Ex-Steelers Offensive Line Coach Leaves Door Open for Future Return: ‘We Talk’

Mike Munchak Steelers

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images Mike Munchak, offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, looks on during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 17, 2014.

On Friday May 20, 2022, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak appeared on 93.7 The Fan with Ron Cook and Joe Starkey and admitted that “the hardest thing I ever did was leave (the Steelers),” making reference to the five seasons he spent coaching the team’s offensive line.

“My years in Pittsburgh were awesome,” he added, before noting that leaving for a job with the Denver Broncos in 2019 “was a family decision more than anything.”

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Mike Munchak Lost His Job in February

But now Munchak is unemployed, as new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett replaced Munchak with Butch Barry in early February.

Asked point-blank if Pittsburgh called him about a potential return to the Steel City, Munchak demurred.

“As far as … no, we talk,” he said, before stopping himself and saying, “that’s not something I really want to talk about. At the time I was trying to stay here in Denver out west and so, no, it’s not something we ever really discussed…. When that was going on in Pittsburgh I was more 100% focused on trying to stay out in this part of the country and it didn’t work out this year for that to happen.

Munchak went on to wax poetic about Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, saying, “there’s no better head coach in football — as a player to work for or as a coach to work for. I learned so much from him and the Rooney’s and the way they run their organization and for me that was a great learning experience.

Asked if he’s in the market for work, Munchak, who is 62, said he’s not ready to retire.

“No, I love the game too much. I’d love to continue to work. Especially offensive line coaching, it’s something I love doing, I love being around the players — whether they be teenagers or in their 20s or 30s it’s something I love doing and something I’d like to continue doing. So yeah, hopefully if the right opportunity comes up this year or next year, whenever, I would continue to coach.

But Munchak seems to recognize that if he wants to continue his NFL career, he’ll need to be away from his family for a time.

“I’ve been blessed to always have a job, which has been nice since I retired from playing football, but so much of it is about the opportunity, and the fit, and the timing,” he began. “The timing obviously unfortunately wasn’t great for what was going on in Denver. My family was down here and having the opportunity to work in the same city that your family is in is a rare opportunity and I was hoping to keep that going. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out this year but I am hoping to continue to work so we’ll see what happens in the future.

The Steelers Are Moving Forward With Pat Meyer

Meanwhile the Steelers have hired former Chargers and Panthers offensive line coach Pat Meyer to replace Adrian Klemm, who “jumped ship” before the 2021 season came to an end for a job at the University of Oregon.

On March 15, 2022, the Steelers proceeded to add a new assistant offensive line coach in Isaac Williams, who comes to the team from North Carolina Central University.

Meyer and Williams are charged with improving an offensive line that was kissing close to the bottom of the league in both run block win rate and pass block win rate.

As for Munchak, he entered the NFL in 1982 when he was drafted No. 8 overall by the Houston Oilers out of Penn State. He played his entire career for the Oilers and made nine Pro Bowls by the time he retired following the 1993 season.

He went on to spend 17 seasons as an Oilers/Tennessee Titans assistant before serving as Titans head coach from 2011-13. He was Pittsburgh’s offensive line coach between 2014-18.

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