Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/2/13
Atlanta Falcons DE Cliff Matthews has bulked up this offseason in an effort to play both inside and outside on the defensive line. Matthews, a 2011 seventh-round pick, is looking to get an advantage by being versatile enough move around the defensive line.  He doesn't need to get much larger as the Falcons like light athletic defensive tackles. Atlanta drafted two defensive ends this year, so Matthews is just making himself more versatile in order to secure a roster spot. According to Daniel Cox of AtlantaFalcons.com, Matthews’s size is as big as his intention for a dominant role on defense. Cox writes: ‘It's not an instance where your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Matthews has beefed up this season and it's because he's completing a switch to a more versatile defensive lineman, one that can play inside and outside. He's a piece in the defense that coordinator Mike Nolan is anxious to use: "He is bigger. He is stronger. At the end of the year, if you’ll remember, in the playoffs games, even in sub pass situations, he went and played as an interior lineman. That’s kind of what he’s doing now. He’s a guy that is playing some end and tackle. It certainly fits his playing style. I’m excited about Cliff.” After practice on Thursday, head coach Mike Smith said Matthews had added about 10 pounds and referred to him as one of the strongest players on the team.’
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