The Pittsburgh Steelers have been searching for stability at the offensive line coach position since Mike Munchak left in 2018. The search continues, three candidates later, as their latest candidate has just moved on, the Chicago Bears announcing earlier today that they have hired Chris Morgan to be their offensive line coach.
Morgan was hired by the Steelers in 2021 to be their assistant offensive line coach to Adrian Klemm, who had just been promoted to head line coach, replacing Shaun Sarrett, after spending two years as assistant himself. He spent the previous six seasons as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line coach, however.
Klemm left the Steelers with two games remaining in the 2021 season after getting an opportunity to coach in the college ranks, with Morgan finishing out the season as head line coach on an interim basis. The fact that he has already taken another job may suggest that Pittsburgh was not seriously considering him to be their full-time offensive line coach.
His departure guarantees that, whether by their choice or not (we don’t know for sure), the Steelers will now have their fourth different offensive line coach in as many seasons. Sarrett, who had been an assistant since 2013, coached the group in 2019-20, succeeded by his own assistant, Klemm, who then departed, with his assistant, Morgan, finishing out the 2021 season.
Could he be replaced with the man who last gave the group stability? As we have discussed in recent days, Munchak appears likely to be out after spending the past three years with the Denver Broncos. The respected position coach spent the 2014-2018 seasons with the club and turned their offensive line into one of the most respected in the NFL.
Munchak made a lateral career move entering the 2019 season to take the same job in Denver after originally interviewing for their then-vacant head coaching job, which went to Vic Fangio. The Broncos just let Fangio go, and new head coach Nathaniel Hackett is looking for a line coach who better aligns with his offensive philosophy that he ran in Green Bay.
It is possible that Munchak returns in another capacity on the Broncos’ coaching staff; it’s likely that he may want to, as his original intention for leaving was to be closer to his daughter and grandchild, who are in the Denver area.
It was reported yesterday that Munchak has already received multiple opportunity offers elsewhere in the league. Assistant coaches are free to pursue those opportunities regardless of their contract status when a head coach leaves. He is still under contract for the 2022 season.
Of course, there are many other offensive line coaches around the league and within the football ranks at other levels, but there’s an obvious reason that the Steelers would like to see Munchak back. He presided over what was arguably the team’s best offensive line in their history.