The Pittsburgh Steelers have had more than their share of offensive line woes in recent years as injuries, youth and coaching changes have taken their toll . So its not surprising that the Steelers jumped at the chance to grab a coach with the high pedigree of new Offensive coach Mike Munchak.
Munchak 53, was a 9 time Pro Bowl guard with the Houston Oilers and is a NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman. He began coaching for the Oilers in 1994 a year after his retirement as a player.
Mike Munchak. spent over 30 years as a player/coach for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans organization and now heads into his 33rd year in the NFL.
Munchak served as head coach of the Tennessee Titans over the last three seasons before being fired January 4th of 2014. The Steelers had just fired their offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr and wasted little time in their pursuit of Mike Munchak.
Munchak explained just how he and the Steelers came together in a recent story by Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest. Here is an excerpt…
Mike Munchak: “A lot of it is about timing,” said Munchak. “I was available, and the Steelers had an opening at the same time. Pittsburgh itself for me is more Pennsylvania, and being from Pennsylvania I have a lot of family and friends who live in this part of the country. That was a huge plus for me. And then football-wise, there is the tradition. The Steelers’ tradition is something that I’ve competed against for many, many years. As a player (for the Houston Oilers), we were in the same division. I got to see first-hand what it was like, the success Pittsburgh has had over the years, year-in and year-out, always a team everyone wants to beat. I really liked that. I’m big into tradition, I think it’s important, and I was curious to see what it was all about and what it was like. To be part of that now, just getting my feet wet, (I’m) excited about the opportunity.”
Munchak did not have to take the job with the Steelers as the Tennessee Titans reportedly still owe him $3 million for 2014. He touched on his reasons for taking the offensive line job with the Steelers…
Mike Munchak:“I wouldn’t have just taken a job to take one, as much as I love working and I love the game and I love teaching, I knew it would be going from being a head coach to probably going back to coaching the offensive line,” said Munchak. “There were some other opportunities I looked at, but then it came down to, ‘Do I want to coach the offensive line?” And with that meant moving and doing all those things that come with a coach’s life, so it had to be a good opportunity.
“The chance to come here to coach just made sense for me. I thought it was a good fit when I came in and met Coach (Mike) Tomlin. We had known each other over the years just in competing against each other, but I never had a chance to sit down and spend a lot of time with him talking football. And then with Coach (Todd) Haley, who is the offensive coordinator. They were the main guys I spent time with when I came to town, and it felt really good.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a young offensive line with great potential and having a coach with the high level skill set and knowledge that Mike Munchak brings should go a long way in making this offensive line the best it can be.
Players such as Maurkice Pouncey,David DeCastro and Kelvin Beachum should thrive under the tutelage of one of the greatest offensive lineman ever to play the game in Munchak.
It looks as though the Steelers may have finally found their offensive line coach and by the sounds of things Mike Munchak may have found a new long term home…
Mike Munchak: “Even when I became a head coach, I wasn’t looking to be a head coach,” said Munchak.” I wasn’t beating the drums and having my agent out there, because I didn’t have an agent. I’m the same way right now. I took this job because I think it’s a great fit. I think this is a great opportunity in a great city with a great organization, and I have a chance to coach some young offensive linemen I think can be really, really good. When you have a great quarterback anything can happen, and the Steelers’ defense is something that’s always been good. I’m for the moment, man. This is where I want to be. I could see myself being here a long time if it works right for everybody and I just kind of take it one year at a time. I’m looking to be here for the long run.”
To read the full story on Mike Munchak by Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest and Steelers.com follow this link… Munchak on why he chose the Steelers