After training with his brother, Clay, this offseason, rookie middle linebacker Casey Matthews said at training camp that he now tips the scales at 245 pounds. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo confirmed that as well.
Matthews has taken all of the first-team reps at middle linebacker since the start of training camp less than a month ago. Matthews played on the outside at Oregon so in addition to adjusting to a new position he has been asked to be the quarterback of the defense. Certainly, Matthews has a limited amount of experience to this point, but one thing that he should not be criticized for is his size.
In evaluating the depth charts of the teams that run a 4-3 scheme, it turns out that Matthews' height and weight are right in line with the other middle linebackers in the league. Using the depth charts provided by the Ourlads Scouting Service and measurables from NFL.com, here is how Matthews sizes up with the rest of the competition.
At 6-1, Matthews is tied for eighth out of 19 linebackers listed as the first-team middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. Brian Urlacher of Chicago is the tallest at 6-4. Former Eagle Joe Mays, who is now in Denver, and Indianapolis' Gary Brackett are the shortest at 5-11.
Weighing in at 245 pounds, Matthews is again tied for eighth among the 19 linebackers. Urlacher is tops at 258 pounds. Five first-team middle linebackers are listed under 240 pounds with Jonathan Vilma of New Orleans the lightest at 230. Among the players that Matthews is bigger than are Jacksonville's Paul Pozluszny and Carolina's Jon Beason.
With less than a month of experience under his belt, Matthews has much to take in but additional food is not on the menu.
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