Bring on the New
PETER KING: You face two read-option quarterbacks to start the season, Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III. Is the read-option the future of football?
CLAY MATTHEWS: Certain quarterbacks possess a unique ability. Aaron Rodgers’ unique ability is to read, break down defenses and make great throws. Other quarterbacks, Kaepernick and Russell Wilson and RG3, they have a unique ability to make plays with their legs as well as throwing it. It’s premature to say this is the future of football. I’m sure people were saying the same thing a few years ago when teams started running the Wildcat. Now that’s almost nonexistent. I can assure you defenses are doing everything we can to limit that offense and get those guys to sit back in the pocket—where we want to make them play. Against us in the playoffs, it’s not really fair to say that Kaepernick’s rushing yards were all read-option. They weren’t. There was one famous highlight that was the read-option from that game, but mostly [the rushing yards came on scrambles]. But we’ll see about the future. When the play breaks down here, Aaron Rodgers is looking for his third, fourth, fifth option before he runs. Those guys, it’s sooner than that. They’re taking off and picking up yards. That puts a lot of pressure on the defense.
KING: Where did you go for vacation this year?
MATTHEWS: I finally got out of the country. I always said to myself, “Living in California is a vacation in itself.” I’d never gone anywhere. I’ve been to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, but I’d never been international before. I had to go get a passport and everything. So we went to Mexico, all-inclusive. Unbelievable. Beautiful. I actually had a nice trip lined up to Bermuda. You hear about it in songs and you’re like, Oh, Bermuda is gonna be perfect. Little did I know it’s not a Caribbean island—it’s off the coast of the Carolinas, like 1,000 miles north of the Caribbean. The weather was like 60 degrees, so at the last minute I had to change it. So I was like, ‘Just go to Mexico.’ It was good, though. We stayed at like a Five Diamond resort. Did some touristy stuff.
KING: Why in the world would you have never gone on vacation before?
[Five-second pause.] Because I’m frugal. I mean, I’m the guy who signed his second contract and bought a used boat out here to go fishing. Not a $50,000 to $60,000 boat. And my negotiating skills came in handy as well. I bought a used 2003 Lund fishing boat. It’s nice. In the offseason, you get done with OTAs around noon or 1 o’clock. You go out with some of the teammates or some friends. Get some walleye, maybe a muskie here or there. I don’t eat ’em. I would, but the water’s pretty polluted. They say [eating the fish] is like smoking a few packs of cigarettes. It’s fun though.