Browns notes: Gregg Williams makes Hall of Fame case for Clay Matthews Jr.

Panthers QB Cam Newton limited in practice again

Daryl Ruiter
December 06, 2018 - 6:18 pm

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) Gregg Williams made the case Thursday for former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. to finally get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the early 90’s Williams, who was an assistant with the Houston Texans, saw Matthews twice a year and saw first hand the havoc he could cause opposing offenses.

“I think there are definitely credible credentials for him,” Williams said. “Clay was a dominant player that you had to offensively take note of at all times. His ability to violently – and I mean violently – crush the pocket when he rushed the passer.”

Matthews, who is among 25 semifinalists for the class of 2019, made four Pro Bowls and was named an All Pro three times in his 19-year career. This is the third time Matthews has been a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame.

Matthews amassed 69.5 sacks from 1983-1996 – the statistic wasn’t counted by the league the first five years of his career, 27 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, 16 interceptions, 1,561 tackles and played in 278 games — the 17th most in NFL history.

“There are some really good examples of some good cut ups of him, too, of how he was on taking the ball away in the pocket and some of the plays that he did, but then he could play pass coverage,” Williams said. “He did some really good things with his hand skills in pass coverage on making quarterbacks think that he was in rush, but he wasn’t; he was dropping.”

Williams recalled recruiting Matthews back in 1994, hoping to get him to Houston, but he wound up finishing the last three years of his career in Atlanta.

“We were trying to sign him in free agency when he went to Atlanta,” Williams said. “We were recruiting the heck out of him, and I got a call from a Clay Matthews. I am home that night and I am thinking, ‘We got him. We are getting him,’ and it was Clay Matthews the postman that dropped something off at the post office and I was supposed to go pick it up. It was not the Clay Matthews that I really wanted to talk to.”

Matthews’ brother, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 and Matthews’ son, Clay Matthews III, is an All-Pro linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.

“That’s been behind me,” Callaway said. “It’s been behind me since Monday when we started watching film on Carolina. This week, I’m just going out, trying to make some more plays.”

Limited Cam – Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was limited in practice for a second consecutive day Thursday according to the team’s injury report.

Newton has been playing with a right shoulder injury, which is news to Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who has watched plenty of film on Newton and doesn’t see much limitation in the Carolina QB.

“I feel like he is capable,” Boddy-Calhoun said. “This is my first time playing him so I do not really see anything as far as the shoulder, but I did hear that his shoulder, his arm does not look as good as it did on the pass. Like I said, he is capable and he can come out here and do whatever he needs to do to get a win. We have to be ready to go.”

Newton is coming off a four-interception afternoon last week in a 42-28 loss to Tampa Bay.

“I feel like if he’s on the field he is going to be ready to go,” safety Damarious Randall said.

Injury report – DNP: OL Austin Corbett (foot), CB Denzel Ward (concussion), RB Duke Johnson Jr. (personal/not injury related),

Limited: TE David Njoku (knee), DB Phillip Gaines (knee), DT Larry Ogunjobi (bicep), C JC Tretter (ankle)

Full: LB Jamie Collins (shoulder), LB Joe Schobert (knee), TE Seth DeValve (calf), DB Tavierre Thomas (abdomen), Jermaine Whitehead (knee)