Matthews On His Mindset, ‘Murderleg’

NCAA Football: Compass Bowl-Vanderbilt vs Houston
Since the Eagles selected him 42nd overall back on May 9, stories have emerged about the extra lengths Jordan Matthews will go to ensure that he is putting his best foot forward.

Like how he broke down Eagles film prior to his visit to Philly (Matthews said he tried to do that for every team he had a meeting with during the pre-draft process); or how he asked for tape of the defensive backs he’d be facing at the Senior Bowl, then woke up before dawn to dissect it.

Big on precision, Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said of the Vanderbilt wideout“I think when the offensive coaches say that we want you to run this route at eleven and three-quarters yards…he’s going to be at eleven and three-quarters yards. He’s going to do exactly what he’s told to do.”




Does the SEC's all-time leading receiver consider himself a perfectionist?

"I like to say a technician," Matthews replied. "To think you are ever going to be perfect, that's absurd. I always feel like I try to be a technician. I try to take what the coaches give me, apply it to my game and do it to the best of my ability.

"I feel like I am one of the most competitive guys ever. I believe that's what really feeds into my work ethic. I want to be the first guy up, first guy in the building. I want to be the last to leave. I like to compete in everything I do. I'm going to try and eat healthier than you, I'm going to try and go out and practice harder than you, I'm going to try and stretch longer. It's kind of been ingrained in me over time because my parents were that way, my older brother is that way. This character has manifested in me and I feel like that's just who I am. I feel like in the NFL, everybody works hard. I just try and give myself an extra edge."

The Alabama native explained that some of his additional drive stems from the fact that he didn't get any offers coming out of  high school. He received one  from Vanderbilt only after another player decommitted.

"It wasn't like I was being looked over by some teams, I wasn't wanted essentially by anybody," he said. "It didn't matter what round I went in, free agency, I would still want to keep that chip on my shoulder and go help whatever team got me."

Matthews talks "Murderleg"

Following his press conference Friday, Matthews spent a few extra minutes in the hallway speaking with a smaller group of reporters. There he was asked for his take on everybody's new favorite kicker, Carey Spear.

"I think people have started a new nickname -- 'Thunderleg' or something," said Matthews.

"Murderleg," the group of reporters shot back in unison.

"Murderleg, that's it," said Matthews with a smile. "He is awesome. He is not your regular kicker, not your regular special-teams guy. At Vanderbilt, he would come in and lift with the receivers, with the running backs, with the quarterbacks. I think he repped out 225 something like 16, 17 times. Dude is a hard worker. In conditioning, in sprints, he always raced with me to make sure he was first. He is a professional."

The nickname came from a Vanderbilt blog because of Spear's reputation for launching himself at the opposition on kickoff coverage. One such instance came against Tennessee and elite return man Cordarrelle Patterson, now with the Vikings.

"When you watch the replay you can't see the sidelines," Matthews said. "but we were going crazy."

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  • daveH

    murderleg.

    • Richard Colton

      yeah, Murderleg

      • myeaglescantwin

        HODOR

  • Will

    Hope he can Murderleg some FG’s as well….

    • cliff henny

      not to ‘token’ everyone’s enjoyment, but the kickoff only landed at the 8 or 9, got suicideleg doing that already

      • chubbz0727

        looks like he was going for hang-time on that kickoff

        • cliff henny

          hope so. freeze it at :06, not a pretty picture.

          • Will

            Shame there was a load of available kickers…..Kickalicious where are you?

      • NCBiRDMann22

        Pretty sure MURDERLEG was setting him up for the short return so he could rearrange Pattersons face!

      • stamtown

        hahaha – wow, perfect henery nickname

        • peteike

          except when murderleg wins the job and then stinks, then becomes suicideleg. These things happen, mostly to our city

      • WorldPh_ingChamps

        Despite getting the ball at the 8/9/10 he still only got….oh nevermind it was still a 20 yard return….GELREDRUM.

        • daveH

          8/9/10 is a semi bond FLY ($US Interest Rate Swaps) ..I am currently working a 2.375/2.625 market

      • Corey Dawson

        Suicideleg, I love it. Murderleg and Suicideleg battling it out.

  • NCBiRDMann22

    MURDA!!!!!!!

  • daveH

    Jordan Matthews pronounces Murderleg better than anyone.

  • Steve

    Very off topic – but here’s the situation – my wife went to a benefit dinner on Friday evening and bid on a set of 7 tickets to a home game to be agreed upon between the donor and the winning bidder. The catch? I live in the Land of Giants, so these are tickets to a Giants home game. Of course I want the last game of the season with the Eagles coming to town, but I figure the donor might not want to give up that date/game (potential playoff implications, division rival, etc.). If you could pick any Giants’ home game besides the Eagles game, which would you pick? The only other games that wouldn’t cost me being able to watch the Eagles play are the Cards on 9/14 and the Skins on 12/14. Both interesting games…

    • NCBiRDMann22

      Um sell them…

      • Steve

        The idea of transacting with a Giants fan makes me a little queasy

        • NCBiRDMann22

          Not if you fleece them. Put a call into Howie and get the wheels turning.

