Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers is anxious to play alongside four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews.
“I haven’t really played with a guy like Clay, really, my whole career,” Peppers said, via ESPN Wisconsin. “Early in my career I played with a guy, Mike Rucker, who was a threat on the other side (with the Carolina Panthers). But like, a really dominant player on the outside? I really haven’t had that – ever. I’m excited to get out there with him and see what he can do.”
Matthews, who broke his thumb on Oct. 6 against Detroit and re-broke it on Dec. 22 against Pittsburgh, won’t participate in OTAs and may not take part in the Packers’ minicamp next week either.
Matthews is also anxious to get on the field and play with the eight-time Pro Bowler Peppers.
“I was a little shocked. We don’t make too many offseason acquisitions – especially, you know, such a big name,” Matthews said. “Obviously I’m happy to have him on this side of the ball. I know he’s a tremendous threat. Tackles know what he possesses, as well as offensive coordinators. So I think it’s just going to present new elements to this defense that we’ve been looking for. I’m excited, I know he is. [We’re] looking to make some plays this year.”
Once Matthews is healthy, the Packers plan to use him along with Peppers, Mike Neal, defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Datone Jones and others to create “mismatches.”
“With the plans they see me having this year and the type of player they see me becoming, I think it’s great the changes that we’re putting in – not only with the personnel, [but also] the scheme,” Matthews said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s a shot in the arm and will provide kind of a little rejuvenation to this team, especially to the defensive side of this locker room. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully it will present some problems for opponents.”