Mike Munchak has been less of an offensive line coach and more of a deity to Steelers’ Nation. But there’s always the chance Munchak gets back into the head coaching game. Something Mike Tomlin absolutely supports. Speaking with the Houston media and transcribed by the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Tomlin said he thinks Munchak will get another crack to run a team.
“It’s about what Mike wants,” Tomlin said. “I think a guy who’s as talented as he is and has the resume that he has (will have) choices, and the choices are his.”
The article also revealed, and I don’t think this was made public before, that the Houston Texans and Bill O’Brien offered Munchak their offensive line gig the same year as the Steelers in 2014. Munchak, of course, took the Steelers job, a decision I’m sure he doesn’t regret.
Tomlin praised the job Munchak has done, echoing the feelings of Steelers’ Nation.
“He needs no endorsement from me. It can be displayed in a lot of ways, the development of the men, the production of the men, the fact that we have three of our offensive linemen elected to the Pro Bowl. Mike does an awesome job.”
Munchak served as the Tennessee Titans head coach from 2011 to 2013, going 22-26 and never making a playoff appearance.
In 2013, the year before he got here, the Steelers were sacked 43 times, slightly above average in the NFL. In 2014 and 2015, the sacks were cut down to 33, an above average number. Last year, the Steelers were sacked the second-fewest, just 21 times, and in 2017, have been taken down 21 times through 15 weeks. That’s a top five ranking.
The run game has improved too, perhaps not as dramatically, but it’s clearly gotten better. Munchak has developed the likes of B.J. Finney, Chris Hubbard, and Alejandro Villanueva, the latter his biggest “win” as a coach. Villanueva was a converted defensive linemen that Munchak quickly molded into a franchise left tackle.
Talk to or hear from every play and you’ll get nothing but praise for Munchak (and his right hand man Shaun Sarrett). But that success is bound to get noticed league-wide. If Jeff Fisher can look for a job again, someone is bound to knockdown Munchak’s door. So enjoy Munchak while he lasts.
And if he gets a job elsewhere, Sarrett could be his immediate and logical replacement. It’s already known that Sarrett took over coaching duties from Jack Bicknell Jr. midway through 2013, a disastrous coach by all accounts.