One of the biggest additions all offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers could be the hiring of Mike Munchak as the offensive line coach.
Without drafting a player or signing a free agent yet, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert views the offseason as a success already simply by the addition of Munchak.
“It was real exciting to have the opportunity for him to join us,” Colbert said, via Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “I think [the players] will be all eyes and ears when you have a Hall of Famer talking to you and trying to teach you and I think they’re excited for that.”
Colbert also said Munchak may have been the most respected offensive line coach in the NFL prior to becoming the Titans’ head coach in 2011.
Even though the hiring of Munchak took place about a month ago and the Steelers are still talking about it now gives you a small idea how excited they are about the former Tennessee Titans head coach joining the staff.
Typically offensive line coaches don’t receive this much publicity, but considering the fact that the Steelers offensive line has been in shambles and have gone through three offensive line coaches under Mike Tomlin — Larry Zierlein, Sean Kugler and Jack Bicknell, Jr., the addition of Munchak is huge.
However, now that they have a coach with a pedigree such as Munchak, it should go without saying that the expectations are now big.
Getting Maurkice Pouncey back from injury and the continued development of former first-rounder David DeCastro will help the Steelers attempt to meet those expectations. Munchak’s biggest challenge though will be working with tackles Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert in particular, as Munchak tries to fortify an area that’s been a liability in recent years.
The Steelers shuffled Adams and Gilbert around last season, eventually starting seventh-rounder Kelvin Beachum when their results were less than spectacular.
We are months away from seeing if Munchak can take the Steelers’ offensive line to the next level, but given the amount of hype and attention he has received, the bar will be set pretty high.
Anything less than dramatic improvements across the board may be viewed as a disappointment.