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Monday, February 7, 2011
The first of many Munchak staff questions

By Paul Kuharsky

We’ll learn more about Mike Munchak's plans as Titans head coach soon. But one automatic conclusion many are drawing is that he will look to hire his closest friend and fellow Hall of Famer to replace him as offensive line coach.

Bruce Matthews and Mike Munchak
Bruce Matthews, left, may not be available to join Mike Munchak's staff in Tennessee.
Maybe he will want Bruce Matthews, but that doesn’t mean Munchak can get him.

Matthews recently signed a new two-year contract to remain in his post as assistant offensive line coach in Houston. The Texans would not be obligated to grant permission for him to talk to Tennessee. Many remember a rule that mandated assistants be allowed to interview for jobs that qualified as promotions. That is no longer in place. The only post teams have to allow an assistant to interview for is a head-coaching job.

The Texans certainly don’t want to prevent a guy who’s worked hard for them and been a good influence on their players from climbing the ladder. But letting him go to coach the offensive line with one of Houston's division rivals would be difficult.

We’ll have to wait and see, but I wouldn’t write in Matthews' name on the open offensive line coach slot.

Munchak inherits a staff of 13, but executives said the new coach would be allowed to assemble his own staff. In addition to offensive line, there are vacancies at defensive coordinator, defensive line, running backs coach and receivers coach.

Another question: Will offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who was passed over for the top job in favor of someone who ranked below him, be asked to remain?