Steelers News

Munchak Explains How Family Played Big Role In Decision To Leave Steelers For Broncos

New Denver Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak talked to the local media on Thursday and immediately the former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach was asked to answer a question about what ultimately led to him choosing to switch NFL teams over a week ago. As expected, the Hall of Famer pointed to how family has always been a major factor in his NFL job decision-making process after he was fired from his head coaching job with the Tennessee Titans in 2013.

“I was with one organization for over 30 years in Tennessee and Houston, and when the wife and I, at that point we we’re leaving Nashville, we always thought that family would be a big part of the decision going forward,” Munchak explained. “We ended up going to the Steelers, which got me in the right state. I grew up in Pennsylvania, went to Penn State, so it was kind of nice to get back and also wanted to be with a great organization, which we were there.

“So, going forward we thought the same thing and I came here for the [head coach] interview and I thought that went well and I knew the Broncos are always a great organization. As a player, I had a chance to see them knock me out of playoffs a couple times, so I knew how special it was here. And obviously then I got in the same city as family, so it was like a double a plus for me. An opportunity to be with family but also be part of a great organization that wants to win, has won three Super Bowls and is working hard to win more.”

Munchak was then asked to explain how things transpired after he initially failed to land the Broncos head coaching job but then a few days later decided to take the job as Denver’s new offensive line coach in lieu of re-signing with the Steelers.

“It was just kind of the way things worked out,” Munchak said. “My contract was up as an offensive line coach with the Steelers, so timing, and in this business timing is such a big part of it, that you’re available when a job’s available. So, obviously after I was moving forward, I was doing my contract with the Steelers, and this opportunity came up a couple of days later. And I talked to John [Elway] and Vic {Fangio] about the opportunity and then thought about over the weekend.

“I think from my visit here, it helped me a lot – spending time with John and seeing this place and seeing what they’ve been accomplishing and always knowing them from a distance but never being in there to see what it was like. And was really very impressed with everything I saw and the attitude and the culture that they were creating here, so I knew that was a big plus and then obviously having family here was another big plus and so it made the decision easy.”

All of what Munchak said on Thursday matches all of the previous reports concerning what led to him deciding to move on from the Steelers. Him having a daughter and grandchild in Denver made his decision to switch NFL teams very easy. It’s important to note that Munchak also confirmed on Thursday that he was set to re-sign with the Steelers had he not been offered the offensive line coach job with the Broncos.

It’s unfortunate that the Steelers lost Munchak to the Broncos, but it’s understandable as to why that happened. It’s also understandable that Munchak didn’t want to sign a contract extension last year with the Steelers so that he would be able to keep his options open this offseason. He will certainly be missed in Pittsburgh and it will now be interesting to see how quickly he’s able to turn around the play of the Broncos offensive line, which we surely should expect to happen.

You can watch Munchak’s full Thursday session with the Broncos local media here.

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