Steelers Lose Former ‘Offensive Line Coach of the Year’ to Bears

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On Wednesday the Chicago Bears announced that they have hired former Pittsburgh Steelers assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan as their offensive line coach. Morgan was with the Steelers for less than a year, having been hired on February 8, 2021 to support Adrian Klemm, who had been promoted to Steelers offensive line coach less than a week earlier.

Morgan’s departure ensures that the Steelers will have a new coach—or two—working with the team’s offensive line in 2022, as Klemm “jumped ship” in December of last year, moving on to become offensive line coach, run game coordinator and assistant head coach at the University of Oregon.

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Mike Tomlin: Chris Morgan Had a ‘Tremendous Impact’

Some may argue that that’s not a bad thing, considering how the Steelers offense rushed for the fourth-fewest yards in the NFL in 2021 averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, tied for fourth-worst in the league.

But it’s worth noting that the Steelers rushed for 190 yards in Morgan’s his first game as interim offensive line coach, having taken over for Klemm prior to the team’s home finale against the Browns.

“I thought he had tremendous impact,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, speaking about Morgan’s contributions at his press conference the day after the game. “I don’t want to overstate it. Obviously he ran the offensive line room and made critical decisions regarding the division of labor and the formulation of the plan. He’ll do similar things this week,” noted Tomlin, referring to the season-finale at Baltimore.

Now the former Offensive Line Coach of the Year (Pro Football Focus, 2015) will be taking his 13 years of NFL coaching experience to Chicago to work under new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus. That includes six seasons as offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons (2015-20), where he earned the aforementioned honor.

What’s Next for the Steelers O-Line?

According to Brooke Pryor, who covers the Steelers for ESPN, Mike Tomlin is likely to “external options” to fill its offensive line coach opening.

One possibility might be former Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who appears to be out of a job, now that new Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett has hired former San Francisco 49ers assistant Butch Barry as the team’s new offensive line coach. Munchak served as the Steelers offensive line coach between 2014 and 2018, but moved on to the Broncos to be closer to his daughter, who lives in the Denver area. Prior to joining the Steelers, Munchak was the head coach of the Tennessee Titans for three seasons, having been promoted after 14 seasons as the organization’s offensive line coach.

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Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has other coaching holes to fill, including its defensive coordinator position, having recently witnessed the retirement of longtime assistant Keith Butler.  

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