The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will the Steelers still lose Mike Munchak this year after all?
It’s hard to believe the Steelers have already had such a busy news cycle in their offseason while there are still eight teams remaining in postseason play. It’s not even two weeks since Pittsburgh’s 2018 season came to an end yet there has been so much out there—with so little actually happening—that it feels like we should be in February by now.
So far the two competing headlines have been whatever is going on inside the head of Antonio Brown versus whether or not the Steelers are going to be losing their most valuable position coach since…I don’t even know who.
Mike Munchak, their offensive line guru who has coached up his unit into being the best in the NFL, has been receiving attention on the head coaching circuit for a couple of years now. He withdrew from consideration for a job last year and nearly got one this year.
The latter was with the Denver Broncos, and even though they hired another person to be their head coach, they’re still gunning for him to replace Sean Kugler (a former Steelers offensive line coach) for a lateral move.
Why would this entice Munchak to leave a place in which he has been very happy to work over the course of the past five years? In a word, family. Right now, he is not under contract—possibly because he preferred not to be extended last year—so he is free to leave if he wants to.
The Steelers will surely do everything they can to get him to stay, but with an opening right where his daughter and granddaughter lives, even a lateral coaching move has to be enticing. If he leaves, I wouldn’t in any way consider that an indictment on Pittsburgh, for the record.