2014 is crucial year for Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley after back to back 8-8 seasons and to say that he’s happy about now having Mike Munchak on board coaching the offensive line is understatement.
“Really nobody was happier when Coach (Mike) Tomlin, Kevin Colbert and Mr. Rooney were able to pull off getting him to come on board,” Haley said of the Steelers’ new offensive line coach, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “He’s a great teacher. He’s great at what he does, the best in the league in my opinion. He seamlessly transitioned into our staff. He’s a stud.”
Munchak’s job moving forward is to turn five offensive linemen into studs for the Steelers and hopefully keep all of them healthy for an entire season in the process.
In his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, Haley has directed a Steelers offense that has finished 28th and 29th overall in the league in rushing yards per attempt and that needs to improve drastically in 2014 if the team expects to make a run at a seventh Lombardi Trophy. Haley believes that Munchak is up to the task because of his experience not only as a player, but as a head coach as well.
“Not all great players are great coaches. But he’s definitely one of those great players that transitioned into being a great coach,” Haley said. “The head coaching experience is a benefit because he doesn’t just see it from his position group or his perspective. He sees the big picture, which I take pride in doing, having been there.”
As for Munchak, he believes his new group of players are now not only realizing their own potential, but also hopefully enjoying the process of improving.
“I think they’re seeing the skill around them, the plays that we can make down the field and they’re excited knowing that our big play is giving Ben (Roethlisberger) an extra second to throw a football or opening a hole,” Munchak told Brown. “So I think together it’s going to be fun. It’s been fun for me so far me and I’m hoping that they’re enjoying it, too.”
While Munchak believes his group will improve this season, he also understands that the process of getting better will take some time.
“I think you got some guys that can really do some good things, and again I’m asking them to do different things than they’ve done in the past,” said Munchak. “They’ve had three line coaches in three years so everything is not going to change overnight and what we want to do.”