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Houston Texans

Matthews dives into coaching


Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews has returned to the NFL, joining the Texans' coaching staff as an offensive assistant. Matthews settled into the new position on Monday and spoke with Texans' TV's Brooke Bentley about his expectations for the season.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): You're a Hall of Famer. You've been to 14 Pro Bowls. Now, you are joining the Texans as a coach. What made you decide to get into coaching?

Bruce Matthews: I think it's something I've always had a passion for. I'm very close with Mike Munchak with the Tennessee Titans (offensive line coach). I really felt like I got a good introduction to what it's all about. We have been blessed with seven children. Really, it's gotten to the point where I think it's the right time for my family. The passion has always been there, so I'm very excited for the opportunity.

Brooke Bentley: Why the Texans? What drew you to this team?

Bruce Matthews: Primarily, we live here and I love Houston. I loved it from my playing days with the Oilers. I played with Gary (Kubiak) in the Hula Bowl back in 1983. I like the way they are doing things here; I like the way they are running the team. Mr. McNair is first-class; everything I have ever heard about the organization is first-class; it's the right way to do things, which is very important to me.

Brooke Bentley: You have known coach Gary Kubiak for a while. What did he say when you told him you were interested in coaching?

Bruce Matthews: The biggest thing is that they are well-stocked with offensive line coaches. I told him it was something I was excited to get involved in, but I wanted to come in and do it the right way and learn and do whatever it takes – do the hard work, the grunt work, if you will. I actually enjoy that. I think it's something I'm really going to embrace. My family is really excited; all my friends are really excited. I look forward to the team having a great season this year.

Brooke Bentley: What are going to be your day-to-day duties as an offensive assistant?

Bruce Matthews: I'm still learning that, but primarily drawing the run game, formulating and putting together game plans for the players weekly, and hopefully getting to do a little coaching on the field as well.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley: Are you going to be working much with Alex Gibbs. How familiar are you with his zone blocking scheme?

Bruce Matthews: He actually coached me in the Pro Bowl. Obviously, his reputation is so great, and I'm just looking to learn as much as I can and get a grasp on the offense as much as I can. The thing about the Texans is they are so close. I think they are in a position now to make the playoffs and do some damage in the playoffs, which I know the town of Houston – people can't remember what it was like in a number of cases. But it's a great place to play, especially when you are in the playoffs.

Brooke Bentley: You were a legend with the Oilers. Talk about some of your fondest memories of playing in Houston.

Bruce Matthews: It's funny, the kids nowadays when they talk about the Oilers say, "Oh yeah, my dad used to throw stuff at the TV when they were playing." Really, the fans and the 'Dome and everything involved in that whole operation was just so near and dear to me. It was devastating when the team moved, but I had a great five years up in Tennessee. I think the biggest thing, unfortunately, was the near misses that we had. But playing with the great players that I was blessed to play with – you know, I played with Archie Manning, Earl Campbell, just so many great names, Elvin Bethea – I think it's one of the best kept secrets ever because unfortunately we don't have that stamp of approval of making the Super Bowl. But it was a great time to play. I played 14 seasons here and consider it home and liked it so much.

Brooke Bentley: You played a lot of different positions on the offensive line. What would you consider forte: run blocking or pass blocking?

Bruce Matthews: I think I did some things well and better than others, but I just tried to be an all-around player. I really enjoyed the competitive part of the game, the thinking part of the game. I tried to learn, more than anything, from the mental part of the game: the game plans, studying, studying my opponents. I think that's why I am so excited about coaching because I think in a lot of ways I can provide a perspective that a lot of guys don't give. Hopefully, I can share with them some things I saw as a player that I think will help them out.

Brooke Bentley: Have you talked to many of your friends in the league about making the jump from playing on the field to coaching on game days?

Bruce Matthews: The hours are a lot longer and the pay obviously isn't what a player's pay is, but having coached primarily high school and youth football, there is something special about coaching and going out there and seeing the guys you work with get better. It's really a whole new dynamic, but it's very fulfilling and there are a lot of different challenges. As a player, you could go out there and do your best, do everything you could and have peace about the whole situation. As a coach, you always think, "If we had done this or if I'd covered that, the result would might have been different."

Brooke Bentley: You nephew Clay Matthews said to me at the scouting combine that he would love to come to Houston. Are you giving him the sales pitch now?

Bruce Matthews: Unfortunately, I think he's too valuable a commodity for me to effect where he might go because he's going to be a pretty high pick, hopefully even the late first round, some people have said. He's going to go somewhere and be a great special teams player. He's always going to know what to do and do the right thing and play hard and have a great attitude. Any team that eventually ends up with him is going to have a great player. I think even more so the Texans would be a great fit for him.

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