Cory's Corner: Move Clay Matthews to ILB

Clay Matthews just doesn’t have the speed necessary to be consistent on the edge anymore.

The Oren Burks shoulder injury is a tough pill to swallow.

But the Packers must move on and the best way for that to happen is to move Clay Matthews to inside linebacker.

I’ve been saying this for awhile now, but this is the obvious move. Matthews just doesn’t have the speed necessary to be consistent on the edge anymore. But he is a solid tackler and the area that the Packers defense gets abused most often is up the middle and Matthews to the middle would shore that up.

There is also another reason: Reggie Gilbert. For those of you that think that Gilbert is a shooting star that’s about to run out of steam, you’re dead wrong. The guy can play. He arguably should’ve made the opening day roster last year and judging by what he did to Raiders right tackle Donald Penn in the first quarter, he hasn’t lost it.

The job for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is to put the Packers in the best position to win. That means he needs to play to Matthews’ strengths — even in a contract year. Moving inside will mean that Matthews’ sack numbers will take a dip, but those numbers have dropped off the last three years.

It’s time for Pettine to have an honest conversation with the six-time Pro Bowler. Matthews is 32 and even he knows his limitations at this stage of his career. His career has been defined by randomness as he has played with his hair on fair by being omnipresent. That isn’t the case anymore. He doesn’t have the same motor and has been hampered by bothersome hamstrings.

With Blake Martinez and Matthews roaming the middle of the defense, offensive coordinators would at least think twice before attacking the middle of the Packers defense.

Pettine cannot let his thoughts about Nick Perry’s health cloud his judgment on Matthews. If Perry gets hurt this year, the outside linebacker position is going to be exposed anyway. You cannot protect everyone on the field, you have to put your best lineup on the field and Gilbert clearly deserves to start on the outside.

It all comes down to Matthews. He accepted a move before, but if he moves to inside linebacker now, it would mean so much more. When he last played inside linebacker, the Packers finished 10-6 in 2015. If he plays inside linebacker for the majority of snaps this year, they will eclipse that record.

Matthews just needs to look himself in the mirror and ask himself if he’s OK playing team ball this year. If so, he gets less money in 2019. If not, he will make a decent amount in free agency but he will be left wondering “What if?” as he cashes his check.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (82)

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Since'61's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:51 pm

If moving CM3 inside gets Gilbert to start on the outside I am all for it. Before that however, do we know how serious Burks injury is and/or how much time he will miss? I would want to know Burke status before we start moving pieces around. Thanks, Since ‘61

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GBPDAN1's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:21 pm

What do the coaches have these guys doing during pregame warmups that can cause a dislocated shoulder?? Weird.

Gilbert looked good against starters yesterday. I'd be ok if he started and moved Clay to ILB. However, the quality of the rotation and depth at OLB would be effected.

I hope Burks isn't out long, the fact that he wasn't in a sling on the sidelines during the game may be promising as immobilizing the joint, with a sling, is typically the first course of treatment if the injury is severe.

Clark was a beast yesterday and Wilkerson looked much better than last week. Our run D looked pretty good and will only get better with Daniels and Perry playing.

At this point, they need to cut Murphy or only try him inside. He is not an NFL backup tackle.

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NickPerry's picture

August 26, 2018 at 04:58 am

"Clark was a beast yesterday and Wilkerson looked much better than last week. Our run D looked pretty good and will only get better with Daniels and Perry playing."

Nice comment GBPDAN....I agree with everything you said but especially the paragraph above. I watched Frackrell most of the time he was on the field and it was awful. He's constantly giving up the edge allowing runners to go right around him and it seems he doesn't ever get close to the QB. Perry and Daniels are going to help the run defense immensely. Gilbert may not be a Von Miller but he's far better than Frackrell.

As far as Murphy goes that was just painful to watch. He was abused time and time again and it didn't matter one bit who it was lined up against him.

Because Burks wasn't in a sling you almost HAVE to think he'll be back by week one or so don't you? I'm no medical expert, actually I don't know a thing about dislocated shoulders but not being in a sling gives me a hell of a lot more hope it's not serious. Especially when you consider how conservative the Packers staff is.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

I don't think Murphy is better than Patrick or Day who can both play C/G.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:51 pm

Gilbert is the only OLB depth I want on the field. Don’t want Perry, Matthews or Gilbert on the field for every snap!

Overall this is a nutty idea. Take a player who was one of our better defenders from one weak position to another. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

We need Gilbert, Perry and Matthews on the edge.

