Steelers hire former Titans coach Munchak to lead offensive line
So the Steelers can land a high-profile free agent after all: Former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak is joining them as their offensive line coach, according to a team source.
Munchak told the Steelers on Thursday he was coming, and the sides were finalizing a contract Thursday night, said the source, who had knowledge of the negotiations.
Munchak, fired Jan. 4 by Tennessee after refusing to fire his coordinators, was a highly regarded line coach with the Titans/Oilers from 1997-2010 and is expected to be an asset to a mostly young Steelers line.
Munchak, a former Penn State All-America lineman, also had an offer from the Texans to be their offensive line coach, but he preferred to return to his home state. He is a native of Scranton, where the street in front of Scranton High is named for him.
Munchak is the third Steelers offensive line coach in three seasons, succeeding Sean Kugler, who left last year to coach UTEP, and Jack Bicknell Jr., who lasted only one year on the job before being fired, in part because of some of the young linemen's struggles last season.
The Steelers now have four coaches with head coaching experience: coach Mike Tomlin, coordinators Dick LeBeau and Todd Haley and Munchak, who had a 22-26 record in three seasons with Tennessee. The Titans beat the Steelers each of the last two seasons.
Munchak interviewed for the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions head coaching jobs. Munchak takes over an offensive line that has proven guards in the steady Ramon Foster and the fast-developing David DeCastro, a three-time Pro Bowl center in Maurkice Pouncey, but questions at tackle.
Kelvin Beachum took over at left tackle one-quarter of the way through the season after Mike Adams lost the job, but he is undersized for a full-time left tackle. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert was the lowest-rated starter along the line, yet the Steelers still do not consider replacing him with Adams, a former second-round pick who settled into a backup role after being benched.
Pouncey is recovering from a serious knee injury that occurred only eight plays into the season.
Munchak is a Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman and nine-time Pro Bowl pick who played for the Oilers from 1982-93. He had been a part of the Oilers/Titans organization as a player, offensive assistant, assistant coach or head coach for 31 years.
While many former head coaches return to coordinators' jobs, Munchak never has been an offensive coordinator, and he told the team he was comfortable returning to being a position coach.
Munchak, who turns 54 in March, taught the Titans' line the zone-blocking scheme the Steelers attempted to install last season, only to abandon after Pouncey was hurt. Fernando Velasco, who replaced Pouncey as the Steelers' center last season, was one of his starters in Tennessee.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- In reworking contract, Steelers WR Brown gets hefty pay raise
- Tomlin: Steelers were prepared for Bryant suspension as far back as draft
- Steelers’ Tomlin disappointed by Bryant suspension
- Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison believes Goodell will prevail in Brady ruling
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- RB Williams believes he’s making seamless transition to Steelers
- Healthy, confident Steelers LB Shazier ready for full speed ahead
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in preseason loss at Bills
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben