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Mike Munchak Is The Right Guy At The Right Time For Pittsburgh


By Matthew Marczi

It was reported yesterday that former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak accepted the offer from the Pittsburgh Steelers to become the team’s offensive line coach this season. This is being widely hailed as a great get for a team that desperately needs a man that can lead a talented but young and unrefined crew of offensive linemen.

Born and raised on the eastern side of Pennsylvania in Scranton, Munchak became an accomplished guard playing for Penn State in college before going on to a Hall of Fame career with the Houston Oilers, garnering nine Pro Bowl bids in his 12 professional seasons.

Until now, Munchak had spent his entire professional career with the Oilers, and later Titans, organization, but now he is coming home to Pennsylvania. He spent 14 seasons in Houston and Tennessee coaching offensive lines and became among the most respected at it in the league. Now he will be doing the same in Pittsburgh after a brief flirtation as a head coach.

It’s somewhat reminiscent of Todd Haley, also a native Pennsylvanian who, after being fired from a less than ideal head coaching circumstances, came to Pittsburgh in a more familiar assistant coach capacity. Let’s hope that Munchak’s transition goes more smoothly. Has he met Maurkice Pouncey yet?

On a more serious note, even if Munchak’s second stint among the offensive line coach ranks proves brief and he goes off to a higher position in a year or two, I believe that the impact he can have on this offensive line, and thus this team, can be long-lasting.

It’s not very often that a player that was among the best at his position is also among the best at teaching others to play the position, but that’s what Munchak is. While he went to nine Pro Bowls himself, he sent his own players to 10 Pro Bowls as their position coach. The only lineman with Pro Bowl experience is currently Pouncey, though David DeCastro is certainly on the cusp.

Munchak can harness some of that raw ability and get the most out of this group of players, and can turn a player like DeCastro into a Pro Bowler, if not an All-Pro. But it’s not so much the interior of the offensive line that can most benefit; rather, it’s the edge protectors, the tackles, that could use the most elbow grease.

Marcus Gilbert has been the right tackle for three seasons now, and though his play has been affected by injuries, there’s still certainly much for him to work on. Like Mike Adams, he struggles to anchor against a bull rush, for example.

Adams is of course the biggest project now on Munchak’s plate. The former second rounder crapped the bed in his second season when given the chance to start at left tackle, showing glaring issues in pass protection, keeping his hands down and reaching when his feet get caught behind him. The organization would obviously be very appreciative if Munchak can salvage this high-investment player.

Not that Kelvin Beachum doesn’t deserve credit for taking hold of the starting left tackle spot, where he will presumably enter the offseason. But he, too, can benefit from Munchak’s wisdom. Of the team’s top six offensive linemen, four were drafted in the top two rounds over the last four seasons. Three will be entering just their third year in the league.

Historically, Mike Tomlin has been one to stack the deck for new position coaches by bringing in some new toys, but Munchak’s already got all the clay he can handle. It’s time for him to start molding a championship-caliber offensive line.

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • cp72

    Hi my name is David DeCastro. I am your new pet project

  • joed32

    Best possible choice!

  • dgh57

    Great news for this organization from top to bottom starting with the OL were everyone should benefit from Pouncey all the way down to Adams. That’s where it all starts is up front and we just received the biggest shot in the arm where this team needed it the most–the OL! Mike Munchak certainly has the resume with 9 Pro Bowls, being named to the all decade team of the 80′s, coached the OL for 14 years, voted to the HOF I mean what’s not to like here?! GREAT HIRE!!

  • JAMESH

    19-0, Baby!

  • grw1960

    There is hope and now expectation.
    I wonder what his input on Velasco will be?
    And I wonder if they will let him choose a late round pick? They seem to usually let new coaches choose a late round favorite.

  • srdan

    I am excited! This is better than any free agent signing we could have done. The impact should be felt immediately with a young oline.

    The impact should be bigger than drafting an olineman in teh first round.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Excellent hire!…hopefully we get 2 seasons with him…both Adams and Gilbert need grooming and I still think they need to look at OT and or C (if Valesco is not retained) late in the draft…Beachum is best suited to be the swing guy. If they can get this part fixed with Pouncey staying in one piece…good potential.

