When Charlie Wegher, the longtime Agoura High football head coach, found himself in the unfamiliar spot of taking over as defensive coordinator for the Chargers in 2010, he knew just who to call for a strategy session.
“I’d always been the offensive coordinator,” said Wegher, who had no one on his staff who was ready to take on the roll that season. “We run the exact same defense that Oaks (Christian) runs.”
Clay Matthews, Jr., the 19-year NFL veteran linebacker, had installed the Chargers defense as the defensive coordinator during the time that his son, Clay Matthews III, now a star for the Green Bay Packers, was a linebacker for Agoura.
“So I called him up and I asked him, ‘Can we get together?’” said Wegher. “He said, ‘Absolutely.’ He came over and we sat down and had some meetings and went over a few things. And he shared everything. He was very helpful with that.”
Matthews had moved a few miles up the road to coach at Oaks Christian when his youngest son, Casey, who now plays in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, decided to attend the Westlake Village-based school.
“Since then, he’s also had meetings with our current defensive coordinator, Sean Ryan,” said Wegher. “So, he’s just that kind of guy. Obviously, we compete against each other, but he’s been real helpful as we got our defense squared away.”
Wegher said that looking at film of Oaks Christian’s defense is not that mysterious.
“The nice thing about this week, you break down the film and you know exactly what you call that and how to coach it, because we both run the same stuff,” he said.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t be fooled into thinking you’re sure you know what’s coming. After all, to use a baseball analogy, if a manager or coach knows you have his signs, is he likely to keep them the same, or change them up?
“It probably can work both ways,” Wegher said. “There are different scenarios you put out there. You can kind of see what’s coming, but they can also cross you up with some new wrinkles that you’re not prepared for.
“So you can’t get all fired up about all that stuff. You’ve just got to go play.”