Casey Matthews Can't Escape Clay

The standout Oregon linebacker talks about the pros and cons of a potential family reunion in the Packers' locker room.

INDIANAPOLIS -- It took exactly two questions for Clay Matthews' name to be brought up as Casey Matthews met reporters at the Scouting Combine on Saturday.

"Be calm, be patient," was big-brother Clay's advice about handling the draft process, according to Casey. "He hasn't said too much; I haven't asked too much."

It took three questions to be asked about their hair.

"I like to think (the hair gives them more power), but no. It's just the look of it coming out the back of the helmet. It's just one of our trademarks."

The big question, though, is if there will be a family reunion in the Packers' locker room this year. While Clay was a first-round pick at outside linebacker in 2009, Casey isn't expected to come off the board until the fourth round or so. Casey is projected as an inside linebacker, which isn't exactly a position of need with the Packers having Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Desmond Bishop and Brandon Chillar under contract.

Matthews wanted to follow his famous football family to USC – grandpa Clay, father Clay Jr. and brother Clay III all starred there - but wound up playing at Oregon. Casey was conflicted about following his famous brother to Green Bay, but he doesn't exactly have a lot of say in the matter. One of the 32 teams will decide the 6-foot-1, 231-pounder is the right fit to compete for playing time on defense and special teams.

"I guess it goes both ways," he said. "I definitely would like to play with Clay. That would be fun, easy on my family. Then again, I don't know how people might perceive it – ‘You're playing in the shadow of your brother.' That's what it will start out as. I'd like to prove them wrong. No matter where I go, I'll definitely be trying to prove a name for myself and not be known as Clay's son or Clay's little brother."

Statistically, Casey Matthews has no chance of getting out of his brother's shadow because the job descriptions of inside and outside linebacker are so different. But if he plays with the same instinct and passion on Sundays as he did on Saturdays – and displayed during the national championship game with six tackles, one-half sack and a forced fumble against Cam Newton and Co. -- he'll forge a perfectly good career.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself, just seeing the success my dad had, my brother is having," he said. "I put pressure on myself to get to their level. Friends will ask me, ‘Do you feel pressure?' I don't really see it as that. I put a certain amount on myself. It's not necessarily that I have to live up to the name, though it would be nice playing at their level.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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