Now that Mike Munchak has officially been appointed by Satan to
run a mobile meth-lab in Nashville coach the Titans, the logical thought is that he’d want his former Oiler line-mate Bruce Matthews to coach the offensive line. Contrary to popular belief, the Texans do NOT have to grant permission to the Titans to interview Matthews just because the job would be a promotion. In fact, the only time teams are required to allow coaches a chance to interview with other teams is when that interview is for a head coaching job.
I went around a bit with ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky on this topic earlier. He seems far from convinced that the paring is imminent. I think it’s very likely, if not a sure thing.
Texans have no history of denying teams permission to interview their coaches
Has that happened once in the Gary Kubiak/Rick Smith era? I don’t remember it ever happening. Of course, it’s possible that they have denied teams and it was never made public, but all I have to go on is what I know, and what I know is that the Texans are typically a bunch of nice guys in the front office when it comes to matters such as this. Teams don’t want to get a reputation for holding coaches back, but this, to me, is a special circumstance. Bruce Matthews just signed a new contract to stay in Houston, and it’s not the Texans’ fault that Bud Adams waited until most of the coach hiring/movement was over before canning Jeff Fisher. That’s Bud’s problem to deal with, not Houston’s.
Texans allowed Matthews to interview in Dallas for SAME JOB he has in Houston
Sure, it’s a little different since the Titans are a divisional rival, but if the Texans wouldn’t even deny the Cowboys access to interview Matthews for the same line assistant job, why would they deny him a chance to get a promotion AND work with his son Kevin? If you think the fact that the Titans are a division rival is enough to make up the difference in this situation, then I don’t think you know just how niiiiice the nice guys who run the Texans are.
Of course, it’s slightly different because when the Texans allowed the Cowboys access, Matthews still didn’t have a new contract. But if he’d had a year left on his deal, is there a single one of you who thinks the Texans would have told the Cowboys no?
I’m sure it’s what Matthews wants, plus his son is a Titan
That might seem overly simplified, but think about it – do you want someone on your staff who doesn’t want to be there? Sure, it happens in the NFL, but I would be shocked if the Texans organization denied Matthews a chance to both get a promotion AND work with his son (who by the way plays the same position his dad played). It’s a perfect match for Matthews, unfortunately.
Fans would be upset if Matthews leaves, but it wouldn’t be a huge loss
I’m sure Bruce is a very good offensive line assistant. The players love him, and he’s got a ton of knowledge to give. He may one day turn out to be a great line coach, or whatever other title he ascends to. But for right now, I have NO reason to believe that current O-Line coach John Benton didn’t have everything to do with the Texans excellent running attack in 2010, along with some guy named Arian Foster. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Texans weren’t very good in pass protection in 2010, so it’s not like Benton and Matthews were heading up an elite offensive line. They had their issues.
Yes, truly, the biggest cost of losing Matthews would stem more from who the team would be losing him to than anything else. A former Houston Oiler leaving Houston to join forces with the Titans and Bud Adams. Outrage! Pitchforks! It certainly is never good for a team to lose an asset to a division rival, but it’s not something I think we should be really upset about if (when) it happens.
…and I know I’m going WAY out on a limb here. Matthews will be the Titans offensive line coach. He’ll show up in Nashville with a fruit basket from Bob, Gary, and Rick with a card saying “Best of luck in 2011! You guys are on the right track!” along with a Groupon for a cookie cake.