Packers News: Matthews fined $15,000 for hit on Kaepernick

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Clay Matthews admitted that his hit on Kaepernick "wasn't very smart," and he's been fined $15,000.
Clay Matthews admitted that his hit on Kaepernick “wasn’t very smart,” and he’s been fined $15,000.

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has been fined $15,000 for his hit on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in last Sunday’s season opener, according to NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

Following Matthews’ hit on Kaepernick near the sideline, chaos ensued after the whistle, prompting 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to open his mouth.

“I could see two punches thrown to Joe’s head,” Harbaugh said, according to the USA Today. “Well, one punch and one open slap.”

But Harbaugh didn’t stop there. He corrected himself and threw a jab of his own in Matthews’ direction.

“If you’re going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap,” Harbaugh said. “That young man works very hard on being a tough guy. He’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.”

If Matthews is going to take advice from anyone, it likely wouldn’t be Harbaugh who once fractured his hand in a fist fight with quarterback-turned broadcaster Jim Kelly. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy brought up Harbaugh’s comments in team meetings, while Matthews offered a short yet strong response to the 49ers controversial coach.

“I’m an awesome player, not a dirty player,” Matthews said, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

According to beat writer Tyler Dunne, Matthews reluctantly responded to the Harbaugh question after several attempts to move on to questions regarding the next game. But nonetheless, his answer was awesome. In a league polluted with “coach speak” in which athletes talk a lot but say very little, it’s refreshing to hear a high-profile athlete answer in a bold, Thad Castle-type manner.

Note: Comparing the Green Bay Packers to the Blue Mountain State Goats is foolish. Almost as foolish as calling Clay Matthews a dirty player.

Matthews, himself, admitted that he was wrong to hit Kaepernick as the quarterback neared the out of bounds line.

“It wasn’t a very smart play,” Matthews said, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I had already committed to hitting the quarterback, and I guess I should have figured he was going to step out of bounds.”

Nonetheless, Matthews’ reputation is certainly in much better shape that that of, say, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was fined $100,000 for his low block on Vikings center John Sullivan. But as Breer tweeted, comparing Matthews to Suh is apples-to-oranges…or apples-to-giraffes.

Matthews and the Packers defense will be tested by a dual-threat quarterback once again in Week 2, as the Packers take on Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Griffin was clearly not himself in the first half of Monday Night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but he rebounded and fared well in the second half.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    This is the way Goodell’s NFL works. It sucks because it wasn’t deserved, but oh well. Clay has the money. I’d like to see 15 hits like that on that 9ers QB Dbag.

    It’ll happen in the playoffs.

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      Is QB/DB a new position? It could be like WRD (wide receiver/diva)

  • funcrusher

    Hard to agree this. It wasn’t helmet to helmet, or an overly vicious hit. He just tackled him late out of bounds. If the ref’s wouldn’t have flubbed the penalty call, making the hit a nation-wide story, I doubt there would have been a fine.

  • Bill

    I’m glad to see CM3 admitted it was a dumb play. Now if he would just play football and eliminate the theatrics, his predator pose is starting to remind me more and more of Hans and Frans.

  • GBPDAN

    Im ok with the fine, i love CM3, but, Clay launched himself and Kaeperdick was well out of bound. Clay is not a dirty player by any means, it was just an over aggressive play and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving suspect than Colin.

  • mudduckcheesehead

    /yawn

  • Wagszilla

    $15,000 well spent.

  • Germ Ike Al

    Has the NFL always fined players for these types of penalties? It seems like they are just trying to make every possible penny they can in any way, here by taking the players’ hard earned salaries. I smell greed.

  • Big O

    Well,everything I’ve seen on this subject is being pushed into the ground by tantrum throughing coach named HARBAUGH,CM3 is a quick and aggressive player, I think that’s why a lot of us watch football, Oh, and playing the way he does that play was one STEP from legal,take a look or swith to soccer! go Pack!!

  • Crefan

    He should have taken out one of his knees. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.

    • mudduckcheesehead

      That’s messed up.

  • packett

    Harbaugh has lost a little credibility with his whining. Let’s see…two SF players were also fined; A Brooks and A Boldin. So, i’d say he sounds a little silly to me.

  • Cherrios

    Matthews, you’re an awesome player and bloody quick too. stay true to your game and go Green & Gold!!! Go Packs.

  • GBPDAN

    In the old days, getting a fresh set of downs that close to the end zone was all the revenge needed. Now its a week long bitch session. Go lay down Harbaugh

  • Shavager

    Matthews’ hit was a bang-bang play, once he left his feet his momentum would’ve carried him into Kaepernick whether he wanted to hit’em or not. Didn’t look flagrant or dirty, just a hard play that ran out of field too soon. The best way to stop a running QB is to go after his legs-that’s not meaning take out his knees and injure him, it means beating on his legs with some shoulders to thighs and hips.

  • http://allpackers.com grampa40

    Retribution- Kaps mouth, his “Kaepernicking” and 281 rushing yards wasn’t gonna happen. The play was over aggressive but a message was sent. The PACK aint soft!