It’s pretty apparent that Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak likes his job, and likes where he is. While he took an initial interview for the vacant head coaching position with the Arizona Cardinals, he declined to participate in a second follow-up interview when it was extended to him.
He released a statement through the team essentially saying that he was grateful for the opportunity but that it was not the right time for him at the moment to pursue it, and that he was satisfied with the work that he has before him with the Steelers.
After all, how could he not enjoy his position right now? He is in Orlando right now with the Steelers’ coaching staff working with the Pro Bowl roster, and he has three of his own offensive linemen there that he gets to coach. And he probably believes that he has at least one more lineman that he works with regularly that has the potential to be there.
Maurkice Pouncey, the team’s center since he was drafted in 2010, is headed to his sixth Pro Bowl. He has made it there in every season in which he has been healthy. Right guard David DeCastro, in the meantime, has been a participant for three years running, while left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is in his first Pro Bowl.
The entire group—as well as six other Steelers players—is down in Orlando for the Pro Bowl, with the team having a complete turnout for the game, the obvious exception notwithstanding. While the season may not have ended as they had planned, they can at least close it out together in this way.
“It will be fun for us in an atmosphere that is more laid back”, Munchak said about coaching his linemen for the exhibition game. “We are usually in an atmosphere that is very intense and serious. Plus, you get to meet other players around the league you played against, and it’s a great atmosphere for them to exchange ideas, techniques and have a good time”.
The coach knows that he has some stability ahead of him. All five of his starting offensive linemen are returning in 2018, and only one of them—the lone exception being Ramon Foster—is also under contract for the 2019 season. Some of them are even signed beyond that. Villanueva just signed a four-year deal in the summer. I believe DeCastro has at least three years left as well.
We don’t know what the long-term future holds. Perhaps one day he will become a head coach again. He was promoted in Tennessee from offensive line coach to head coach several years ago and held the post for three seasons, and reportedly was only let go because the ownership wanted him to make coaching changes to the staff that he was not prepared to do.
Whatever awaits him in the future, it seems he is content to let it play out in real time. He really seems to be quite fond of the position that he is in right now working with Villanueva, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, and the rest of the group—not to mention Shaun Sarrett, his assistant since he arrived on the scene here.