Clay Matthews wouldn’t say Thursday whether or not he’d been fined by the National Football League for his late hit out of bounds on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last Sunday.
He also didn’t want to talk about what 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said about him being a dirty player.
But the Green Bay Packers star outside linebacker was willing to say one thing, and in the pantheon of soundbites in recent Packers history, it has to rank among the best.
“I'm an awesome player,” Matthews told a large group of reporters gathered around his locker after Thursday’s practice. “I'm not a dirty player.”
The NFL generally doesn’t confirm fines for players until Friday. Sometimes the information comes out sooner if a player, his agent or his team is willing to put it out there. In Matthews’ case, the player wasn’t interested. In fact, he wasn’t interested in anything other than Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, shouting “Next game!” at one point in the interview session.
Matthews had not spoken with reporters since after Sunday’s 34-28 loss to the 49ers, when he admitted it wasn’t a smart play and said he and Kaepernick interacted later in the game.
Matthews has only received one other fine for an on-field play, when in 2010 he was fined $5,000 for grabbing Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler by the facemask. “I think my resume is pretty good right now,” Matthews said Thursday. “I think we're doing all right.”