While the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their coaching staff will be spending the next several weeks watching football from their couches, one among their ranks at least will be busy. That would be veteran offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who is reported to be set up with interviews for at least three head coaching vacancies over the coming weeks.
Munchak just recently completed his first interview of the cycle with the Denver Broncos after they fired their young head coach, having posted back-to-back losing seasons. The Broncos went out and signed Case Keenum at quarterback in free agency, but they still fell below .500.
Denver is the location that seems to concern most of those close to Munchak because he has family in the area. He withdrew his candidacy for the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals last season in part because he did not want to move his family.
This time around, however, Adam Schefter is reporting that he “Is said to have a strong interest in the Denver Broncos job”. At least for the moment, he also appears to be the top candidate, though that can change.
In addition to the fact that his daughter and his family live in Denver, Schefter notes that Munchak has also shared an agent with John Elway, which is another draw for him.
The Broncos interviewed New England Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores yesterday and will interview Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on Monday. Both of them are potentially strong candidates as well.
Schefter writes that Munchak “has been incredibly selective” of the job opportunities that he has been willing to consider over the past five seasons “because if his feelings for the Steelers”. The 58-year-old has clearly enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh and in working with the offensive linemen and his assistant, Shaun Sarrett.
However, this opportunity may be too good for him to pass up. It is coming at the right moment of his career, having sent three linemen to the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive season, as the Steelers seemingly head toward a crossroads.
There are also the personal connections that would allow him to be close to his daughter that can’t be dismissed. If he is the candidate that the Broncos choose to be their next head coach, it would be hard to imagine him turning that job down. After all, he’s not getting any younger, either, so if he wants to try that role out again, it may be now or never.