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The Big Interview: Clay Matthews says, give Depends to the kickers

Aug 22, 2012, 1:26 PM EDT

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OTB was lucky enough to talk with NFL Pro Bowl linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Clay Matthews on their tour to support the adult underwear Depends. We promised you a part two, so here it is.

You guys have to chase around Mike Vick so you understand how tough it is to have a new scrambling quarterback like RGIII in your conference? Exciting to you? Scary?

Demarcus: When you think about it, you have Mike Vick who can beat the tackle, he’s running around so you have a hard sack and now RGIII going to the Redskins? It’ll probably be a little bit harder to get him down but you still have to learn how to be effective and learn how to get pressure on those guys.

Clay, how frustrating is it for you when you have a guy in your grasp and he starts shaking and moving and does that Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick thing?

Clay: Well obviously you want to go get some sacks and get after the quarterback so it’s really frustrating when you let one go beyond the statistic, because it can be a big momentum builder for your team and drives them back a few yards. I just think it’s the nature of the league, this is where quarterbacks are going. They’re faster, more athletic, getting rid of the ball faster and teams are starting to spread out so it’s hard to get at the QB, especially with the athletes coming in these days.

Are there rivalries on the practice field? For example, when Rodgers is wearing his red jersey and you had a run at him that would have taken him out and you have to let up, do you kind of let him know, ‘Oh man, I could have just blown you up right there but I couldn’t. Because I can’t.’

Clay: Haha! Fortunately I love my quarterback too much, I think he does a good job and I don’t want to hit him. If I do in practice I have to apologize because I think he’s worth a lot more to our team than I am. We try and keep him as healthy as possible.

How do you guys manage pain during a long season?

DeMarcus: Just be able to sit back and relax and do something to take your mind off of it. I’ve been trying to get a heightened awareness for prostate cancer because there’s a lot of sick people who have it and don’t know it.

So I’m going to hurt regardless, might as well have fun doing it.

How about you Clay?

Haha, how do I deal with pain? Oh man, it’s the nature of the beast in the NFL. You’re going to be hurting after every game and just deal with it. You have to realize it’s a game of attrition so you have to manage it any way you can. Get in the ice tub, getting hour massages, your therapy, your rehab and hopefully you make it out there for 16 games, and hopefully more for the playoffs.

What are your pregame rituals? Calming music? Jumping around and going crazy like Ray Lewis does?

Clay: I’m kind of reserved. I know what I need to accomplish when I get out on the field so it doesn’t take any motivational speeches or any special music to get me going. I’m pretty calm before the storm.

DeMarcus; I’m vice versa. I’m the crazy animal trying to get out of its cage, you can’t calm me down. But you can’t get too pumped before the game, you get out there, warm up, and get yourself situated for the game.

Have you guys assumed leadership roles? When you’re getting ready do you focus mostly on yourself and your body or are you trying to help out nervous teammates too?

Clay: I think we are both leaders, especially on the defensive side other players look up to us so I know at times, just be the voice of reason as well as help the younger guys move forward and if there’s a moment where I have to speak up I’m sure we’re on the same page and we figure out what we need to do.
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DeMarcus: I think we have that same thing, that voice of reason out there to be a leader for the team. But you also have to look at the team and see what kind of morale they have and they can feed off of what you do in pressure situations.

DeMarcus, I remember two or three years ago it was a play or go home situation for the Eagles and they destroyed you, yet a week later you played in the wild card round and destroyed them. How did that happen? Were you guys not prepared for the first game but figured out in the second?

Well sometimes when you think about it, it’s the feeling you have before the game. This game is really played by emotion and going out there we were always prepared and ready for the game, but you have to feel it. So after the first game they proved they were a team to be reckoned with but you have to change some things and take some time and let them know you’re still standing?
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How about you, Clay? What do you do when you look around and see a demoralized crew, how do you change your team’s mindset?

I’ve been on a team that has been undefeated so it is very difficult even though we all aim for it. We play every game to win, that’s why you suit up on Sunday. It’s fun learning from your mishaps and mistakes and come out with another victory?

You guys are doing this for Depends, any chance you guys will be wearing these on the field so you can pee anywhere?

Clay: Ha, I dunno. After that whole San Diego Steve Novak kicker situation when he had to use the restroom at a crucial time one of those might come in handy. But it’s nice, we’re helping spread awareness for bladder control issues and incontinence, all in the hopes of improving research. So we’ll have to blast on in.

So maybe just give the Depends to the kickers?

Clay: Right. exactly.