There was a little bit of excitement yesterday after it was reported that Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak declined to accept an interview request for the head coaching vacancy with the Miami Dolphins. The 58-year-old has emerged as one of the hottest candidates for a number of vacant seats—of which I believe only one has been filled so far—but he also loves working with the Steelers and with their offensive line.
If he is choosing not to even take interviews, then it’s pretty obvious that he’s not staunchly motivated to move up in the coaching ranks. This is something we should have already known, of course. He spent a long time as a position coach before he ended up in the head coach seat with the Tennessee Titans virtually by default as the last man standing in that building. And then he quickly accepted another position coach job. It’s what he loves to do.
But just because he’s not willing to take any head coaching job doesn’t mean that there isn’t any head coaching job he would take. We have already relayed a report that he has very serious interest in the vacancy with the Denver Broncos. Of important note is the fact that he has a daughter—and granddaughter—who lives in Denver. Family is one of the main reasons that he chose to withdraw his name from the Arizona Cardinals search a year ago.
Not only is he strongly interested in the Broncos job, the Broncos are strongly interested in him, too. In fact, Ian Rapoport reported that he is being regarded right now as “the early favorite” for the job, though they continue to march forward with additional interviews.
From @NFLGameDay: More on the #Bucs pursuit of retired coach Bruce Arians… while #Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak has emerged as the early favorite for the #Broncos vacant HC job. Bonus: Munchak can see his granddaughter regularly. pic.twitter.com/eNl2Urk2rG
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 6, 2019
Among the other candidates that they have interviewed are a pair of defensive coordinators, Vic Fangio and Matt Eberflus. They have also interview Brian Flores, Chuck Pagano, and Zac Taylor. All but Munchak and Taylor are defensive coaches.
Here’s the kicker, though. According to Rapoport’s report, Munchak is staying in Denver until the Broncos reach a decision. Now, that would not be as significant if, as I said, his daughter didn’t live in Denver. He’s obviously spending time with his family while he is there.
But it certainly indicates who serious he is about taking the job if he is offered it. He will be gone, plain and simple, if the Broncos choose to bring him in. And there has already been talks about Gary Kubiak returning and helping him to run things.
If Denver goes in this direction, the Steelers obviously have an in-house candidate in Shaun Sarrett to coach the offensive line. Alan Faneca has spent the past couple of offseasons working with the offensive linemen as an intern while considering if he wants to pursuing a job in coaching full-time, so the team may inquire about his level of interest in joining the staff as well.I