With the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers set to face off this weekend, the NFL's Matthews brothers will be reunited at Lambeau. They won't be on the field at the same time, of course, because Philadelphia's Casey Matthews and Green Bay's Clay Matthews III each play linebacker on defense.
There's already been a little fun back-and-forth between the brothers through the media this week. When Casey was asked about his older brother's move to inside linebacker, Casey noted that he wasn't thrilled with the move. Clay denied that sentiment later in the week, and, when asked if Casey's comments were to just mess with him, Clay playfully offered the following: "No, I don't think so. I don't think he's that smart. He's an inside backer, after all.
But while the brothers are busy preparing for Sunday's big game, Bleeding Green Nation had the opportunity to speak with the proud mother of her sons: Leslie Matthews. And while Leslie wants to see her sons be successful, she also wants them to be very safe. That's why Leslie is involved with Ridell InSite technology, which you can read more about here.
BGN Radio's John Barchard interviewed Leslie one-on-one to get her thoughts on player safety as well as the upcoming Eagles-Packers game on Sunday, November 16. Listen to the interview below and read on for a sample transcript. (Click here to download this episode.)
JB: A BGN Radio bonus as we are joined today by Leslie Matthews, mother of Casey & Clay Matthews. Leslie how are you this afternoon?
LM: I'm doing well, how about you?
JB: Doing fantastic, obviously you're big USC fan but I heard a rumor though that you used to be an LA Rams fan is that correct?
LM: Yes! I went to all the Rams games growing up
JB: Are you getting excited that the Rams might be coming back to LA from St. Louis and you can add another team to root for?
LM: Well that would be fun, but right now I am pretty focused on my other two teams... Packers & Eagles
JB: You have been an advocate and activist for player health & safety for a long time now. And this year you got together with Ridell and they have come out with the Ridell InSite technology, which sounds amazing. Tell us a little bit about that and how you got involved with them.
LM: Absolutely. Being a mother of two sons who are in the NFL and a grandmother of what will be 3 grandsons coming up, I have a real concern about safety of anyone who [wants] to play football moving forward. With Ridelll and their technology and the technology going in the helmet, it's just an extra measure of safety. It makes for a better, safer game.
JB: And right now you are primarily doing with a bunch of youth leagues and high schools, do you see this eventually getting into the pro system?
LM: I certainly hope so, I see this as the future of football. It's just that extra set of eyes where your equipment is not just better, it's safer and smarter. That's where I would like to see it go.
JB: Absolutely and you can always go check that out at Ridell.com or just search Ridell InSite Technology, it's very fascinating stuff... I was always curious, Casey had kinda of an up and down start to his career here in Philadelphia. He was really thrown into a bad spot and a lot of Eagles fans were in a uproar [about his performance]. As a parent, how do you handle those types of criticisms?
LM: Well I would say initially, I don't think people realized that the year of Casey's draft the NFL was on strike. So that group of players didn't have the luxury of having OTAs, mini-camps, getting in the system and learning the playbook before they showed up at training camp. Showing up the first day and trying to learn a new system and it's not easy, the NFL, it's a tough game. I watched my husband played 19 years and his brother play 19 years and so you know there are ups and downs. One thing I will say about Casey is that he's not a quitter and he just kept his focus. We're seeing it pay off and we're seeing him beginning his ascent, it's really fun to see.
JB: That was the other thing I was curious about too, was anyone mad at him that he decided to go to Oregon after this long legacy of USC people in your family?
LM: [laughter] You know, ironically enough USC didn't offer him. He had a lot of offers but SC wasn't one of them. They had offered another middle linebacker earlier and I couldn't imagine wearing any other colors than the cardnial & gold. When he went to Oregon it was just magical, it was an unbelievable four years. They played in the National Championship game, they were undefeated, they were 12-0 one year and it was just an incredible experience for all of us. Going up and meeting a whole new crew of people and that stadium... oh my goodness, loud & those fans are passionate.
JB: Not mention the awesome uniforms that they have in and out...
LM: Oh I mean come on, that's some of the reasons people go there.
JB: Do you feel that Casey has now been a little rejuvenated that he's back with his old college coach Chip Kelly?
LM: You know what, I would have to believe so. Chip was an amazing coach in college, he's a winner and he's brought that attitude and that winning program to the Eagles. It's just been fun to watch them. We're used to that uptempo offense and now we're getting to see it at the pro level.
JB: We like it here A LOT in Philadelphia... Your other son Clay has had so much success at the NFL level, now just like you were saying Casey is kind making a name for himself. What does that mean to you?
LM: Well I am excited for both of them and I know the hard work that they put in the offseason. It's not an offseason for them. They train hard, they push each other and to see them both enjoy the fruits of their labor is rewarding as a Mom. To have two sons who are of high character, who aren't quitters and no matter what they are asked to do they do it to the best of their ability is also rewarding.
JB: And of course I can't leave without asking you the two important questions here...
LM: Oh no... you're not going there are you? [laughter]
JB Oh yeah! It's happening. Who is winning on Sunday and who are you rooting for?
(Listen to the interview to find out!)