All of a sudden, we’re talking about Jack Ham and Mike Munchak. At least Munchak knows why he’s being discussed. He made remarks yesterday regarding how the offseason unfolded and whether or not he spoke to the Pittsburgh Steelers about a job before they hired Pat Meyer as offensive line coach.
But he talked about a lot more than that. Jumping on 93.7 The Fan with the Cook and Joe Show, he did a lot of reminiscing about his five-year stint in Pittsburgh—and particularly about how he built lasting bonds while he was there, part of the nature of the offensive line.
“That’s what’s kind of unique about it, is you have guys coming together who are very unselfish, who want to help each other, and that are telling everyone’s trade secrets of how you do this, how you do that, what’s the best technique”, he said about the fraternity that linemen have, even across teams.
And he had a front-row seat to one of the best offensive lines during his tenure with the Steelers, for which most believe he was largely responsible. But it wasn’t just their play or their coaching, but also their bond and longevity.
The group during that period largely consisted of Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle, Ramon Foster at left guard, Maurkice Pouncey at center, David DeCastro at right guard, and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. There was also Kelvin Beachum and Matt Feiler, for example, along the way, but that’s really the group.
“You watch these guys work and compete, and the relationships they have, they’re relationships you’re gonna have for the rest of your life”, Munchak said. “I know Pouncey and Al and DeCastro, Ramon, they’re gonna be best friends forever because of what they experienced playing on Sundays in Heinz Field”.
“That’s pretty cool, and the fact that I still have a great relationship with them, talk to them quite a bit”, he added. “That’s kind of the fraternity that o-linemen have that I think other positions just don’t have”.
That shouldn’t be any surprise to hear, because that’s pretty much what everybody was saying when he left in the first place. He even remained in close contact with his successor in Pittsburgh as offensive lien coach, Shaun Sarrett, who was his assistant for those five years.
It’s clear that Munchak’s time in Pittsburgh was special for him, and one wonders if he might not still wind up back here one day. He made is clear that he is not retiring because he loves the game too much, and is hoping for the right opportunity to come along in the next year or two.