INDIANAPOLIS – First year offensive line assistant coach Kevin Mawae is no stranger to the Colts-Titans rivalry.
The eight-time Pro Bowler spent the final four seasons of his Hall of Fame career as a center and fan favorite for Tennessee.
“When I was with the Tennessee Titans, it was the heyday,” said Mawae. “Peyton was there, Dwight. They were good games.”
After a brief hiatus following his retirement, Mawae decided to get into coaching. He joined the Chicago Bears staff in 2016 before being named a quality control analyst for Arizona State University.
“When you grow up in a locker room your whole life, that’s what you miss the most – being around the camaraderie of the guys,” said Mawae. “I knew I wanted to get back on the sideline and I had to do that as a coach. You spend 19 hours a day to do two hours of work that you love, and that’s being on the grass.”
The transition into coaching was a natural progression for Mawae following his 16-year playing career, but he did not expect to learn as much about the game as he did on the sidelines.
“There are parts of the game you compartmentalize when you’re a position player, but when you’re a coach, you have to see the full picture,” said Mawae. “Learning defensive structures on the back end, why we do things, all the motions and the shifts.
Sunday’s divisional matchup will mark Mawae’s first trip back to Tennessee as a coach.
“Nashville is a great city, I enjoyed playing there,” said Mawae. “I endeared myself to the fans, I’m looking forward to it.”