Senior Bowl LB Sees a Good Fit In New England

The Patriots scouting department has trekked down to Mobile, Alabama to take in the Senior Bowl. Find out which defensive prospect that New England has spent time with would love to play with Vince Wilfork and the rest of New England's defense.

Former Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews is one of the most famous names at the Senior Bowl. Some would think Matthews has become a household name because Casey led his Ducks team to a BCS National Championship game appearance, but the Matthews name is quickly turning into royalty in the National Football League.

Casey's older brother Clay is one of the very best defensive players in the game, and Clay has helped lead his Packers team to the Super Bowl. The NFL bloodlines run extra deep as Matthews dad, uncle and grandfather have also played in the league.

Not only does Matthews have a pedigree advantage over most prospects, but he has his brother to lean on while going through the whole draft process.

"It's actually helped me a lot," Matthews explained about his family preparing him. "I actually talked to my brother about this experience, he went through this two years ago. He's given me the basics and he's helped me quite a bit."

Casey has been a busy man this week as he's working closely with the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff with meetings, practices and of course team visits and interviews.

Casey's big brother Clay had an outstanding season in Green Bay. Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
"It's been a great experience," Matthews said. "It's been a little hectic but it's like a job interview. You get to go out here and compete on the field and any chance you get to play football for another game you definitely want to take advantage of it."

One of the lengthiest interviews Matthews had was with the New England Patriots.

"The asked me about my family a lot, what I learned from them, my background and where I can play," Matthews told

Despite having an NFL-famous last name, Casey and his brother Clay somehow escaped the eyes of major college recruiters. Clay, who has earned Pro Bowl selections in each of his two seasons was forced to walk on at USC.

"We feel we've been overlooked our whole lives," Casey said of he and his brother. "It's hard to believe because of my dad, but it almost seems that's how it's been. People think we've been getting this attention because of our last name and we just try to go out and show them its not the case and we try to show that we're decent football players."

So why did Matthews choose Oregon over USC?

"They didn't recruit me," Casey smirked. "They didn't recruit any of us. Instead they wanted Chris Galippo. I can't complain how things turned out."

Casey has taken that major chip on his shoulder all the way through a senior season of award nominations and helped lead the Ducks into the best season in program history. Still, Matthews feels he has plenty to prove this week.

"I always seem to play with a chip on my shoulder," a motivated Matthews explained. "A lot of these guys, they got all the media attention and they were able to show they were good football players. What better stage for me to show that I'm a great football player against them."

New England Patriots DL V. Wilfork (75) runs with a recovered fumble Jan 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Is Casey Matthews the right fit for the Patriots? He believes so.

"I think it would be fun to play in a 3-4. We ran it slightly at Oregon this year. Watching the Packers this year and seeing how their defense got after it, I think that would be fun to play," Matthews said.

"It would be a big help," Matthews said when asked how he would enjoy playing behind Patriots Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. "You definitely want to get to know him. Watching him, he does make the linebackers job a lot easier."

Casey Matthews on the surface seems like a "Belichick type of guy". He works hard, nothing has come easy for him and managed to succeed against some difficult odds.

"I always try to improve on anything I can," Matthews said. "Anytime these coaches have any advice, you listen. I'm a hard working guy who has a motor. Off the field I'm a guy who can be trusted."

There has been plenty of mutual interest between New England and Matthews, and with four draft picks in the first two rounds, the Pats have plenty of ammo to get their man.

Mile High Huddle Top Stories