Linebacker Casey Matthews was placed in a tough position at the start of training camp. The rookie fourth-round pick was the starting middle linebacker from day one despite not having the benefit of mini-camps or OTAs.
Matthews was moved from the middle linebacker spot to the weak side for last week's game against the Giants. Even though Matthews was told by coaches that he had a good game, other than allowing the 40-yard touchdown catch-and-run to Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, Brian Rolle will take over the weakside linebacker duties this week against the 49ers. Matthews said he will work in the buffalo nickel sub-package.
Instead of bemoan the expectations that were thrust upon him, Matthews said that he's "not going to take a step back" and will continue to fight to get on the field.
"It's not unfair. It doesn't happen often, going in, especially after being drafted in the fourth round, and starting right off the bat," Matthews said. "It was an opportunity to learn, take reps. I still feel confident if I went in playing either MIKE or WILL. You always want to be out there. I'm just looking forward to learning from this."
Matthews accumulated 17 tackles in his three starts. On the touchdown play to Jacobs, Matthews bit on a play-action fake and Jacobs was left wide open for the score.
"It's something I should have known," Matthews said. "I can learn from that and go on."
At this point, Matthews doesn't know whether his future is at middle linebacker or on the weak side. Matthews said he's still confident he can play either position, but just wants to increase "the overall knowledge" of how to play within the defense.
"Whatever the position they want me at is my position," Matthews said.
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