AFC South: Mike Martz

Numerical nuggets

October, 5, 2009
10/05/09
8:06
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


Some AFC South-related stat nuggets from Sunday’s games:
  • Jacksonville wide receiver Torry Holt had three receptions in the Jaguars’ 37-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Holt, who has 884 career receptions, surpassed wide receiver Keenan McCardell (883) and moved into 10th place on the all-time receptions list.
  • Rookie head coaches Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts and Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos have led their teams to 4-0 starts. This is only the second time in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) that two rookie head coaches have guided their teams to 4-0 starts in the same season (2000: Al Groh, N.Y. Jets and Mike Martz, St. Louis).
  • The Texans 29-6 win over Oakland marked a second-best in two categories for the franchise. Houston’s 23-point margin of victory was the second-largest in franchise history, behind only a 29-point win over Cincinnati (35-6) on Oct. 26, 2008. The defense allowed the Raiders just 165 total yards of offense on the day, which was the second-fewest yards allowed in franchise history. Houston held Jacksonville to 126 yards on Dec. 26, 2004.
  • With 353 passing yards in the Colts’ 34-17 win over Seattle, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning recorded his fourth consecutive 300-yard passing game. Manning is the third player in NFL history to start a season with four consecutive 300-yard passing games. Only Kurt Warner (2000) and Steve Young (1998) had longer streaks in NFL history (six consecutive games).
  • The game was Manning’s 51st 300-yard game, which pulled him into a tie with Dan Fouts for third most, behind only Dan Marino (63) and Brett Favre (56). Manning’s two touchdown passes gave him 342, which tied him with Fran Tarkenton for third most in league history, also behind Favre (469) and Marino (420).
 
  US Presswire/Icon SMI
  After a Hall of Fame career as a player, Bruce Matthews is taking a shot at coaching.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

A three-coach-to-five-starters ratio is the sort of thing Bruce Matthews might have made fun of during his 19-year career as an offensive lineman with the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans.

But now that he's the third coach in just such a scenario, he's taken a softer stance and has a quip at the ready about it: "Until John Benton told me the Rams had four coaches for their two quarterbacks, or they did when Mike Martz was up there, I thought we were something special. But apparently that's not the case."

Alex Gibbs is technically the Texans' assistant head coach/offense, but he is the mastermind behind the line's run-blocking scheme. Benton is the offensive line coach and focuses a bit more on pass protection. Matthews is one of two entry-level coaches designated as an "offensive assistant."

There is little glamour in such a job. But during an illustrious career, Matthews never acted as if anything was below him. So it's not that surprising that the Hall of Famer, who turns 48 on Aug. 8, is just fine working at a photocopier, changing out the transparencies during an offensive line meeting or doing whatever is asked.

Still, glimpses of it can be striking.

"Me and Chester [Pitts] are back there, pointing," right tackle Eric Winston said. "'That's HoF over there, changing the transparencies.' I think that says nobody's above doing the little things."

 
  Bill Baptist/Houston Texans
  Bruce Matthews says he's trying to soak in as much information as he can in his new role.

A line entering its second year in Gibbs' system trying to spring Steve Slaton and protect Matt Schaub now has an additional resource; an offensive line encyclopedia at the ready.

"He's here to help us, he's not trying to come in and take everything over," left tackle Duane Brown said. "But he's always there for advice. You hear little stories about him and the guys he went against. He's played at different positions across the line. He knows what it takes to be successful and have a long career. Whenever he speaks up to say something, I'm all ears."

At a special-teams meeting during minicamp, Matthews sat quietly in the back of the room. When he raised a hand with something to add, coach Gary Kubiak said the entire room turned to get its eyes on the new coach.

"Some guys are huge talkers and you take bits and pieces," receiver David Anderson said. "Some guys just talk a little bit and you've got to really listen to what they say. And that's the way I think Bruce is."

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