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Matthews Prepares For Sibling Rivalry

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Casey Matthews’s locker at the NovaCare Complex doesn’t typically draw in a lot of reporters. The third-year, soft-spoken pro goes about his business with a blue-collar attitude and usually has the pleasure of being able to sit at his locker without cameras and microphones being stuck in front of his face.

Perhaps unfortunately for Matthews, that all changed on Wednesday, as members of the media were anxious to get the linebacker’s thoughts on Sunday’s matchup against his older brother Clay and the rest of the Green Bay Packers.

Clay Matthews has missed the Packers’ last four games with a broken thumb, but appears to be on track to make his return on Sunday. Though the siblings have spoken to each other this week, nothing out of the ordinary has been exchanged.

“We don’t talk about the game plan, but we talk as much as a normal week,” said Matthews. “Obviously we’re not going to give secrets away, but I’ll see how he’s doing. He’s coming off of an injury so I’ll see how his hand’s doing and stuff like that. He got pins out two days ago, so we’ll see how it is.”

Matthews has played well for the Eagles this season, particularly on special teams where he is third with seven tackles. He has also played a key role on the defensive side of the ball, serving as a backup linebacker who is capable of playing both inside and outside. Part of the reason for his success this season may be attributed to his football pedigree, as the Matthews family tree is one of the most impressive bloodlines that the NFL has ever seen. Matthews’ grandfather, Clay Sr., played four seasons in the NFL. His father, Clay Matthews Jr., earned four trips to the Pro Bowl in 19 seasons. Uncle Bruce, who also played 19 years, is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Despite all that the Matthews’ have done in the game of football, Casey says that playing the game was never something that was forced upon him or his brother.

“Everyone talks about, ‘If you’re a Matthews, you’re going to choose football,’ but that’s not necessarily the case,” Matthews said. “(Our parents) gave us the decision to be whatever we wanted to be, but being around football so much, especially growing up in Cleveland and Atlanta where my dad played, we were always around football, so that was kind of what we liked to do because we were around it so much.”

Having relatives that have ended up in Canton and appeared in multiple Pro Bowls, Matthews understands why some people may think that he feels pressure to live up to his family name, but according to the Eagles linebacker, that’s not the case.

“Obviously it’s tough to be a Hall of Famer or Pro-Bowler,” Matthews said. “That’s tough for any individual. It’s happened a few times in my family and you want to get there, but you have to put in the work. We’ve just been pretty fortunate I guess.

“My dad had success and (so did) my uncle, so you’re going to hear it growing up about the Matthews family and playing football, but again he didn’t force football on us, we chose it. They did a good job of keeping us focused and not having to deal with the pressure of having the Matthews last name.”

Sunday’s game will pit two third-generation football players, each with the Matthews name, against one another, which is certainly a proud moment for the family. That being said, don’t expect the matchup to be spoken about much the next time that they sit down for a family dinner.

“We try to stay away from football as much as possible,” Matthews explained. “Especially during camp when you come home from practice, my dad is the one who wants to talk football the most. Talking with him, he always asks about what you’re doing and asks about the plays and he wants to know what everyone is doing on the field, but that’s just him. It’s not just straight football talk, we talk about a couple other things.”

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