As a diehard Steelers fan, you’ll have a hard time getting me to gush too heavily about Clay Matthew and the Green Bay Packers triumph in Super Bowl XLV. But I’ll give credit where credit is due. The Packers were the better team two Sundays ago when they defeated the Steelers 31-25 in a thriller at Cowboys Stadium. Matthews didn’t have a particularly great game, at least not statistically. But he did a great job, especially in the second half, of spying Ben Roethlisberger and making sure he make too many plays with either his arm or feet outside of the pocket. Since then it’s been parades, late night television appearances, and guest referee spots for the WWE. Yuck.
Matthews joined WFAN in New York to talk about his crazy, busy week since winning the Super Bowl, how Dom Capers specifically used him as a spy on Ben Roethlisberger, the huge fumble he forced on Rashard Mendenhall, how he was confident the Packers would get a stop when the Steelers got the ball back one final time with just under 2 minutes to go, being the only guy in the family with a SB ring, and what else is in store for him this offseason.
On what this past week has been like since the Packers won Super Bowl XLV:
“It’s been crazy. It’s just been nonstop. Just on the road really. After the Super Bowl obviously we had the parade, and there’s some media things we’ve been trying to get out of the way. But it’s been great. I’m operating on very few hours of sleep, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a fantastic feeling and we’re really enjoying it.”
Whether defensive coordinator Dom Capers specifically instructed Matthews to limit Ben Roethlisberger’s effectiveness as a rushing threat:
“Well really that was the plan going into the game. They told me early in the week…they said, hey if we can keep an eye on this guy and hold him in the pocket, we’ve got a really good shot at putting a ring on our finger. And he told me early on that it was going to be my job to spy on the quarterback and make sure he didn’t get out of the pocket. Because that’s how he’s dangerous and that’s how he’s able to beat teams — by extending plays, getting himself out of the pocket, and finding his receivers open down field. So it wasn’t the most glamorous, but you know, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re World Champions because of the great gameplan that Dom Capers put in.”
On the huge fumble he forced on a Rashard Mendenhall carry early in the fourth quarter with the Steelers threatening to take their first lead of the game:
“Well it was just something that we needed at that time. It was just going into the fourth quarter, they had all the momentum and were going down for the go-ahead score. So I was fortunate enough to have a good read on the play, I had a solid tackle on Mendenhall and really popped the ball out and gave that ball back to our offense. They were able to put 7 points up on the board, have a comfortable lead, and I don’t think we ever looked back from that point on. So it was a big play. I look back on it and see that perhaps that could have changed the outcome of the game if they were able to go down there and score and we weren’t able to recover. So I’m happy and fortunate, and it’s really a testament to all the hard work that the team put in preparing for this game.”
What’s going through his head when Roethlisberger and the Steelers come out with just under 2 minutes to go down only 6 points:
“Well I know in my head they’ve had some success on fourth quarter drives, especially in the Super Bowl. But in all honesty, I did not think and I think our defense realized that they were not going to be able to drive the length of the field on our defense and score. With what we’ve been able to do and especially as of late sealing all these playoff victories with good defensive play, we knew we had a good shot. And that’s exactly what we did — four and out, and have our offense go out the right way by taking a knee, I think the greatest play in football. We were able to preserve that victory; we stuck with it through thick and thin, and really came through when we needed to.”
On being the only one on his family with a SB ring:
“Yeah I’m in good company but I might have a leg up or a ring finger up on them. But I’ve got a long way to go if I want to even be in the same talks with them.”
On if he has any more WWE appearances or anything else note worthy lined up for this offseason:
“Yeah the WWE thing was fantastic. I was more nervous for that than I was the Super Bowl. But I’ve had a few late night television appearances, I just filmed a muscle milk commercial, I think I have a Nike photo shoot coming up. But like I said, I’ve been busy but I thoroughly have been enjoying it. It’s better than the other way around.”