  • T R

    This is great.. hope this is great for velasco too..Hope velasco has not hard blood toward Munchak releasing him from Tenn to come play for Steelers.. Hope Muchak stays a while and does great things.. Ben would very happy as would Todd Haley..

  • dkoy85

    This is great! Now I’m all for going offense in the first round. Let’s get Ben the recognition he deserves by making this offense one of the best in the league- Elite QB, elite WR, and hopefully soon to be elite RB and O-line.

  • Tanner Blackman

    Couldn’t be any better than this. First we get him and now he’s coaching the senior bowl to help us get a mid to late round steal

  • James Kling

    Excellent. I really thought he’d get a HC job elsewhere, definitely one of the best OL guys out there. If he can get some of these guys to play to potential, watch out.

  • srdan

    Tomlin?

  • joed32

    I have read that they released Velasco to get under the cap with the hope of re-signing him at a lower cost. The Steeler opening came up and he was gone. We’ll see soon enough if there’s any resentment Velasco will be out. He had such a good year that he might get a better offer from another team anyway.

  • joed32

    I read that the Atlanta coaching staff is coaching the North and The Jaguar’s staff is coaching the South.

  • r4kolb

    Like he said since Dick Lebeau…….

  • r4kolb

    Stop. You sound like an Eagles fan after they win a preseason game.

  • srdan

    Right, because dick lebeau took the bungles to two superbowls.

  • srdan

    Ahhh, I get it. You are upset again because someone from the chins staff wasn’t hired. I can’t believe that 32 other teams overlooked Russ Grim…..AGAIN!

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Not that it wouldn’t have already been a smart move to keep Velasco anyway, I can’t see the Steelers parting ways with him now that Munchak is hired.

    I just THINK about the possibility that the Steelers could be a top-10 rushing team in 2014 (a guy can dream), and I get a tear in my eye!

  • r4kolb

    Nobody has taken the Bungles to 2 Super Bowls. Unfair comparison. Although I think Lebeau has been to more as a coach the Tomlin. Point r4.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Mixed feelings on this one. As much impressive Munchak’s resume is; how much of improvement are we looking at? Going 8-4 with crippled O-line, undersized left tackle, and third string center with BETTER stats we have seen since last Whisenhunt and Cowher’s eras. We all (me included) were this excited about Todd Haley as well, looking at the outlooks of hiring, I can say Tomlin is more comfortable with reputation than a small-hire that has better “coaching reputations” and if so- what does that say for Butler as next defensive coordinator?

    I’m excited actually because he just might squeeze the more out of Pouncey, Gilbert, and heck Mike Adams but for the rest? Not much of improvements. DeCastro, to be fair, argumentative is already THAT good, Beachem is succeeding and exceeding our expectations, “could” get better, conditioning-wise but that’s not on coaching staffs. The rest (ramon foster, Velaso, Cody Wallace, Whimper) are maxed out as for their potentials.

    If the hire are TO improve high picks (Gilbert, Adams, and Pouncey) then I’m all for it however Munchak have proved that he’s a fan of players with higher ceilings and better overall size, does this mean Beachem shouldn’t be cemented as a starting left tackle? Is he at risk of losing his starting status only because of some coach’s preferences. That would be my biggest question. Any position changes? How long is he staying or in for? Regardless, the hire have more positive outcomes than negative ones. I’m generous happy about it.

  • r4kolb

    Funny because Wiz just landed his 2nd head coaching job. Maybe Grimm is enjoying his double bacon cheddar burgers and watching reruns of The Golden Girls too much to want to come back.

  • srdan

    Great comparison except that you fail to realize that Lebeau has been coaching longer than Tomlin has been alive. lol you keep score, this is like playing monopoly with a 9 year old. Sure, you can have 4 hotels on one property.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I understand the skepticism that followed Haley’s first season as OC, but I have no problems with his play-calling now. Unlike Arians, Todd is MUCH more open to letting Ben run the no-huddle (and more often) with a menu of plays they’ve both agreed on. He also calls games with a FAR less predictable pattern than old Bruce. And you have to love Ben’s stat line of late.

  • srdan

    To me someone that lands a lot of coaching positions is not a good coach, average-yes. If you like average coaches, maybe you should trade in your terrible towel lol

  • steellife007

    I couldn’t agree more….a true players coach with a lot of knowledge to give…..I’m excited to see what he can do with some of our young talent!

