Matthews and Matthews playing it cool
August, 5, 2011
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Mark HumphreyTitans offensive line coach Bruce Matthews tries to stay objective about his son, Kevin Matthews.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The default answer for a father coaching his son is that he won’t treat his boy any differently than any of his other players.
And surely Titans offensive line coach Bruce Matthews will treat Titans center Kevin Matthews the same as the rest of his group.
At least until it comes time to cut that group down.
“It definitely harder on dad, I will never shed the dad mantle,” Bruce Matthews said. “As much as I want to be objective, I can’t be. I love the kid. I say that in all honesty, that’s just how it is. So I don’t know yet that I will abstain from giving an opinion on him. But he’s doing well and I am excited by that.”
Kevin Matthews came in last year as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M and played in the final three games, with one start, after time on the practice squad. He said he was amazed by the calm of his linemates in an eye-opening experience.
After the season his position coach and dad’s best friend, Mike Munchak, got promoted to the top job, and hired his father to take his place.
“I’m not getting any special treatment or anything which should be obvious as this level,” Kevin Matthews said. “We joke around a lot and have a lot of fun in the meeting rooms and on the practice field. Being able to work with him every day, I really enjoy it and I think he’s enjoying it a lot too.”
“To get to work with him at the highest level is like a dream come true.”
The Titans have a set starting line and a backup pool of tackles Mike Otto, Troy Kropog and rookie Byron Stingily, swingman Ryan Durand and interior guys Fernando Velasco and Matthews.
Father has urged son to make it an easy decision for the team.
Son said there is a second level of pressure to make it to stick with dad.
“I’m making as little as you can make, so I don’t think they’ve got a problem with the money,” he joked. “Being undrafted there is that extra little chip that I carry around. Obviously I am fighting to make this team. If it goes the other direction, we’ll handle it. Hopefully we won’t have to.”
The guys joke sometimes about what they can say in front of Kevin for fear it would make it to their coach, but it’s all in good fun.
“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” starting left guard Leroy Harris said. “That’s pretty cool.”
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