Matthews, Packers O-line, get movie star turns
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Clay Matthews' biceps are getting movie-star treatment.
The Green Bay Packers' offensive linemen are showing off their fancy footwork in a film about an a cappella competition.
A cameo appearance by Matthews, and linemen T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay in a new trailer for the upcoming movie ''Pitch Perfect 2'' drew about as much chatter Thursday after practice as coach Mike McCarthy's prolific offense.
Even McCarthy is impressed.
''I got a free T-shirt out of the deal,'' McCarthy joked. ''I was excited about it. It's big stuff in my household and I'm the only that has the T-shirt. So I got a lot of jealous kids and a jealous wife over my Pitch Perfect 2 T-shirt.''
The movie comes out in May. The Hollywood buzz provided a brief but pleasant diversion from the more pressing matter of getting ready for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Matthews was limited for a second straight day with what appears to be a minor groin injury. The star linebacker said he doesn't think that he'll have any limitations Sunday.
Lang was limited with a left ankle injury, while Sitton was limited with a left big toe injury. The Packers' best offensive linemen are following the same practice blueprint that they've had the last couple weeks with their lingering ailments.
The injuries haven't affected the quality of play. The line is keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers clean and upright. McCarthy has said this line, which includes rookie center Corey Linsley, left tackle David Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga, has a chance to be one of his best starting fives in his nine seasons as head coach.
The line has allowed just one sack overall in the last two games, during which the Packers have outscored opponents a combined 108-34.
''I think it's the best line that I've been a part of. I haven't been shy about saying that all year,'' Sitton, a seven-year veteran, said this week. ''We just keep grinding and keep working at practice and finding ways to get better.''
But enough about football.
''Only football questions,'' Bakhtiari deadpanned when approached by a media throng at his locker about the movie.
It started with a Twitter post in the offseason by Bakhtiari, a fan of the initial ''Pitch Perfect,'' which stars Anna Kendrick as a college freshman who joins an all-girls singing group and competes against a rival all-male group on campus.
According to Bakhtiari, movie producer Max Handelman first read about his interest in the movie after seeing a couple articles online. Handelman then started following Bakhtiari on Twitter.
Lang had a slightly different take.
''If you talk to Bakhtiari, he will definitely refute it. But basically started with him tweeting at all the producers and everybody, telling them what big fans we are. You could research that for yourself - true story,'' Lang said tongue-in-cheek. ''And, basically, just begging them to let us in their movie, which is kind of embarrassing.''
Not embarrassing enough, though, for the quintet to make the cameos. They were also joined by Rodgers' younger brother, Jordan Rodgers, in the scene filmed in June.
''I put myself out there saying, I'd love to be a part of the film,'' Bakhtiari said. ''We worked around a lot of obstacles. It wasn't easy. You have five high-profile NFL football players, trying to schedule within a month and a half they have to film.''
The trailer online shows the quintet onstage wearing dark suits at what appears to be the start of a singing competition. Lang, Matthews and Sitton stand in front, before the two linemen pull down on Matthews' tear-away jacket sleeves.
The pony-tailed linebacker then strikes a pose as if he was celebrating a sack.
''Obviously, as a fan of the original Pitch Perfect movie, David Bakhtiari and his affinity for social media and reaching out to other people - in weird, direct messages, and replies - was somehow able to get in the right touch with other people and to me like that,'' Matthews said. ''So I thank him for his creepiness.''
Lang said the Green Bay five had just one song, lasting no more than 45 seconds. He didn't want to give away the tune. The scene in the movie was pretty short.
''For us, most of us being offensive linemen, we don't get exposure like that very often,'' Lang said. ''To be a part of that, to be a part of the big screen, we had a lot of fun.''
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