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    We still need a legit LT! Antonio Richardson, anyone?

  • Callentown

    What great news to wake up to today.

    Can’t think of a better way to get this underachieving, injury prone, under-talented (not all) O-line to take a step forward!

    Great move Steelers FO!!

  • Nolrog

    I couldn’t disagree less!
    (I’m feeling funky today, so I went with the double negative).

  • Callentown

    JBS, I think you and I are alone in this opinion, but who knows, maybe Munch will either take Belchum to the level needed – OR – tell Tomlin to move him to RT instead.

  • r4kolb

    I never really liked monopoly. So I don’t get the whole 4 hotels on one property comment. LeBeau is the best D coach ever. So for you to make it sound his success is only because he’s been around a long time is foolish. Now be gone fool.

  • Callentown

    I agree. And hopefully a new voice for the coaches to listen to when he explains that Adams and Gilbert are not going to cut it long term.

  • DrakePirate

    while it appears like an excellent hire … i think too many are overly optimistic on their expectations … I am hopeful, but would rather improve our personnel a little more to give him more to work with … eventually a true LT depending on Beachem’s performance and a starting caliber LG would upgrade the interior and let Foster do what he does best be a back up swing guy !

  • Callentown

    Still need talent on the O-line to achieve that!

  • r4kolb

    I don’t like average coaches. Thank you for understanding why I don’t like Tomlin. 8-8 x 2 + 7 = .500

  • srdan

    Far from it. I give Lebeau a lot of props as a defensive coordinator and motivator. I think the squaky clean image our defense carries is largely due to him. The few issues off the field the Steelers have had come from the offensive side of the ball. I give Dick a lot of that credit as well as a person that molds young men into productive members of the community.
    Nonetheless, your arguement was not apples to apples, so I had to poke a hole in it.

    Do you play chess? sure your queen can move in an “L”.

  • srdan

    So the way you credit coaches you take their worst years and average them out? Please do that for every coach in the NFL and see how they stack up to Tomlin. Every arguement you make against Tomlin is intrinsically flawed.

    The only argument i agree iwth you is that tomlin’s decision making (green bay) and time management needs improvement. But as I told you before, he is growing and is allowed that privilege by the rooneys.

  • Callentown

    Now hooooold on just a bit ASH.

    Munchak has been to O-line coaching what LeBeau has been to DC. This is his forte’. In that regard, I’m considerably more excited about this hire than I was with Haley.

    Your assessment of the O-line is where I disagree. At this point in time, IMO, Gilbert and Adams are both missed picks. Gilbert could possibly be a solid back-up and Adams is a bust unless we want to carry him just for goal line run situation.

    DeCastro is not “THAT good” at this point. He may be very good in time, but to this point he has shown to not be strong enough, has mental lapses, and like the rest of the line, struggles when the D-line stunts. He has a ways to go.

    Bringing in an O-line expert like Munchak will help to clear up where Beachum should play (my vote has been RT) and if those other two tackles can actually be improved or not.

    This is a serious bump in the right direction for what has been the most inconsistent group for the past few years. Good stuff!

  • Nolrog

    Tomlin’s record as a Steeler HC is 71-41, 30 games over 500, with a .634 win %, a Super Bowl win, and another Super Bowl appearance.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I agree, but that’s what I’m saying. Look at how long it took for the Steelers to find their offense strengths/weaknesses with rhymes? A year and half. People reacted as if this hire will have an immediate impact, that’s what I’m skeptical about because argumentative, Haley are the reason for Mendenhall’s exit and argumentative, Manny Sanders and both were doing above-average BEFORE the hire. My only question is, who is on their way out?

    Because SOMEBODY is.

  • Callentown

    But Drake..

    This is where we are right now in the off-season – filling this coaching position. Free agency hasn’t started yet and the draft isn’t until May.

    Finally finding a REAL O-line coach is crucial to helping this unit that has struggled consistently over the past few years. This is big for the Steelers!

  • CrazyTerry

    Yep, I agree. Colbert messed up drafting Adams that high. We could have gotten another player and still may have gotten Adams in the third round. And if we didn’t, it would not have been a big loss. If Munchak can turn this guy into an NFL caliber solid left tackle, he should get a doubling of pay.

