By Jim Owczarski Sports Editor Published Sep 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers’ other franchise held court Wednesday afternoon in front of his locker, and then again for a small pool of writers wondering how happy he has been being used in different spots across defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ new-look, hybrid defense.

Statistically, Clay Matthews said he’s happy with his production through two weeks – one sack (with another half being erased by penalty), one forced fumble and pass defensed, five quarterback hurries and 10 tackles – but he's been asked to move around and drop into coverage more often than in the past.

"I think what we’re trying to accomplish is the fact that we’re trying to present problems for the opponent’s offense in not just lining me up in one spot," Matthews said. "I think the thing about it is if you look at the personnel on the field, I think that I’m more than capable of rushing the passer o dropping into coverage whether it’s out of a 3-4, 4-3 look, whatever it may be, I believe I can do it and I believe I can do it to a high level.

"I think I can do it all. I think over the years I’ve been known as a ‘sack guy’ but I think what’s been lost in the shuffle is that I can cover, I can play in space and rush the passer as well."

Jason Wilde put together a thorough snap breakdown of Matthews this season to show just how much Capers has moved him through two games:

  • 58 on the right side
  • 52 on the left side
  • 5 in the right slot
  • 3 in the left slot
  • 3 at middle linebacker
  • 2 at left inside linebacker
  • 1 at left defensive end

"I’m a competitor," Matthews said. "I love the opportunity to go out there and have that opportunity to play one-on-one with certain individuals, rush the passer as well as have opportunities to kind of showcase my talents wherever they may. I always look forward to it. I look forward to making plays. Wherever that may be, if that’s breaking up a pass or at the same time getting a sack, I expect myself to be successful and be good at whatever it is they ask me to do."

For comparison’s sake, Wilde noted Matthews had played no less than 84.6 percent of his total snaps at just one the outside linebacker spots in each of his first five seasons.

"I think it’s basic football – when you have an exceptional fb player, when you line him up in the same spot every single time you help the offense," head coach Mike McCarthy told the assembled media in Green Bay on Monday.

"If you want to chip him, you want to slide to him, if you’re able practice it all week that Clay Matthews is over there or Clay Matthews is over there, I mean, it’s an easier training process for the opponent. So it’s just really having Clay do the same things he’s always done and just moving around, similar to what we’ve done in our sub defense."

And not only is Matthews moving, but his pass rush opportunities from those areas have diminished. Through two games, he has rushed the quarterback 72.5 percent of the time – the lowest rate since his rookie campaign in 2009.

Against the Jets, he found himself in coverage 35.5 percent of the time, which the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported was the most he’s done that in a game since 2011.

Matthews turned 28-years-old in May, and is in the second year of a five-year, $65 million extension.

It may seem like an odd time in his career to ask him to change aspects of his game, but Matthews insisted this week that’s no issue at all. And his teammates don’t see it being a problem, either.

"Clay’s a freak of nature," safety Micah Hyde said. "The way he just gets after the quarterback, stop the run, cover – that guy can do everything. That’s why helps our defense so much and Dom has so much leeway with our defense because they have guys like Clay that can move all the way around. I think whenever he steps up to the line, the offense has to respect him, so if he shows one side, or he comes from the other side, it’s hard on an offense."

In terms of coverage, his "best" statistical season came in 2011 when he came up with three interceptions and broke up nine passes. It was also his least effective year rushing the passer, when he sacked the quarterback just six times in 15 games.

But, in Matthews’ mind, his movement and even the calls for him to participate in coverage may change – even as soon as this week in Detroit.

He and Capers both talked about getting him in favorable blocking matchups – or situations where he comes unblocked – so the constant changing of his position may yet result in more pass rush opportunities.

"I don’t sense confusion, I sense that they know where I’m at, and I think that’s exactly what we expect from them," Matthews said. "So as the season progresses, as games progress, we’ll obviously – as offenses continue to adapt to adjusting to our defense, I think our defense will continue to adjust to their checks and reads and what they do to us. I think that’s most important, is not staying stagnant and I think that’s what really, in essence, we’re trying to accomplish with moving me around."

Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.

A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.

To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.

Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining

In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.

Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.