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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Is nepotism working for Kevin Matthews?

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Last year on a patchwork offensive line that lacked both quality and depth, Kevin Matthews was part of the problem.

The Titans let him go after the year was over, restocking the center spot with fourth-round pick Brian Schwenke and veterans Rob Turner and Chris Spencer.

Turner went on IR a long time ago, and Schwenke’s dealing with an ankle injury though he practiced fully on Wednesday.

The Titans needed an extra center when Schwenke went down. They found Matthews, who’d signed with Washington on May 7 and was released there on Aug. 31.

Here’s what’s happened with Matthews since:

Signed by Titans Tues., Nov. 12

Waived by Titans Tues., Nov. 26

Signed by Titans Thurs., Nov. 28

Waived by Titans Sat., Dec. 7

Signed by Titans Tues., Dec. 10

He played Nov. 11 against Indianapolis (not on offense), he was inactive Nov. 24 at Oakland, and Dec. 1 at Indianapolis.

Once Schwenke was back in the lineup after missing that Nov. 14 Indianapolis game, I figured that would be the end of Matthews.

The Titans played a similar roster game with Kyle Devan last year when they had depth issues.

But often when they get so deep at a position, they turn to a practice squad guy. The Titans have Tyler Horn on their practice squad.

Munchak said Wednesday that Horn can’t snap. Maybe they shouldn’t list him as a guard/center on their roster if that’s the case.

Anyway, Kevin Matthews is the son of Titans offensive line coach Bruce Mathews, who’s Munchak’s best friend and fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer.

When a back-of-the-roster spot goes so often to a son of an assistant, I think it lends itself to a question about nepotism. So I asked it.

Here’s the exchange:

Me: “Are you concerned with appearances at all there?”

Munchak: “What appearance is that?”

Me: “The appearance of bringing in Bruce’s son for the last spot in the roster.”

Munchak: “No, why would that matter?”

Me: “Cause he’s Bruce’s son?”

Munchak, with raised voice: “So what? What does that have to do with anything? The fact that he’s his son is why we bring him in or not bring him in?”

Me: “Yeah. I mean you often promote a guy from the practice squad, you didn’t promote (Tyler) Horn. You get a guy that you’ve cut already (after last season).”

Munchak: “We need somebody that can play center. Horn’s not a center for us. So to me that never crossed my mind. We would never do something like that for a place on the roster.”

Kevin Matthews was on the Titans practice squad for 14 games in 2010, then was promoted for three games, starting one. In 2011 he was inactive for 15 games and didn't play in the other. In 2012 he played in 14 games with two starts.

This is technically his third year.

Third year minimum base salary is $630,000. So each week Matthews is on the roster he makes $37,058.