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Minniman's picture

August 26, 2018 at 03:12 am

Yes if Gilbert continues to make strides then the ability to get him, Perry and CM3 on the field together at the same time as Mo Wilk, Kenny C and Daniels should be a group to keep offensive fronts "honest". If CM3 plays inside with Martinez, then so-be-it.

If Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, Burkes and (hopefully) Biegel can provide quality rotational assistance then this too will help.

Perhaps wishful thinking, but I'm also hoping that the revamped offense keeps the D off the field more than in past years. This too would have a major influence on the D's ability bend-not-break in the critical back-end of tight games.

I mentioned in a previous post that while optimistic, I think that this year (more than others) the Packers prospects are going to be determined by injuries as they are starter-adequate but depth-thin at many positions - and while Gute has been aggressive there are too many holes to patch in 1 year.

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Packer_Fan's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Argh!! Another dislocated shoulder. First King and now Burks. Burks should be able to mend relatively soon and then wear a harness. Linebackers probably use their arms down below the shoulder more often so hopefully no more dislocations. But if it keeps popping out, then on to DL and operation in the off season. Let's hope for the best.

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Demon's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I'd just like to know how in the world someone dislocates a shoulder in pregame warm-ups. Thats a new one on me!
Whats next? Someone slipping in the shower and getting a concussion? UNBELIEVABLE!

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:03 pm

It's a Packer secret.

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Demon's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:31 pm

Sorry 61, i just saw your comment on the other thread saying the same thing.

Anyone heard anything on Montys latest owie? This clown gives new meaning to the term soft!

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

August 26, 2018 at 12:10 am

having a disease similar to sickle cell anemia will do that to a Ty.

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Minniman's picture

August 26, 2018 at 03:15 am

This has been a concern of mine re Ty M too. His recovery times are just a little slower than others and this will have a cumulative affect on him. I think that he's a weapon that needs to be used judiciously.

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Oppy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:59 am

White_Tornado,

You talk a mean game. I'm curious, being the hardened athlete you must be... when is the last time YOU played Half Back at the NFL level with MULTIPLE. BROKEN. RIBS.?

If the answer is "never", maybe you should consider the fact that Ty Montgomery might be far harder than you or I will ever be.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:33 pm

My guess is that Clay plays that position some but remains an OLB on paper. Pettine likes flexibility.

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dblbogey's picture

August 25, 2018 at 08:59 pm

Clay doesn't have to "agree to" playing inside. If Pettine wants him there, put him there, You don't need to get Clay's approval. Personally, I think he should've been primarily an inside backer for the past 3-4 years.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:33 pm

I agree. That is their best lineup with Perry, Matthews, Martinez and Gilbert all out there at the same time. Ahmad Thomas inside, Fackrell outside and extra safeties spelling them. At this point it doesn't appear anyone wants to see much of Biegel or any of the rest of the linebackers in there. The Packers will definitely be checking the waivers for linebacker depth.

And hope Burks and King are back soon.

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CheesyTex's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:06 pm

Extra safties? Like Eric Reid?

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:51 pm

Bring him in. Hell of talent and should already be on the roster after losing Burnett.

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:11 am

I don't hear many fans clamoring for the "fackler" to get in there, either.

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gr7070's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm

The long and short of it is that Matthews was a subpar ILB. This team is better served with him at his natural position and others at theirs.

It really is that simple.

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:54 pm

He may have been a subpar ILB as a whole, but his sack numbers increased that year he kicked inside

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4thand10's picture

August 25, 2018 at 04:36 pm

From what I’ve seen during the pre season is the same as I saw last year. Teams run against us and make more accurate throws when the Packers are in nickel. We all watch the same games. It maddens me why they just don’t stick with either a base 3-4 or a 4-3 under....the last few years they get way more pressure when they do that. And now I think we have the personnel to do it.

What good is a Clark /Daniels combo or a Wilkerson/ Lowery combo if there is not a lot of pressure from the middle OR edge?
I’d like to see more ... Wilkerson, Daniels, Lowery + 2 edge rushers... That would leave six to cover the back end and MIDDLE. Whatever combo...Just please use 3 DL... because 2 is just mot getting consistent pressure.

In his early days...Matthews was good off the edge. The year they had him in the middle...they had more Defensive EndTYPE bodies as edge or OLB roles....that worked much better. I’ll probably get slammed, but that’s my opinion

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Chuck Farley's picture

August 25, 2018 at 08:56 pm

Ya I see a lack of deep pressure from inside. A push ya, a force requiring qb to rush their passes no.

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Minniman's picture

August 26, 2018 at 03:25 am

The teams results from 3 years ago tend to support you.