        • GoBirds1

          Going to any Giant game particularly against the Eagles is a no win situation. I learned the hard way, think about it.

    • EaglesFanInPhx

      skins. division rivals and could have eagles implications. and watching djax..

      • Steve

        I like this idea too as it would be an all-day NFC East fest with Giants/Skins in the afternoon and Eagles/Cowboys that night. Leaning in this direction

    • cliff henny

      i get stuck going to a Panthers game every year, it’s more hassle than it’s worth, rather go to Coastal Carolina game. pawn them off, have to work with some people who you can trust (sometimes these things can comeback if you give them to wrong people)

      • Steve

        I would probably take this route if they had been Jets tickets, but somehow having the opportunity to bask in a Giants loss on their own turf is appealing to me. And if I go to the Giants/Skins game it’s a no-lose proposition. Still, hoping to get the Eagles game on 12/28.

        • cliff henny

          the issue is you have 7 tickets, so was assuming couple of those people will be Giants fans, and people you like. i hate the Panthers, but i go with friends/family who are Panthers fans, little tough to be an out and out jerk, want them to have fun too.

      • paul from nc

        Do you live in NC? I’m in Pinehurst.
        Juan Rivera was here for an Auto show at the club and I spent about 15 minutes talking to him pre draft.
        Since they had no receivers, I asked him if they had been interested in DJax. He said “Oh Yes”, but they wouldn’t/couldn’t beat the Skins offer.

    • Bob Scatchard

      How soon must U decide…..If the Giants are out of it by then you might be OK.

      • Steve

        Good question. I’m guessing we’ll need to have the dates nailed down before the season begins, but I’ve never done this before, so I’m not really sure how it works.

        • daveH

          “…but I’ve never done this before, so I’m not really sure how it works…”
          ..
          duh, that’s what SHE said

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I’d say ARI, only because (1) I saw them play in PHI last year, great game and they’re a very good team. I think they improved big-time. Facing the NFCW 6 games and then playing the Ginas? Eli will get destroyed; (2) At least you’ll have a rooting interest against NYG, can’t root for either against WAS

      • paul from nc

        Agreed, at least you’ll have a rooting interest against the Giants.
        By December, the Skins may be buried.

    • DoctorRick

      Hey, the donor put them up. You can negotiate, or get the wife to negotiate, for the Birdz and Giants game. I can hear her now, “My husband really wants to go to that game, that’s OK, isn’t it…? It would mean soooo much.”

      • DoctorRick

        Replying to my own reply. I am heppy, heppy, heppy to be coming to the Birdz vs birds (Seahawks).

  • Bert’s Bells

    Mulderleg. I want to believe.

    • JosephR2225

      Makes me nervous that nobody ever talks about him actually kicking the ball…

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Screw the kicks! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to see their kicker throw a shoulder and make returners say, “oh $hit, where’s Murderleg?”

        • anon

          hate for him to break something

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Don’t expect it every kick but just getting in guys heads would be enough.

          • Andy124

            Only things he’s breaking are the other teams’ returners.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            thankfully, Donnie Football is our backup plan.

            the Eagles, by far, have the best kicker tandem in the NFL between Donnie J’Owns and Murderleg

          • myeaglescantwin

            Donnie + anyone is a helf of a combo.

            i’d like to see one of these kickers make deep kick, or show 75% + in touchbacks before we anoint them.

        • paul from nc

          The kid has guts, but I think it looks like helmet to helmet.
          Also did you notice the kick can down only at the 10 yd line?
          I like all the stories, but doubt he’ll even be around after the 2nd cut

          • shady25

            Yeah I noticed that too. Going to look up his stats. We need more touchbacks

        • All In Eagles

          Loving the hits but let’s get real. He looked like he knocked himself out on that tackle, which is a big problem during a game if there’s one kicker suited up for game day.

    • Dpick

      He doesn’t kick touchbacks. He kicks it to the one and makes the tackle at the 15.

    • shady25

      I want to believe also. Need to look up his stats. God I hope this guy can kick and has a strong leg.

  • cliff henny

    really dont get the issue of finding a kicker. give me 6 months to learn Spanish on the Rosetta Stone, unlimited airline vouchers and i’ll head to South and Central America, i’ll make sure Columbia is my last stop. there’s probably over a million 20-25 yr old Brazilians alone that can hit the net from 60. find a failed goalie, these guys chip soccer balls 90 yards.

    • anon

      i’d get stuck at the beach…looking for “talent”

    • Dpick

      So you’re saying you will be up day and night in Columbia looking for prospects? Can you also find a CF and corner outfielder down there too?

