Titans Name Zion Christian Academy's Paul Brenner Week 3 H.S. Coach of the Week

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans have named Zion Christian Academy's Paul Brenner as the Week 3 Titans High School Coach of the Week.

During this past Friday's contest, Brenner lead his Zion Christian Eagles into a balanced game with a combination of running and passing, accompanied by a dominating defense effort. With such a great strategic game plan, the Eagles defeated the Richland Raiders, 28-6.

Thinking of ways to make the game safer, Brenner made the decision to become a part of Heads Up Football this summer. We reached out to Coach Brenner to discuss the Heads Up Football program and the impact it has had on his team and parents.


Q:As the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Zion Christian, why did you think it was important for your program to be a part of Heads Up Football?

BRENNER:First of all, we want to provide the best for our kids safety-wise and instructionally. I also thought it was a great way to learn more about football, not just from the safety aspect but from the practical aspect as well. We (coaches) got to try every way we can to help kids learn. Not all kids learn the same way, so anytime I can learn something new, maybe it will be easier for them to understand.


Q:With teaching the drills and overall being involved in Heads Up Football, have you found your players being more consistent tackling during the games?

BRENNER:We have! Our defense has shown much improvement from last year.


Q:What did your parents think about Zion joining Heads Up Football?

BRENNER:I don't think the parents were aware about the program until we told them about it. What we were able to do was hold a camp including our middle and high school players involving the Heads Up Football instructional videos, not just on the tackling, but also heat and hydration.

Our kids were able to experience, firsthand, the experience I had at the Heads Up Football Safety clinic. It had an immediate impact with my players and of course they went home and told their parents. A few days later we held a clinic with the parents and they really enjoyed the information.

Of course every parent wants to know we are doing everything possible to keep their child safe. So the parents welcomed the program and loved knowing we talked to the players about nutrition, heat and hydration, and the overall heads up football program.


Q:How did your athletes welcome the change? BRENNER:They liked it and it brought more credibility coming from their coach. More importantly, the instructional videos helped show how the drills should be performed.

Personally demonstrating a drill, that's one way kids can see it, but viewing the drills on film before going out and actually performing and walking through those drills, it helps because they have already seen it, broken down and at full speed.

The biggest thing that helped is the terminology. As coaches, we are constantly telling kids to wrap up and get upset when they hug the guy (their opponent). Then we tell them not to wrap because they are basically hugging, so being able to say "rip through (final step of Heads Up tackling)," helps a ton.


Coach Brenner will continue his efforts to make the game safer for his student-athletes.  As the Coach of the Week winner, Brenner will receive a $1,000 grant benefiting the Zion Christian High School football program. The Tennessee Titans provided grants for teams across the state for over 15 years. Over that period the Titans have provided $177,000 toward the Titans High School Coach of the Week grant program.

Click here to learn more about the Heads Up Football Program!

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