Matthews tabbed to toe Titans’ line
Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:26 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — New Tennessee coach Mike Munchak has hired his friend and former teammate, Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews, to coach the Titans’ offensive line.
Matthews was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the then-Houston Oilers and went on to play 19 seasons for the franchise, earning 14 consecutive Pro Bowl selections and nine first-team All-Pro honors. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
“For me this is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Matthews said. “It is such a unique opportunity to work with Mike because I think he will do a great job. It is just one of those things I couldn’t pass up.”
He spent the last two seasons as an offensive assistant for the Houston Texans and replaces Munchak, who was hired as Jeff Fisher’s successor on Monday.
Among the players he will be coaching is his son, Kevin, who was signed to the Titans’ active roster in December after spending the season on the team’s practice squad.
Munchak said Matthews should be able to easily pick up where he left off at the offensive line since Matthews is so familiar with the Titans’ system.
Matthews started as a rookie out of Southern California and played all five positions on the offensive line, starting 116 at guard, 87 at center and 39 at tackle.
“I am very excited that we were able to work out something with Bruce,” Munchak said of his friend and former teammate. “He is a great friend, but he also is a great coach.
“He has paid his dues as an assistant coach and is ready for this opportunity.”
Since his hiring, Munchak has dismissed offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger along with defensive assistant Rayna Steward and offensive aide Richie Wessman.
Munchak was drafted by the then-Oilers and played 159 regular season games before retiring in 1994.
He became the fifth player from the franchise inducted into the Hall of Fame — the first to spend his entire career with Adams’ NFL team.
Munchak also had the club record with nine Pro Bowl berths during his career.
Adams retired Munchak’s No. 63 in 1996, joining Campbell, Jim Norton and Elvin Bethea in rare company with that honor.
Heimerdinger was among the finalists to become the Titans’ next head coach prior to his dismissal from the team.