  • r4kolb

    Ok while this is fun I have to get back to my Bible studies. I’ll end it on this comment from Tomlin after the Packers game and his horrible time management decision: “If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably do it the same,” Tomlin said. Uh, Sounds to me like he didn’t learn his lesson. Nor will he ever. Peace

  • Callentown

    I think Tomlin was bigger as head coach. I’m not going to get into the argument below, but pretty psyched about the Munchak hire as well.

  • CrazyTerry

    A really bold step would be to trade Pouncey for a LT or first rounder and re-sign both Velasco and Cody Wallace. Not saying that such a trade possibility is on the table, but it wouldn’t hurt to explore it. Maybe some team is dying for a center and Pouncey seems to be highly regarded around the league.

  • Callentown

    Hells yes CrazyTerry

  • r4kolb

    So we should just keep tallying it up until when? They go 8-8 next year or worse? At what point do you start to look at his underachieving teams and his constant questionable decisions? You tell me? How many years of mediocrity will it take? Let’s just let him rest on his early records from a team HE had nothing to do with building. Well it’s HIS team now and it if the past 2 seasons are a barometer of his work storms are a comin. But hey let’s not look at the present, let’s look at the past.

  • Nolrog

    You can’t just dismiss his previous record either. You’re saying, 8-8 and then forgetting everything else. Selective amnesia.

  • r4kolb

    8-8 x 2. Nothing selective about that. Facts. His horrible time management and game time decisions have been throughout his career. I’m asking you they go 8-8 or worse next year what do you say? How many will it take?

  • Luke Shabro

    Don’t bother arguing with r4kolb. He’s staunchly anti-Tomlin no matter what. Tomlin could win the Super Bowl next year and he would argue it was all Big Ben and they won in spite of Tomlin. No point in arguing with anyone who thinks that Dom Capers would be a better head coach than Mike Tomlin.

  • srdan

    Depends. If it is an 8-8 next year with ben missing 16 games (god I hope not) then he keeps going. If ben makes teh probowl and were 8-8 I would still give him another year.

    Please look at this past season as 4 quarters. Now tell me why you wouldnt want the coach that coached the last 3? Keep in mind that Mike Adams was the TE for the first four, we lost a probowl receiver and our top two RBs on the depth chart. Then we lost our signal callers on both sides of the ball in game one. The team adjusted and rallied behind their coach. Why wouldn’t you want that? Look man, there is adversity in football, it’s all about how you overcome it. 0-4 is adversity in pittsburgh, how was it overcome? Ya dig?

  • srdan

    I think Munchak got this job knowing that he has to make these 7 guys good, no help through free agency or draft. Maybe a late round flier.

  • srdan

    If he can make adams a LT he will more than 10x his pay as a HC again. Double edged sword, right?

  • r4kolb

    Every Team needs to play through adversity. I think what people misunderstand is it’s not just the record, it’s how they lose games. It’s the constant time management blunders, the going for 50 yard field goals when WE ALL no Squeez aint makin it. If we see how can he still not? He’s a bonehead!!!!! It seems this team never can make adjustments at halftime to switch up when things aren’t working. In that 0-4 span they LOST to Tenn, Chicago, and Minn. Throw in the Raiders and then the knife that ended it the Dolphins AT HOME IN THE SNOW!!!!! I’m done arguing. Make all the excuses you want. He is an average at best coach.

  • Jeff

    If Tomlin does win another SB, I’m just happy I won’t have to hear the “Bill Cowher used to be the Steelers Coach, therefore, he is the reason the Steelers won the super bowl” rants…….

  • cencalsteeler

    Munchak has cemented himself with the Oilers/Titans for many years. From what I read, he could have remained the coach of the Titans if he fired some of his staff. He respectfully couldn’t justify the firing, so he took the brunt and was let go himself. Now, with that said, that shows a lot about his character, which brings me to my point. If the pieces fall into place for Munchak, I can see a long relationship here based on his past. He’s loyal and cares about the staff, obviously. His priorities are in order it seems (opposite of money mike). Now, if he wants to be a head coach again, more power to him. But, for those who think this may be just a stepping stone for Mike, I might beg to differ based on his history.

  • Nolrog

    It’s completely selective. It’s true, they went 8-8 the last two years. But you ignore everything before that, because it doesn’t support your argument.

  • Jeff

    Matt, I love that you mention that although Munchak may be here short term, his impact on the development of this offensive line can be long lasting. I think that’s what I like the most about this hire.

