Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had several intense battles over the years. Most of the time it's fair to say Matthews and his team came out on top.
Matthews had some harsh, albeit funny words for the now-retired QB during a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. Cutler is set to begin a broadcasting career with Fox Sports.
"Listen, I always enjoyed playing against Jay," Matthews said. "Obviously, he rubbed some fans the wrong way. I know people get on him about his nonchalant attitude, but I always enjoyed playing against him. I'm glad I got a lot of sacks against him. I'll miss that the most. But hopefully the next in line in Chicago will be as equally willing to help me pad my stats."
For the record: Matthews has 72.5 career sacks and 8.5 came courtesy of taking down Cutler over the years -- including a 3.5-sack performance in Sept. 2012 and two more when the teams met again in December. That's a lot of "ground work" for Cutler, courtesy of No. 52 in Green.
Also for the record: Green Bay had the 22nd-ranked defense of 32 NFL teams in 2016, allowing nearly 364 yards per game. Matthews' squad was particularly poor against the pass, where he gets his sacks. In that category the Packers were a woeful second-worst in the NFL, allowing 269 yards per game.
The Bears are now expected to suit up former Tampa Bay Buccaneer pivot, as the veteran signed this offseason. Backing him up should be rookie first-rounder Mitch Trubisky, who will likely see the field at some point in 2017. And if everything goes off the rails, Matthews will have the pleasure of lining up up against third-string journeyman quarterback .
"Cutler, 33, played in just five games last season because of injury, but in 2015, he ranked ninth in value per play among all quarterbacks, according to Football Outsiders, which was better thanand league MVP ," wrote CBS sports. "But that was the anomaly for Cutler, who regularly put up replacement-level numbers during his Chicago career. Still, Bears great Dan Hampton recently made the case that the organization if Cutler had been under center for those dominant mid-1980s Bears teams."
That one could be a stretch. While Cutler may take a little more abuse than he deserves, Matthew's comments were surely good for a few chuckles.
Cutler played in the NFL for 12 years, eight of which came in the 'Windy City'. He racked up 32,467 passing yards, 208 touchdownss and a hefty 146 interceptions.