      • daveH

        OMG decent idea—>imagine a movie where some dude flys 1/2 way around the world to find a kicker ..or say even better a PITCHER .. yeah! a pitcher from a distant land, some foreign country ..probably one with a billion people so popularity, internet clicks and streaming on netflix can be incorporated … yeah A PITCHER FROM INDIA!! and the movie shows how tough it is on them ….
        ..
        nah, sounds as stupid as a kevin kostner I’m the greatest nfl draft picker flick.

        • SChuck Pennyworth

          I laughed

      • Warhound

        Relief Pitchers!!!

        • WorldPh_ingChamps

          The only pitcher worth any relief is one filled with draft beer, preferably Yeungling black and tan….

    • JosephR2225

      What I get from this is that you would like a paid trip to go meet 20-25 year old South American men.

      • cliff henny

        well, it might get confusing. could be worse, end up in the Philipines getting “Crying Game’d”

        • paul from nc

          Cheaper to go to the back country like Deliverance

    • Spelling

      Colombia***

    • Hanibal Luis

      Million Dollar Leg?

    • UKEagle99

      The problem with failed goalies is their balls are the wrong shape :p You need a rugby kicker, they spank it through from the sidelines!

      • paul from nc

        nice use of balls and spank in the same 2 line post.

      • poetx99

        *PAUSE*

        (somebody had to do it)

        • UKEagle99

          ??

  • Dpick

    We going with J-Matt for the rookie?

    • Wes Hopkins

      Good God, I hope not. “JRoll,” “ARod,” and the like aren’t real nicknames. That’s weak sauce.

      • Joe L

        Agreed, so many nicknames are just incredibly lazy. But you know it’s gonna happen, and it’s going to stick.

        • Andy124

          absolutely, JL.

      • evanphilly

        his twitter account is @jmattjmattjmatt…so its bound to happen

    • southy

      For now can we call him NotCasey

  • DetmerWonAHeisman

    Nice video, but did you notice that the kickoff only made it to the 9 yard line???? The name is fun, but……Anyone remember the Viking game last year when we wouldn’t kick deep at all to C. Patterson because Henery couldn’t put the ball out of the endzone in a dome? I don’t think the 9 yard line is any improvement. With a name like “Murderleg”, your kickoffs should be going through the uprights.

    • anon

      I also notice how stunned the kid looked after he took that hit. But maybe he could be a good “gunner”

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      he was 20 yrs old then. I’m sure, like most 20yr olds, he’ll get a little stronger.
      And for the life of me, I can’t think of too many college kickers booming touchbacks reliably.

      • UKEagle99

        If not stronger at least he can get a 1 bar version of Lord Darkhelmet’s (Wes Welker) head gear.

  • JAMIN67

    After a few weeks of Shaun Huls’ special smoothies, Spears won’t just be kicking touchbacks. He’ll be putting it out of the stadium when he’s not de-cleating returners. Murderleg.

  • southy

    Didn’t Matthews say something to the effect of “Nobody’s perfect but Christ” in that response? Seems odd that you guys would just leave that part out without even using an ellipse.

    • Tony

      Does it really matter that much? It doesn’t seem to add to the football conversation.

      • southy

        It doesn’t matter in terms of the football conversation, but it matters in terms of journalism. You don’t get to pick and choose what parts of a quote you get to print unless you tell your readers that you’ve skipped something, usually by using an ellipse. That way we know there was more said, and we get to decide whether or not it matters.

        • what the what

          thats journalism 101. select quotes. for your own benefit. you do get to chose what goes in and what doesn’t……. thats the whole point.

          • southy

            I think you either just completely missed the point or went to some really dodgy school.

  • Jeff Asay

    That hit will get 15 yards and a fine. Helmet to helmet where Murderleg leads with his helmet and looks dazed after the hit. Though I could be talked into the hit being instigated by Patterson lowering his head and leading with it. Either way, would rather see the kicks going for a touchback as pointed out earlier.

    • travis papa

      He’s an open field runner not a defenseless wr 15yds doesn’t apply.

      • Jeff Asay

        No, I agree, the rules as written would allow for this hit as I understand them. I wavered as I typed my earlier comment. All the same, NFL is doing all it can to eliminate these types of head shots. Hopefully if the kid beats out Henery he won’t need to make these plays because he will be hitting them out the back of the end zone.

        • southy

          Might be a 15er against Patterson next time around for lowering HIS helmet. Of course, now that it’s a rule I haven’t seen them call it yet.

  • UKEagle99

    Seriously, this is all good fun but if we need our kickervto lay out their returners we need, a) a new special teams coach and b) a new sacrificial kicker named Casey.

    Hate to be a party pooper but that vid looked like helmets came together and murderleg got his bell rung.

