oregonian

December 31, 2009, 11:57PM

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AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – If you didn’t know better, you would think the Matthews family home was just another suburban, football-loving enclave, with its Oregon Ducks and Green Bay Packers flags affixed to the garage door. But step inside and you’ll see displayed along a curved staircase portraits of five kids, two of whom grew up to reach the Rose Bowl.

And you’ll meet their beaming parents, Leslie and Clay Matthews II, clad in black Oregon shirts with “Matthews” on the chest, preparing to usher a third and final son, their youngest, Casey, into that elite club. Casey’s appearance for the Ducks against Ohio State today will mean the Matthews boys’ unique streak of Rose Bowl appearances continues.

“Fifth in a row,” Clay said Thursday in family living room.

“Is it really?” Leslie said. “Wow, I didn’t even realize that.”

Rose Bowl officials say they know of no other family with three brothers – Kyle, Clay III and Casey, a Ducks linebacker – who played in the game. That doesn’t even count their father and his brother, Bruce, who both starred for USC and played in the Rose Bowl as well.

All told, Matthewses have played in nine Rose Bowls, using good genes and lifelong support of one another to build a remarkable football family.

Starting in the late 1970s, Clay had a 19-year career with the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons. His oldest son, Kyle, played for USC; middle-kid Brian played football in high school and writes for a USC sports Web site; and Clay III played at USC and is now a rookie at Green Bay. (The oldest child and only daughter, Jennifer, played sports as well.)

Casey diverged from the family path and chose Oregon, in part because he fell in love with the Ducks and in part when USC didn’t offer him a scholarship. Leslie and Clay have spent the past several years commuting to their sons’ games around the Pacific-10 Conference and in the NFL, and the small-airport destinations of Eugene and Green Bay, Wisc., have made things interesting.

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On the weekend of Nov. 21 the parents split up so one would be at each son’s game. Leslie was in her son’s Green Bay condo watching on TV as Oregon played Arizona and “Little Clay,” as they call their son, stayed at the team hotel the night before the Packers’ game against San Francisco. Clay, the father, was in Tucson, Ariz., watching Oregon’s game in person.

As the Wildcats tied the score in the fourth quarter, Leslie grew so agitated that she switched to the Game Show Channel. Then, as she often does when a son plays on television, she cleaned Clay’s entire condo.

“So I sent her three texts,” her husband said. “One was, ‘We’re in overtime.’ One was, ‘We’re in double-overtime,’ and then, ‘Ducks win in double-overtime.’”

The Matthews football line began with Clay I, who played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950s, and strengthened into an unusual alloy of underdog and scion.

Clay II and Leslie Matthews’ sons had the advantage of learning football from an expert father, and their weekends were flush with the game: Fridays were high school football, Saturdays college and Sundays pro. But the boys physically were late bloomers. Clay III, for instance, walked on for the Trojans – he was too small to win a scholarship – and added height and muscle to become a first-round NFL draft pick.

“It probably would have been easier to pick a sport that has more lucrative deals and doesn’t involve bashing in our heads every day,” said Clay III, who starts for the Packers. “At the same time, that’s just kind of what we were meant to do. It’s in our DNA, so to speak.”

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Courtesy of the Matthews family

Clay Matthews II mugs for the camera with his then 2-year-old son Casey. At the time, Matthews played for the NFL's Cleveland Browns. Friday, Casey will take the field for Oregon in the Rose Bowl. He'll be the first Matthews to play in the game for a team other than USC.

When their father played for Atlanta, his young sons watched from the stands and mugged for the JumboTron camera.

“We’d fight to get on that,” Casey recalled, “and I’d always get pushed out of the screen because I was the smallest.”

Casey’s parents let him decide whether to play the game, he said, but he took to it early. At age 5 or 6 he would lay out his uniform, awaken at 3 a.m., put it on then climb back into bed, his mom recalled. He rejoiced over his first pair of cleats.

The family orbited around football fields. Clay II coached youth teams when the boys were growing up, and he sometimes coached two games in the morning and joined the family in watching a third in the afternoon. Add in the other two kids’ activities, and it wasn’t uncommon for the Matthews parents to attend five games in one day.

Casey wasn’t one of the biggest kids on the team at Oaks Christian School in suburban L.A., where his father was defensive coordinator. But his mother warned her older sons not to pick on the youngest, predicting he would grow to be the biggest among them. Except for his NFL brother, Casey is.

Now, Casey embraces the Packers just as he did the Browns and Falcons when his dad played for those teams. And his parents adore Oregon and its raucous stadium, even though they are USC alumni and saw two other sons play for the Trojans.

Because Casey is a junior the streak could continue next season, to a sixth Rose Bowl with a Matthews boy on the field. But Leslie and Clay would rather see it end.