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TheKanataThrilla's picture

August 25, 2018 at 08:48 pm

He went to the Probowl the 2 seasons that he played ILB. He may not be that great in pass coverage, but he put up decent sack and tackle numbers that 1 and a half seasons. It was also the last time he played all 16 games.

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Oppy's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:04 pm

Right now, we seemingly have a hole at Inside Linebacker next to Martinez again (Oren Burks shoulder separation), and a third Outside Linebacker named Reggie Gilbert who looks like he's ready to contribute but he has no way to get on the field.

If my choices are seeing the LB's line up:

Matthews, (Thomas or Martini?), Martinez, Perry
-or-
Gilbert, Matthews, Martinez, Perry

To me, it's no longer really that simple.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:55 pm

2 OLB is a recipe for no penetration. Need to keep them fresh. Outside of Perry, Matthews and Gilbert, we have little reason to see much in the way of a threat of a sack. Fackrell is our number 4 OLB ....

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:55 pm

2 OLB is a recipe for no penetration. Need to keep them fresh. Outside of Perry, Matthews and Gilbert, we have little reason to see much in the way of a threat of a sack. Fackrell is our number 4 OLB ....

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Rak47's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:53 am

Subpar? lol, the last times CM3 went to the pro bowl was in 2014 and again in 2015 which also happen to be the years he played ILB in Capers system. At least have some idea what you're saying before blurting out some false info.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 25, 2018 at 12:43 pm

I had another thought, why not play Biegel at MLB? Didn’t he play there some in college? He is too slow and small for today’s NFL OLB position. He kinda reminds me of Ryan anyway.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:39 pm

I agree with moving Biegel inside instead of Matthews. I've thought all along that Biegel played more like an inside linebacker, of course, I also thought that about Fackrell, but he seems to be coming along as an OLB.

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:41 pm

I missed your post when I wrote mine. I think he did. And it would be a great move.

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4thand10's picture

August 25, 2018 at 04:37 pm

Agree...that would be a good move.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:56 pm

Much better idea. That might get Donaldson on the team. He at least has some raw ability to disrupt.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 25, 2018 at 10:39 pm

who?

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Oppy's picture

August 25, 2018 at 11:04 pm

Kendall Donnerson?

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:51 am

Is he fast enough to play inside? Can he cover? Can he engage tacklers, she'd blockers? I have no idea if he's suited to play inside or not.

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Samson's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:00 pm

Anyway to get Gilbert on the field is the smart move. -- Even taking snaps away from CM3.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:58 pm

He already will as #3 OLB. They will need to spell Mathews and Perry and will likely move Mathews at time. That’s even when they are healthy.

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Pauly's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:12 pm

I can see moving SS Josh Jones (6'2" 4.4 speed) up to ILB with Martinez during passing downs and rotating CM to ILB during run downs with Gilbert on edge. Jone's best work has looked to be near the line anyway.
Packers can keep rotationally fresh on OLB with lot faster coverage on passing downs.
When playing a strong running team, Mathews at ILB would be a real plus.

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porupack's picture

August 27, 2018 at 06:50 am

That makes a lot of sense Pauly. Certainly during the period OBurks is rehabbing.

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Bear's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:12 pm

Stop looking at Matthews through rose colored glasses!

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porupack's picture

August 27, 2018 at 07:10 am

why not? Better than shit splattered glasses.
There is inadequate material to judge Matthew's future performance; what we saw last 2 years out of Matthews is as more a result of abominable CB play and about as bad coverage in short middle of the field in halfback outlet passes.
Until there is solid coverage, you cannot critique any OLB properly.

This year; in preseason, there is yet no solid evidence to critique Matthews. Wait till the 2 division games; then we can judge. With a top 5 dline and emerging strong CB corps, we should see Matthews complete the many 'almost sacks' over last couple years.

He hasn't slowed down. Maybe a bit less stamina to take every down, so it might look slower after the defense has tried to stop a 10 play drive. Who wouldn't be slower by 3rd quarter?

Opposing offenses have just learned how to get the ball out quicker. Until defenses can counter those scripted short slants and halfback passes, no OLB can get the sacks except via stunts or wiffed blocks....especially if the D can't get off the field.

This year, despite setbacks from Burks, King, Perry.....those are temporary and it's preseason.....so I keep my rose colored lenses on, till either the euphoria blinding light of success, or gloomy curtain of dark facts (and losses) has me drunk and sobbing. I'll send you a pair of pink glasses. It accentuates my lips.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:25 pm

A fine idea, but I worry about OLB depth.