  • srdan

    Wow, if that is true, I like him even more. Rare to find in any industry in todays day and age.

  • Callentown

    I know I won’t change your mind and I’m not trying to. Teams go thru cycles and the Steelers are in a down cycle for many reasons.

    My question for you is this: IF (big if) this team returns to form next year and cycles back up, will you still say the same things?

  • Callentown

    It’s funny how selective our memory is.

    Cowher’s last season was an 8-8 season finishing out of the playoffs.

    Tomlin’s first season was a 10-6 (1st in Division) playoff. Second season was 12-4 SB Champions.

    He had a 9-7 season after that, but bounced back (do you hear that R4?) with back-to-back 12-4 seasons and a SB loss.

    It’s just silly for anyone to say he did ALLLL of that because of Cowher.

  • Wayne Darby

    Cowher 7-9+6-10 = .406 Below average….See what I did there moron. LMAO

  • Steve

    What about Tomlin being on the field in the Ravens game? Still may cost us a draft pick. This was not Tomlins year. Hopefully he learns time management and not hiring someone, like Bicknell, to teach something you will not stay with, waste of time and energy and money.

  • srdan

    That is another fair argument.

  • Steve

    Munchak will get the most out of our line. He will make the bad players better and bring his thoughts to the Steelers way of doing things.

  • Steve

    All the talent in the world can not be developed without a good coaching. Now that we have the coach, there is no excuse.

  • steeltown

    Sanders above avg before Haley??

  • Steve

    Mendenhall messed himself up for not showing up for a game and fumbling many times. His loss was his own fault.

  • r4kolb

    Listen here’s the thing. There are the knuckleheads like Luke who think I don’t like Tomlin to just not like him. That’s not the case. It’s based on 2 things which I think the one fuels the other. His in game decisions are questionable too often. His lack of having HIS team prepared to win games they in all rights need to and should win (Raiders, Dolphins) tell me it’s not due to a down cycle. Do you not agree they were 2 games we ABSOLUTELY should have won? Knowing the situation we were in and the fact we were the favored team tells me we should have. We win those 2 games and we are 10-6 in the playoffs. That’s what a GOOD coach will do. I’m not even including the loss to the 5 win Vikings.
    To get to your question on IF, if this team returns to form we will be 8-8. That’s the form of the past 2 years. Why is it a big IF? We have Ben Friggin Roethlisberger as our QB. We better start to do better then 8-8. The fact that it’s an if with an elite QB tells me it’s more then a personnel issue. I will have to see how many games we win against teams we were expected to lose to. If Tomlin continues to make boneheaded decisions then I will still call him out. If Tomlin doesn’t I will give him credit for that. Based on his past I don’t see the later being the case. Do you understand why I don’t think he’s a above average coach now? Seriously I’m not being sarcastic or trolling I’m just giving you what I base my opinion on.

  • r4kolb

    Tard. Get your facts together. Cowers career winning percentage is better then Tomlins. FACT. Oh yeah and that was without a QB named Ben for most of it.

  • Callentown

    I don’t disagree that Tomlin could get better with game management. I agree with Dave and Dave when they say they’re surprised that the team doesn’t just hire someone to work specifically on that during games.

    I also was pretty pissed off with the way the season began where our O seemed completely unprepared. Not sure how much of that is Tomlin trusting Haley or just the HC.

    But there are SO many factors at play. Including that during the toughest start to any season since the losing ways of the 30′s thru 60′s, it was Tomlin who kept the team focused so that they could finish strong (6-2).

    Other teams (Jets, Falcons, Texans, etc..) folded for the most part.

    The Steelers were in position to win the Dolphins game and the defense let a 55-yd run change that. I can’t fault Tomlin for that.

    The O-line was a swinging gate and as much as I can’t stand Warren Sapp, he’s right when he said the defense got old and slow.

  • joed32

    Look it up before you post:
    Cowher reg season=.627
    Cowher post season=.571

    Tomlin reg season=.634
    Tomlin post season=.610

    I’m a big Cowher fan, great coach but FACT NOT!

  • mlc43

    He’s on the last year of his contract. That would be hard to do but I can definitely see where you are coming from.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Ecstatic! Munchack has built lines that made 3rd stringers 1000 yard rushers! Seriously! Need I say more?

