NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coaches welcomed area high school coaches to Baptist Sports Park Tuesday for the 11th Annual High School Coaching Clinic.
The clinic included observation of the Titans' offseason training activity practice, time in the film room, demonstrations in the weight room and on the field, discussions about player safety and strategy, and breakout sessions for individual positions.
Titans coach and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Mike Munchak greeted the coaches and described the areas the Titans were trying to focus on during the practice.
Following lunch, Titans assistant coaches introduced themselves and often recalled fond memories of their time as a high school football player and the coaches who helped them along the way.
Special teams assistant coach Chet Parlavecchio, who coached high school football more than 20 years and won a state title in New Jersey before joining the Titans in 2011, told the group they have a unique "opportunity to affect lives and make a difference." Parlavecchio said he often acted as a coach and surrogate father to his players. He encouraged the group to provide goals that allow for players of different abilities to improve.
Echoing the important role that a high school coach can play, long-time special teams coach Alan Lowry said he still calls his high school coach at least once every two weeks. Lowry then delivered specific information on the kicking of Rob Bironas and punting of Brett Kern.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray conducted a session on how the Titans' staff aims to improve players' bodies, minds and souls and described teaching methods; and offensive coordinator Chris Palmer conducted an interactive passing demonstration.
Offensive line coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews talked about the transition that followed his 19 seasons in the NFL but before he came back to the league as an assistant coach in 2009 with Houston. He joined Tennessee's staff last year. Matthews coached youth sports and volunteered for his son's high school football team before returning to the NFL.
"I operated the camera because I bought the camera for the school," Matthews said with a laugh.
The 14-time Pro Bowler, who played more seasons and games with the franchise than anyone, later conducted a long-snapping clinic. He joked about coming out of retirement for a couple more years since NFL rules prohibit defenders from contacting long snappers.
High school coaches of various ages and experience attended the clinic.
Glenn McCadams, who is preparing for his 31st season at Lipscomb Academy and 44th year of coaching overall, said he looks forward to attending the clinic every year. A change that Lipscomb implemented after one clinic was the use of a lightning meter to improve player safety at all outdoor practices, McCadams said.
"We've gotten a lot from it over the years, different ideas and thoughts," McCadams said. "Coach Munchak has taken it to another level. He's personally involved. It's been very well-organized and we felt very welcome. It's been a really good day."
McCadams said his favorite part of the day is the breakout sessions with the assistant coaches that allow for specific questions about techniques and strategies.
"All of us are looking to get better every year and make adjustments," McCadams said. "Sometimes you're not sure about some things, and usually there are two or three ways to skin a cat, so you like to know what they feel like is best."