“Next year we want them to go to the national championship, and that won’t be in the Rose Bowl,” Leslie said. “We’ll sacrifice a year to go to the national championship.”

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I think we look at LB again in 2011, possibly as a mid round pick. Mike Peterson and Stephen Nicholas are both in the last years of their contracts - I think we keep Nicholas and Peterson will get let go. In that scenario we would need a LB capable of backing up all three LB spots - I think Matthews could be that man.

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  • 2 months later...

The three linebackers I'm looking at now are Casey Matthews, Kelvin Sheppard and Josh Bynes. I think all three are capable of playing WLB, SLB and MLB in our system, and should be available between rounds 2-4.

Bynes is awesome. He's preseason all SEC. I expect him to have a stellar year. He's solely been an MLB for us, but he's athletic enough to move outside.

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The three linebackers I'm looking at now are Casey Matthews, Kelvin Sheppard and Josh Bynes. I think all three are capable of playing WLB, SLB and MLB in our system, and should be available between rounds 2-4.

Smiler,

Speaking of athletic OLBs projected in 2nd -4th rd. Have you seen anything on Dontay Moch, OLB, Neveda.

Played Safety in High school, DE in college but projected in 3rd as OLB by Scout.com. Scout has him listed as 5th best OLB prospect at 6-1, 236 (others at 245) with a 4.38 forty time. Can you imagine an OLB that can run 4.38???? TD has previously shown interest in fast LBs...wonder if he is on their radar. We could have some tape on him since we scouted Nev last year for Hawley and Wolfe...

http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10000&ATCLID=530633

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Smiler,

Speaking of athletic OLBs projected in 2nd -4th rd. Have you seen anything on Dontay Moch, OLB, Neveda.

Played Safety in High school, DE in college but projected in 3rd as OLB by Scout.com. Scout has him listed as 5th best OLB prospect at 6-1, 236 (others at 245) with a 4.38 forty time. Can you imagine an OLB that can run 4.38???? TD has previously shown interest in fast LBs...wonder if he is on their radar. We could have some tape on him since we scouted Nev last year for Hawley and Wolfe...

http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10000&ATCLID=530633

Moch is more of a 3-4 OLB. Hawley/Wolfe are from UNLV

Edited by hawkeye
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Moch is more of a 3-4 OLB. Hawley/Wolfe are from UNLV

Hawk, I was just looking at R James and S Adkins....he is very similar in their measurables and TD had a role in mind for them & drafted them. TD seem to like their speed and Moch is faster I think.

Not being argumentative. I'm just wondering why they would be worth drafting and Moch not......The only drawback I see is that he may go to high of a round for the Falcons to show interest.

gb

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Hawk, I was just looking at R James and S Adkins....he is very similar in their measurables and TD had a role in mind for them & drafted them. TD seem to like their speed and Moch is faster I think.

Not being argumentative. I'm just wondering why they would be worth drafting and Moch not......The only drawback I see is that he may go to high of a round for the Falcons to show interest.

gb

Yeah he might go 2-3 rd, but also I just think that James/Adkins were true LB'ers compared to Moch who played

mostly DE. Yeah he is fast but I don't know about his other skills since he was really used as a DE.

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Yeah he might go 2-3 rd, but also I just think that James/Adkins were true LB'ers compared to Moch who played

mostly DE. Yeah he is fast but I don't know about his other skills since he was really used as a DE.

Can agree that he may go to high for a proj OLB and I can not vouch for his skills because I can't say that Ive seen him play but he was a Safety in High school so he may have more experience and ability to cover backs/TEs than most LB coming out of college. As a DE he would have the skills to rush Qb...however he would have less experience in reading/diagnosing a play as a true Lb....but dang he is fast at 4.38! If that is an accurate time, he is faster than a vast majority of WRs in the draft.....would be tempting.

gb

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Bynes is awesome. He's preseason all SEC. I expect him to have a stellar year. He's solely been an MLB for us, but he's athletic enough to move outside.

Yeah, I expect he'd make an awesome SLB in our system. I'm thinking him or Michael Morgan in the third would be nice.

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Smiler,

Speaking of athletic OLBs projected in 2nd -4th rd. Have you seen anything on Dontay Moch, OLB, Neveda.

Played Safety in High school, DE in college but projected in 3rd as OLB by Scout.com. Scout has him listed as 5th best OLB prospect at 6-1, 236 (others at 245) with a 4.38 forty time. Can you imagine an OLB that can run 4.38???? TD has previously shown interest in fast LBs...wonder if he is on their radar. We could have some tape on him since we scouted Nev last year for Hawley and Wolfe...

http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10000&ATCLID=530633

I haven't seen much of Moch, I'll keep an eye out for him, but from all accounts he seems to be more of 3-4 OLB? However, apparently we were interested in Arthur Moats in 2010 draft so who knows.

Edited by Smiler11
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