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Reports Out Of Denver Strengthen That OL Coach Mike Munchak ‘Unlikely To Return’ In 2022

There have been indications for some time now that the Denver Broncos—the organization now being put up for sale—were unlikely to retain much of their coaching staff after parting ways with former head coach Vic Fangio this offseason. That includes offensive line coach Mike Munchak, whom they targeted just three years ago, and even originally interviewed for the head coach position.

More confirmation came yesterday that Munchak was unlikely to remain in Denver, courtesy of Mike Klis of 9 News. “The issue apparently is new head coach Nathaniel Hackett is going to run the traditional West Coast, zone-blocking scheme while Munchak’s specialty is with the gap, or man-on-man, blocking schemes”, he writes for the outside.

Klis does note that Munchak, who is still under contract for one more season, could potentially return under a different role, perhaps something like a run-game coordinator a special assistant of some kind; however, their new head coach may want a clean slate with people who are versed in his philosophy. It was noted in the piece that he has already had offers from other teams. Assistant coaches are permitted to seek other opportunities regardless of their contract status when a head coach departs.

The Broncos elected to replace their defensive-minded head coach with the aforementioned Hackett, who was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers in recent years. He had already requested to interview his offensive line coach there for a job under him in Denver, but the Packers promoted him to offensive coordinator to take Hackett’s place.

Munchak is one of the most well-respected position coaches in the entire NFL, not just with the offensive line. A Hall of Fame guard in his own right, he effortlessly merged into coaching with the Houston Oilers, coaching there for decades.

After an aborted three-year stint as the Tennessee Titans’ head coach, the franchise parted with him altogether, and the Pittsburgh Steelers jumped on the opportunity to bring him in. He served as offensive line coach here from 2014 through 2018, turning the Steelers ‘offensive line to one of the best in the league.

While it wasn’t all down to his coaching, things have not been the same over the past three seasons, first under his successor, Shaun Sarrett, and then this past season under Adrian Klemm, who parted for a coaching job in the college ranks late in the season.

So the Steelers are looking for an offensive line coach. Munchak is almost surely soon to be available. The only reason that Munchak left Pittsburgh was to be close to his daughter and grandchild; if he is no going to be fired from the job that is near his family, there is ostensibly no reason that he wouldn’t want to return.

Pittsburgh is in desperate need of leadership in the offensive line room, with young linemen such as Dan Moore Jr., Kendrick Green, and Kevin Dotson in the building, and likely at least one draft pick coming soon, if not more. It would make a lot of sense, if possible, to try to entice Munchak to return to his post.

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