I'd move Jones to ILB and leave him there, where he belongs. And rather than killing our starting OLB's, I'd use a 3-man rotation with the other backups playing sparingly.

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:37 pm

If I'm Mathews. I don't move. I offer to move around. Money is money. The ILB will be position of Rotation. Jones, Mathews, and Biegel. Biegel moved well enough to play ILB last night. I would try Biegel there!

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Lare's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:56 pm

Matthews would probably increase his value by moving to ILB and getting more tackles/sacks behind this DL. He's not that effective on the outside anymore.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:54 pm

You never know. It could be a Gouda move!

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 25, 2018 at 01:50 pm

Moving player A to spot C and player B to spot A etc,etc...is like moving the holes in Swiss Cheese....it's still filled with holes.

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Mibster's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:04 pm

Nice touch with the Cheese analogy :)

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 25, 2018 at 10:17 pm

Lol

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 25, 2018 at 10:17 pm

Lol

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Tundraboy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 09:42 am

This may be your finest work.

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SpudRapids's picture

August 27, 2018 at 08:32 am

as least we can understand the prose for once... but I disagree here. If you move a 4th/5th string OLB to inside and he ends up being in the top 3 on the depth chart you bolstered a position without subtracting from another. It gets a player to meaningfully contribute where he might not see the field sans special teams.

A better analogy might be comparing it to a factory. If you have a line running at 75% capacity and another line running at 100% capacity can you shift some of the open 25% capacity into producing the other product. Both line running at 100% is a better outcome and utilization of your assets. That's how I would look at shifting players.

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Denise Chanterelle's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:40 pm

It’s up to Head Coach McCarthy to tell his DC what needs to happen here. While I will always be grrateful to McCarthy for bringing a SB title to GB, that was almost a decade ago and he will soon be in the hot seat should the Packers season go south this year. It’s make or break time for him IMO, and sure hope he’s aware of that and does what is needed.

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GLM's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:52 pm

I agree....time to start Reggie, and move Clay to the middle, where he can still make a difference. This should probaby have been the plan even before Burks' injury. Let's face it...counting on Burks to start and play a full season in the middle was a long shot, anyway...a nice to have, but not something the team should count on just yet...going forward into next season and beyond? Yes...

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

August 25, 2018 at 02:56 pm

Play clay at ILB until Biegel or one of the other young LBs (Thomas, Grier, Donnerson) are ready for the assignment and start Gilbert on the outside.

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Oppy's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:15 pm

I didn't see this comment before posting mine, I agree.

FWIW, I think Burks took full advantage of his preseason snaps and looked like he was up to the task of being that guy. Hopefully his shoulder separation heals up and he's GTG later in the season.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 25, 2018 at 05:43 pm

In my opinion Jones is a bit too light for run support at MLB. He does better in coverage but I can’t see him in run support like a Ryan type back.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 10:02 pm

I think we should look at signing Bowman if Burks is out for any length of time. We need run linebackers and at the moment only Martini is available. Martinez can’t do everything and Burks is a smaller cover backer body anyway.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 25, 2018 at 08:51 pm

The problem with this is Pettine likes smaller faster ILBs and Matthews is neither. I'm sort of shocked that it seams like the author has not read up on what Pettines wants.

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Chuck Farley's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:06 pm

The way his d is playing he should be happy with anyone who can get the job done

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MITM's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:01 am

David Harris was not a smaller faster ILB

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Rak47's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:59 am

You're right, D. Harris was 6'2 250 and ran a 4.59 at the combine. He was a big and fast LB similar to Clay.

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Chuck Farley's picture

August 25, 2018 at 09:04 pm

I just do not see a big change in d schemes from capers to patune.could it be that mm is deciding the scheme and petunia is expected to run it.
I remember mm had a hissy fit when capers moved cm3 to the middle. Cm3 did a good job there too, the position I thought he should have always played but mm wants him pass rushing.
I wonder how much authority these d coaches really have?.
I mean mm has an o coach but mm calls the plays which in turn runs the offense. Duh.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2018 at 10:03 pm

It is preseason. Not going to show much beyond vanilla for player evaluation. Let’s see what the D does when real football starts.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 25, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Novorrow Bowman please.

Per PFF, he was decent last year despite tough circumstances

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Tundraboy's picture

August 25, 2018 at 11:17 pm

Agree. The plan was always having Perry be the bookend to Matthews. Now it will just have to be Martinez perhaps.

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Pauly's picture

August 26, 2018 at 12:39 am

OMG,,, Taysom Hill is going to look like one of TT's worst mistakes. Keeping Linzy Pipkins as 7th CB instead of Hill!! He played far better tonight than either of GB's backup QBs. He keeps getting knocked about his age but when QBs are playing into their late 30s, he is still a young man.
His infectious enthusiasm and will to win reminds me of a big, fast Farve with a strong arm. Time will tell I guess.

