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Clay Matthews Pro Bowl Diary


*Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is capping off his impressive rookie season with a trip to the Pro Bowl in Miami. Safety Nick Collins and cornerback Charles Woodson also were selected from the Packers' defense, though Woodson is not attending, while quarterback Aaron Rodgers is representing the offense. got this update from Matthews on how his week is going so far: *

The schedule has been very friendly for us. We wake up, have about 30 minutes of meetings, go to practice, no longer than an hour, and call it a day as far as football is concerned. Then we get to come back, enjoy the weather. We have a few activities to do here and there, but for the most part I think we're all enjoying each other's company and just enjoying everything Miami has to offer - hanging out poolside, good weather.

The NFC coaches have me at a range of positions. I'm on all the special teams, and they've got me playing two positions on defense, 'Sam' and 'Will' (strong-side and weak-side linebacker), moving around. They've got me in the box, on the outside, dropping into coverage. They've really got me doing everything a linebacker should be doing.

It means a great deal to be here my first year. It's something I don't take for granted. I know it's a rare opportunity for rookies to be in this position. All the praise goes out to teammates, coaches and fans, everybody who was able to put me in the situation I'm in today. I'm really having a blast. I look forward to coming back to numerous Pro Bowls. I just have to keep up the hard work. Getting on top isn't the hard part, it's staying up there, so I look forward to continuing to prove myself.

Anytime you're around the nation's best, you want to stay up there with them and kind of etch your name in the record books as being a dominant player. It's something to improve upon and really a dream to chase after. I know I'll be constantly improving my game so I can be in this position next year and a position to help our team out.

You have to watch out as a rookie, though. Within about 10 minutes of arriving here, Donovan McNabb tried to stick me with his bar bill. I had to turn him down and tell him perhaps later. No, they've been very good. I just think you have to make sure you don't give out your room number to anybody or else you might end up leaving with a nice bill.

Everyone's real cautious about that. In fact, even when meeting up with 'A-Rod' or Nick, they'll only tell me what floor they're on, but not their room. We'll meet at the elevator. Those are the precautions people have to take.

I've been hanging out with the other linebackers. Patrick Willis is a great guy, Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher. These guys are such great players. You hang out with them and see how they conduct themselves on the field and off the field. It's something to feed upon and try to get yourself back into this position next year.

It's too bad he's injured, because I would have loved to catch up with my old teammate, Brian Cushing, and he definitely deserved to be down here. He's obviously doing the smart thing and taking care of his body and what not. But it would have been great to have him down here and reconnect. Hopefully we'll have plenty more of these come.

As far as being in Florida, I'm coming from California, which is a similar environment, but this is a little more tropical out here. Both are different from Green Bay, obviously. I'm just happy to be here, so I can't really compare it to Hawaii, where they've played the Pro Bowl in the past. The veteran players, some are upset, some are happy it's down here. We'll find out in years to come how Hawaii compares to Miami. But I'm enjoying it now.

Looking forward to the game on Sunday. I don't have a score, but I'm predicting the NFC coming out on top. Aaron will throw four touchdowns. Yes, four. I said it here first.

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