Clay Matthews ready for leadership role

When the Green Bay Packers released veteran defensive back Charles Woodson in the offseason, they lost their emotional leader.

Part of Woodson’s memorable speech following the 2010 NFC Championship Game – in which he told his teammates to be “one mind … one heartbeat with one purpose, one goal for one more game” – was inscribed on their Super Bowl rings.

Since his departure, there’s been little talk of who will take over Woodson’s role as the one of the team leaders. But when Hannah Storm spent some time this offseason with Clay Matthews for a “Face-to-Face” piece, the Pro Bowl outside linebacker made it clear he’s ready to take over those duties, at least on defense.

“I think we had come at a crossroads in this team as far as the leadership and where we want to go, personally for myself and this defense, revamping that defense,” Matthews told Storm. “I believe it’s the natural progression of myself and what I want to be and the legacy I want to leave. Ultimately, we’ll see where it goes, but you’re going to get a definite change of this defense with me in charge.”