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    Even if Beachum can be forged into a star, it still leaves the position weak and without a viable backup. Time to admit Adams was a mistake(and possibly Gilbert too) and move on.

  • dkoy85

    I’d say there’s a decent chance they can become a top rushing team- especially with a change of pace back like LSH. I think Bell has all the tools to be a great running back even behind 2013′s o-line. With improved coaching on the line I think he’ll be a name on everybody’s practice report.

  • SteelersDepot

    Consider this a warning. I don’t need insults here.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    You mean the coach whose drafts have been piss-poor despite Colbert being the same Colbert as during the Cowher days?

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Starting with the 2011 season, Mendy proved himself to be nothing terribly special. I think, at that point, it was just as obvious to fans as it was to coaches. Mendy had more top speed than Bell, but that’s where his advantages end. (Hell, his lack of ball security alone may well have cost the Steelers Super Bowl XLV.) As for Manny, he looked promising in his rookie year, and then took steps back with injuries and inconsistent play while AB thrived.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Agreed. Bell has the potential to be the next Matt Forte, IMO. With the right scatback to compliment his physical style, our backfield could be truly dangerous.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Very excited about the hire!
    Munchak won’t be around for long though, maybe 2 years or so. Let’s hope the assistant learns from Munchack, and can apply what he has learned after Munchack leaves. I would love to have the assistant promoted after he leaves.

  • srdan

    I don’t quite get teh cowher argument you make all the time. Cowher is not an option to coach this team, or any team. He likes his cushy job. He resigned to be with his wife. And has moved on in life.

    Your argument is that we should get rid of a young coach that has been to the superbowl twice and has teh BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE IN STEELERS history just because he mismanages time and in-game decisions. And then hope that the next coach, cowher included, will top that. C’mon man. That’s like saying trade big ben for the first overall pick and get bridgewater. You are rolling the dice vs a known good commodity(with shortcomings). I still keep Tomlin and BR.

    The fact is that no matter how much talent a team has (see atlanta falcons) they do not win 63% of their games without being prepared. So I am not sure how you make an argument for the steelers not being prepared.

    And read your bible again and try to find what it says about calling people names. We’re all respectful towards your views.

  • srdan

    Piss poor is a far stretch. Keep in mind that he has drafted plenty of probowlers: wallace, woodley and pouncey to name a few.

    Big ben, polumalu, Casey hampton are probably teh players you are referring to while revering cowher. Two hall of famers in 3 years. I would say that is out of the norm for any team or draft, and when you do it you win superbowls. I give them credit but based on your arguement I should ask why they didn’t do that earlier. But that is a tough comparison if you are trying to slight a coach. That is like comparing everyone else in the world to Usain Bolt in a sprint. It took Cowher a while and I would suggest you give Tomlin the same.

    The late round LB picks that were probowlers under cowher I have a hard time giving him all the credit, i give him plenty but don’t fail to realize that those guys are first round talent in this aprils draft. Someone like Khalil Mack would have been a 3-4 round pick 10 years ago because today half of the league rusn teh 3/4. I credit Lebeau with getting us ahead of the curve.

    Things have changed and are changing in the NFL. I love Heath miller but to me he is a sign of why Cowher is behind the times in teh league. Every first round tight end since Heath miller is a redzone nightmare. Cowher still was pushing to draft a run blocking tight end. That’s the old NFL.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Glad you see some of my points. I do give you credit for your 2nd paragraph and I will keep my assessment on his drafting ongoing.

    I do want to mention a major reason for the Cowher/Tomlin discrepancy is A) number of first rounders who have been just serviceable starters as compared to legit threats. With a few exceptions, when Cowher drafted a player in the first round you knew he was going to be a baller. Tomlin’s 1st rounders have been littered with mediocrity for the most part although I hope Heyward’s ascent belies this statement for our team’s sake.
    B) the late rounders are much different. Take a look at Tomlin’s drafts and name one other player taken in the 4th-7th rounds by Tomlin other than AB that was legit. Willie Gay? Cortez? Really?
    Cowher picked Ike, Keisel, Foote, Aaron Smith, etc. in the 4th round or after, and that’s just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Key cogs of our D – legit players.

    So yes, I have nothing against MT as a coach (except his questionable clock management at times, and undisciplined players-first attitude), but his drafting has been frustrating, if you don’t want to use the word “piss poor”.

