Will Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak ever become an NFL head coach again? It’s a fair question to ask and already he’s once again being suggested as a possible candidate to become the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2019 by at least one major media analysts.
“I think Mike Munchak would actually fit with (Browns general manager John Dorsey),” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Monday on the ‘Move the Sticks Podcast’ that he co-host with fellow network analyst Bucky Brooks. “And Munch has done a great job with that Steelers o-line and that’s an area that when you watch the Browns play, they’re terrible upfront on the offensive line, their personnel is better than what they’re playing with.”
Many people have probably already forgotten that Munchak, who has been the Steelers offensive line coach since 2014, interviewed for the Browns head coach position back in 2014. Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam, however, decided to hire Mike Pettine to be the Browns new head coach and Munchak was hired to the Steelers coaching staff not long after that.
While it’s now been several years since Munchak was last a head coach with the Tennessee Titans, he was considered a candidate to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason but ultimately decided to turn down a second interview opportunity.
“I made the decision to withdraw my name from the Arizona Cardinals head coaching search as they continue through their interview process,” Munchak said in a statement issued by the team this past January. “The timing for my family was not appropriate for me to pursue this potential opportunity, but I am very excited with the decision to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Munchak is now 58 years old and would be 59 by the start of the 2019 regular season. At that age he would then be one of the six oldest NFL coaches if hired by the Browns to replace current interim head coach Gregg Williams and that assumes that both Dirk Koetter and Marvin Lewis will be retained past the 2018 season by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.
Personally, I see the Browns next head coach being much younger as that seems to be the hot trend as of late. Additionally, the Browns need to consider that they have a very young quarterback in Baker Mayfield that needs developing and thus they might want to surround him with coaches closer to his age that can perhaps relate better to him than perhaps an older one might.
As good of an offensive line coach that Munchak is, he’s yet to show that he has great upside as a future head coach as he compiled a record of 22-26 in his three seasons with the Titans in that same role.
I’m sure that this won’t be the last time Munchak’s name is thrown around as a potential future head coach candidate and while it would certainly stink if the Steelers lost him to another organization after the 2018 season, I have a gut feeling that won’t ultimately be the case.
Munchak played 12 seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Houston Oilers and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.