Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews said he'll miss getting sacks against former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, but noted he hopes the team's new starter will be "equally willing" to help bolster his numbers.
"Listen, I always enjoyed playing against Jay. 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."
Matthews has racked up 72.5 sacks in 113 career games since the Packers made him the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Facing Cutler twice per season helped that total because 8.5 of those sacks (11.7 percent) came against the Bears.
The polarizing 34-year-old quarterback announced his retirement in early May and accepted a position as a television analyst with Fox Sports.
Meanwhile, the Bears signed Mike Glennon early in free agency with the expectation he'll take over the reins of the offense for the 2017 season. He could face competition during training camp from 2017 second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky and veteran Mark Sanchez, though.
Matthews tallied just 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons combined after reaching double digits in four of his first six years. He should have a golden opportunity to increase his already strong numbers against the Bears, regardless of which member of that trio takes control of the starting job.
Glennon has been sacked 56 times in 21 career games. That's the most sacks for any quarterback in NFL history with under 22 career games of experience.
The Packers will host Chicago at Lambeau Field for a Thursday night contest Sept. 28 and then visit Soldier Field on Nov. 12.