    • EagleDuck

      Yeah, that’s a sweet hit from a kicker but he got rocked… We need a decent, healthy kicker, not a hard hitting one.

  • travis papa

    We need more murderleg in our lives after that

  • shady25

    Honors
    • 2013 SEC Academic Honor Roll
    • 2013 Wuerffel Award Finalist
    • 2013 SEC Co-Specialist of the Week (Nov. 30)
    • 2013 Allstate-AFCA Good Works Team
    • 2013 CFPA Placekicker Trophy Watch List
    • 2012 Second Team All-SEC (AP)
    • 2012 SEC Specialist of the Week (Nov. 6 and Nov. 26)
    • 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll
    • 2011 SEC Academic Honor Roll

    2013
    Spear enjoyed another superb season as Vanderbilt’s primary placekicker… One of only three players in team history named as three-time team captain… As a senior, recognized during halftime of the Sugar Bowl as one of 11 finalists for Wuerffel Award… Also became first Vanderbilt player ever included on Allstate-American Football Coaches Association Good Works squad… Set school single-season scoring record as senior by totaling 99 points… Made 15-of-19 field goals, including conversions from 54 yards at South Carolina and 50 yards vs. UAB… Contributed two field goals and a TD-saving kick return tackle in 41-24 victory over Houston in BBVA Compass Bowl… Capped regular season by kicking 38-yard FG in closing seconds to clinch comeback win over Wake Forest… The three-FG performance against Wake Forest earned Spear SEC co-Special Teams Player of the Week honors… 54-yarder at South Carolina was career long and tied for third longest in team history… Greatly improved his distance on kickoffs – 46 of 66 kicks resulted in touchbacks… Also contributed three tackles on kickoff coverage.

    2012
    Spear is in the midst of putting together the finest season ever by a Vanderbilt placekicker… Has connected on 20-of-24 field goal attempts, good for 83.3 percent, tops in the SEC among kickers with at least 12 attempts… His 20 made field goals sets a new single-season team record… He also was a perfect 27-for-27 on extra points, while handling a majority of the kickoff duties… Made 11 of his 12 field goal attempts, including five beyond 40 yards… Also was perfect inside 43 yards on the season, hitting 14-of-14 field goals… Kicked a career-long 52 yard field goal in regular season finale victory at Wake Forest to become the first Commodore to kick a 50-plus yard field goal since Bryant Hahnfeldt in 2006… Then added a 50-yard field goal later in the Wake game to give him the Vanderbilt single-season scoring record for a kicker with 81 points… Twice named as a SEC Special Teams Player of the Week… Had a total of 63 kickoffs for 3,847 yards (61.1 average per kick) and 22 touchbacks… Also known for his big hits on kickoff returns, as he has tallied three tackles on the season… One bruising tackle on coverage during win over Tennessee earned ESPN Top Ten Play status.

    2011
    Spear was ‘Dores’ placekicker duties for first eight games and served as kickoff specialist throughout the season… Regular season foes averaged only 18.5 yards per return against Vandy’s kickoff team with a long return of just 35 yards… Kicked off 64 times witht ten touchbacks… The exuberant kicker made 11 special teams tackles, including nine solo stops, many of which were spectacular collisions… Hit 4-of-7 field goal attempts and 26-27 extra points to rank third on team with 38 points… Made first three field goals before missing a pair at Alabama… Season-long 37-yard field goal made against Army. 14 rushing touchdowns.

    2010
    One of 13 true freshmen to see action, Spear served as the team’s primary kickoff specialist for the season…Nearly 40 percent of Spear’s kicks were not returned by opposing teams… Spear’s ability to kick high and deep limited opposing returners to a 20.7-yard average… Also credited with a pair of coverage tackles.

    High School
    Four-year letterwinner… Three-year starter as kicker, also started at punter as senior… Ranked among nation’s leading kickers by several services… As senior, helped Wildcats to 10-2 record and regional semifinals in Ohio large school Division I classification… As senior, hit 13 of 21 FGs, including state-record tying 61-yarder, as senior; 45 of 66 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks… Made seven FGs of 45 yards or longer in 2009… As junior, hit 14 of 20 FGs, with long of 51 yards… 39-yard punting average as senior… Two-time first team All-State; MaxPreps second team All-American as senior… Four-year soccer letter winner, earning second team All-State honors as senior… High academic achiever, National Honor Society member.

    Personal
    Carey Thomas Spear… Son of Tom and Theresa Spear… Born Jan. 5, 1992… Has two brothers, Charley and Colin… Dad is business manager; mom is electrical engineer… Fan of Cleveland Browns and Cavaliers… Accomplished pianist… Active in Catholic church.

  • CitizenCraig

    I think Chip’s Eagle’s have become my 3rd favorite team and the comments on this blog are hilarious

  • TheCatalyst

    Murderleg