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MITM's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:03 am

Yea, I dont know how much more the guy could have done to make the team last season. Hill wins 2 more games than Hundley last year.

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MITM's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:16 am

Am I the only one who has noticed Martinez looking completely lost out there a good amount of the time so far this preseason? His reads and run fits have been awful at times so far, and he has gotten engulfed by blockers far too often. He also looks like a diferent player appearance wise as well, he was never a bigger ILB to begin with but he looks tiny to me right now for some reason, with a noticeable amount of muscle mass gone.

Anyway, Clay Matthews could move inside and when he has he has been for sure above average there. Not sure why people disagree on that. if for some reason they absolutely refuse to bring someone in from the outside that is. I wouldnt understand that at all because of the injury history of Clay and Perry and now Burks is going to have problems with that shoulder all season now as well. Hopefully they are waiting for cuts.

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Bret Iverson's picture

August 26, 2018 at 07:18 am

Keeping Burnett on a one year deal looks like a good idea now. The Packers may make a trade prior to cuts or look at waived players at OT, S, and LB.

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Grandfathered's picture

August 26, 2018 at 07:45 am

Why not Martini in the Jake Ryan role? Martini and Thomas could be enough to hold the spot until Burks recovers. Martini looked good on ST also.

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Packer Dave's picture

August 26, 2018 at 08:41 am

I don't think the pack are in need of a thumper inside (ex Bowman). We need fast guys to meet RB in space and defend the middle from those damn dump passes and quick slants that KILL us every year.

Moving clay inside gives us a guy who can slam RB and force game plans for him blitzing from all over. This lets Gilbert start. Win win.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 26, 2018 at 11:21 am

And I was pleased to see Biegel play better on Friday. He just needs more reps and he will get them if Reggie starts.

Beigel was finally crashing in on the edge and turning RBs inside where the DL was making solid tackles. And he made good decisions in pass pro too and made tackles. Maybe he is finally getting it.

Fackrell looks ok at times...but at his age and 3rd year in the NFL, I fear his ceiling is very low and he may have already reached it.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

August 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

Williams has said he could play some safety this year. Both rookies and King look ready at CB.

Maybe we should put Williams next to Ha Ha and move Jones to ILB where he belongs. Just put him there, leave him there, and let him learn one position.

Then rotate Matthews, Perry, and Gilbert at OLB, rather than moving Clay inside and beating up Perry and Gilbert with poor depth.

Let's put our best group out there, and let Jones be the inside blitzer and sideline-to-sideline pursuer we need up front.

Ah, who am I kidding? This is the Packers. They don't do smart things.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 26, 2018 at 11:14 am

I actually called for this IF Burks was going to be out for a while.

CMIII did play well at ILB and with him and Machinez in the middle you have 2 three down ILBs.

It also fits Pettine's strategy to bring pressure on the QB in unpredictable, multiple ways. I could see many creative stunts and post snap, disguised blitzes that would send CMIII from the ILB spot.

And he can always take plays outside too and Josh Jones could come in to play ILB.

The best idea would be to move Clay and trade for Mack...the odds get better he gets traded with every day he sits out. It would be a crying shame if the Jets or horror of horrors, the Bears get him. Both are talking with the Raiders.

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lucky953's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:05 pm

NEWS FLASH: Packers just traded CB Lenzy Pipkins to the Colts for ILB Antonio Morrison, a 2016 4th round pick. He started 15 games last year with 100+ tackles. Looks like a food move by Gutes.

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lucky953's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:08 pm

Morrison may indeed eat up opposing ball carriers but I meant to say “good move Gutes!”

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LayingTheLawe's picture

August 26, 2018 at 01:16 pm

awesome trade Pipkins doesn't even make the team most likely. I guess CB must be in bad shape for the colts to take this

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 27, 2018 at 09:00 am

The last Packer ILB to make the Pro Bowl was CMIII in 2015.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 27, 2018 at 09:00 am

The last Packer ILB to make the Pro Bowl was CMIII in 2015.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

August 27, 2018 at 01:15 pm

Moving Clay Matthews to ILB makes sense if Gilbert is on the outside. Although Matthews has lost a step he is still a force to be reckoned with. So this would be a pretty good move to take advantage of each players skills. It will be interesting to see the final cuts and who ends up on the practice squad. And how injuries will effect the coaches decisions on who stay and who goes. Tough choices lie ahead.

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