By John Newby
(247 SPORTS) – One of the Steel City’s favorite coaches could soon be heading to Denver to join Vic Fangio.
Friday afternoon, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Broncos have “notified the Steelers of their intention to speak with offensive line coach Mike Munchak.” According to Rapoport, his contract with Pittsburgh is up, and he is generating a lot of interest in the organization. This follows a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the plan to move Gary Kubiak to offensive coordinator fell through due to philosophical differences. Does this mean that Munchak will be interviewed as the offensive coordinator, or is general manager John Elway simply looking to improve this struggling offensive line? At this point, no answer has been provided, which makes this interview very intriguing.
Originally a hot prospect following the numerous coaching changes this offseason, Munchak has been the proverbial Bell of the Ball after a successful stint running the Steelers offensive line. The Browns, the Packers, and even the Broncos were doing homework on the former Titans head coach as a possible option to replace either Mike McCarthy, Hue Jackson, or Vance Joseph. However, those positions were filled by other options, which seemingly left Munchak in Pittsburgh. This potential interview with Denver now changes the situation.
Munchak, who declined a second interview to become the Arizona Cardinals’ next head coach last offseason to remain in Pittsburgh, is without question the NFL’s premier offensive line coach. Over the past two seasons, three of his offensive linemen in Pittsburgh — Maurkice Pouncey, Alejandro Villanueva and David DeCastro — were selected to the Pro Bowl. Chris Hubbard, Pittsburgh’s top backup lineman last season, signed a lucrative deal with the Cleveland Browns this past offseason. B.J. Finney and Matt Feiler, formerly undrafted rookies, have excelled for the Steelers while being coached by Munchak, who went 22-26 as the Tennessee Titans’ head coach from 2011-13.
“What makes Coach Munchak great first and foremost is that he’s a great person,” Villanueva told 247Sports during the 2017 season. “He’s a person that has a great set of values that works harder than anybody. He’s a person that truly understands the game from a technical aspect. He’s not gonna really worry about things that just happen in football where other coaches might spend too much time thinking about those little mistakes. He’s such a good person and he’s such an admirable man in every single way. The way he behaves, the way he carries himself. He’s very consistent, treats everybody the same. He’s always the same person.”
While he is known as the best offensive line coach in the business, Munchak was slightly less successful when running the Titans. As a head coach for three years, he led Tennessee to a 22-26 record only reaching a winning season once (2011). As an assistant, he is possibly the best in the business, so landing his services in Denver would be a major victory for new head coach Vic Fangio.