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Why is Cliff Matthews still on this team? Because he's a special teams whiz.

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Fact: Cliff Matthews doesn't tackle, he attempts murder

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Accolades from Keith Armstrong? Not going to happen. Wouldn't be prudent. Unless, of course, you're Cliff Matthews.

"He's another big 'thumper' that ... he kind of fills our role as that big linebacker," Armstrong said of Matthews. "But he's a physical guy; kickoff coverage, kickoff return inside guy that's going to smack people around for us. He's a physical football player. And it's really important to him.

"Cliff's going to lay it on the line for you. Really good football player. I love coaching him."

There isn't an exact science to composing a roster. Not to oversimplify, but it's not all about offense and defense. A good, built-to-last 53 man roster has to have a few special teams aces. And yet, Matthews gets a lot of crap. As a defensive end, he certainly hasn't exceeded expectations. If anything, he's just there. He's an option, but not a particularly attractive one. It's fair criticism.

As fans, we tend to look at rosters in a vacuum, forgetting silly things like the salary cap, special teams value, intangibles (and tangibles) we're not privy to; but let's not forget, this isn't Madden. There's a reason Thomas Dimitroff gets the big bucks. Sure, as fans, we're entitled to our opinions. We have the right to complain. But the Falcons didn't keep Matthews on the roster because of some ill-conceived notion that he'll develop into an impact player on defense. Just remember that.