|Titans coach Mike Munchak addresses high school coaches at the 12th annual Titans High School Coaching Clinic. |
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Titans coach Mike Munchak welcomed attendees before they attended the eighth of 10 Titans organized team activity practices. He told the coaches how important their work with youth can be in making players better on the field and shaping character off it.
Munchak said many of the players the Titans interview at the NFL Combine each year and most of the players on Tennessee’s roster cite the influence of a high school coach as having a major impact on their lives — sometimes immediately after the role of a parent and sometimes as a parental figure.
The coaches were able to observe position drills up close and see the offense and defense compete in team periods and seven-on-seven drills before a lunch break and continued the day by meeting the Titans’ staff. After introducing his staff, Munchak said he wanted the coaches to “understand what a difference maker you can be” and had Titans linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio, who coached high school football for more than 20 years, share some of his experiences.
Parlavecchio said he looks forward to the clinic each year because it’s a “chance to go back to some of the happiest days of my life.”
Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray followed with a presentation on drills the Titans have been using during OTAs, as well as information Titans coaches expect players to learn to prepare for each opponent. Special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor then talked about how coaches can maximize their time spent on special teams by building on skills that they are already teaching on offense and defense.
The coaches then split in two groups for sessions with Titans assistant head coach/strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson and Dr. Jason Hubbard, a neurosurgeon who worked with Baptist Sports Medicine to establish the first concussion program in Middle Tennessee for high school athletes.
Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone demonstrated drills that he’s been using with Titans QBs, and Bruce Matthews held a session about long snapping on the Titans’ practice fields before the high school coaches attended breakout sessions with position coaches to conclude a full day of activities.
“I think it is nice to have them here because we are hoping we can help them in some way from what they are watching in practice with the work ethic of some of the players and watching some drills with coaches,” Munchak said during his media session Tuesday.
“Our goal obviously is to try to give them something they can take back to the kids and give them drills to work on or maybe another way to look at something,” Munchak added. “If it is something small, it is huge thing for us.”
Scott Tillman, head coach of Lipscomb Academy, and Dan Davis, defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School said they each gathered information to take back to their players. High school teams can have their first padded practices July 29.
“You know coaching is teaching, and y’all have the best teachers in the world,” Tillman said. “You have two Hall of Famers (Munchak and Matthews), and I really enjoy watching the coaches and players interactions and I think it makes me a better coach.”
Davis said he gained a lot from the session on fitness and nutrition and the session about concussions, as well as the tips he can pass along to players and said he plans to bring his players to a Titans training camp practice that is open to the public.
“You want to be able to go back and show them this is what we’re teaching you and it’s happening at the next level, whether it is college or the pro game,” Davis said.