The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have made it to Dallas for the 2011 Super Bowl. On Monday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met with the media discussing a variety of things including the impact Packers LB Clay Matthews can have.
Matthews was reported to be the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Monday night before we learned those reports turned out to be false as Steelers safety Troy Polamalu took the award. Still, the point remains that he's good enough that no one batted an eye when they heard he had won the award.
Tomlin recognized that stopping Matthews is "not a one-person job".
We better be prepared to deal with him. He is a unique and dynamic player. He's physically talented. He appears to be mentally tough. His motor runs non-stop. We have to reckon with him. It's not a one-person job of course. It's going to be a multiple-person job, and that makes it increasingly difficult because of the way they move him around. But such is life in the NFL, particularly in this game. They wouldn't be in this game if they didn't have dynamic playmakers like Clay Matthews. So we are going to do the best we can to deal with him and neutralize him.
This is one of the most important keys to the game. One of Ben Roethlisberger's biggest strengths is his ability to escape the pocket and make plays on the run. If the Steelers stop Matthews, it creates room for Roethlisberger to create plays. If Matthews is able to get to Roethlisberger then one of the Steelers biggest advantages is taken away.
So the play of Clay Matthews and how the Steelers contain him will be a significant part of this game.