  • SteelersDepot

    Had enough of your attitude as well. Tone it down.

  • DrakePirate

    I am positive, just not claiming victory yet in regards to the OL thats all … but yes it was one step in the right direction … a few more steps ( getting the most from the talent we have, improving techniques .. understanding stunts and pickups etc … and another good draft pick or shrewd FA pickup) would complete the puzzle !

  • srdan

    That is a tough argument to make either way. I would say that the late round guys are not necessarily about drafting, but rather growing. If it was about drafting kiesel and smith would have been drafted in the first round. I give both coaching staffs credit, but as of now I would obviously give the edge to the cowher administration.

    But here is the kicker….who gets credit for James Harrison in this argument?

  • srdan

    Noted, my bad

  • r4kolb

    Dave that’s fine but just remember how at times I point out your insults. Considering your the moderator I think you should be held to a higher standard.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Keep in mind Ben, Troy, and Casey were all draft picks that were picked up earlier too. When Tomlin has drafted at similar positions we’ve picked up Timmons,Pouncey, and Jones. Early to say what we’ve got with Jones, but Timmons and Pouncey are the real deal.

    A big reason we had Ben, Troy and Casey was because we had a few sub par years, similar to what we’re going through right now. Cowher’s draft years also receive a benefit that many overlook: fewer teams were running the 3-4. It’s a lot easier to find defensive gems when fewer teams are running the same defense as you.

  • srdan

    great point.

  • John Hinton

    Great point and observation regarding Velasco.

  • joed32

    Sorry, he just seems to bring it out in some of us.

  • joed32

    We don’t know for sure how much of the draft is influenced by the coach and how much is the GM.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Here’s how you deduce it: A) Tomlin, in a press conference a few months ago, said that he is responsible for every draft pick decision. B) Colbert is the constant between the Cowher and Tomlin years, so why was there such a discrepancy between their drafts? Has to be the coach.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Agreed, although some of MT’s “potential-based” draft picks were wasted because they did not leave them enough time to grow, which happened less so in the Cowher years. Examples include Kraig Urbik, Terry Hawthorne, Alameda Ta’amu, and you could even make the argument for AQ Shipley and Crezdon Butler. The one potential-based pick they did give time to was Keenan Lewis and that ended a’la every good home-system-grown Pirates player, if you get my drift.

    I am torn on Deebo but if you put a gun to my head I will say that Cowher et al get credit for identifying the talent and initially working with him, and Tomlin et al get credit for most of the development and finalizing things. Overall I’d split it.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    You also overlook the fact that less college teams ran the 3-4 back then as well…

  • JAMESH

    I am happy by nature and an optimist by choice. From the end of each season until proven mathematically impossible, I derive pleasure and serenity from my belief that my Steelers could potentially go undefeated in the coming season. It has been that way for each of the 50+ years I have been a Steelers fan.

    And I laugh every time I write 19-0, Baby!

  • JAMESH

    And his signing may induce Velasco to want to re-up in Pittsburgh even more. Great point, grw1960.

  • DoctorNoah

    Marvin Lewis, by comparison, is .514 career win percentage over 11 seasons, with seasons of .250 and .267 in the past five years. Belichick is .655 and considered among the best in history. Lovie Smith was .563. Chuck Noll was .566 and Cowher was .623. And I just cannot in my mind figure out why people are bitching about Tomlin. Everyone has faults, but, really people. When your crappiest seasons are 8-8 you have no right to complain about your head coach.

  • joed32

    I must have missed that press conference as I’m sure many others did because most people are still of the opinion that it’s a joint effort between the FO, the HS and the position coaches. Cowher had a strong hand because of his battle with Donahoe in which he was able to force Donahue out and they hired Colbert. Everyone knew that if Cowher didn’t like him he would be gone. Colbert will have a presser between now and the draft to discuss the team’s draft direction. Why will he do that instead of the HC?

  • JAMESH

    “There ain’t nobody doin’ nuthin’ nowhere.”

    The infamous Pittsburgh quadruple negative.

  • dkoy85

    It really is exciting to think about what this offense could bring to the table next year.

  • srdan

    To me, this is one of the biggest gripes I have with Tomlin. I guess you could say this is where my tomlinism stops. I definetly agree that they let people walk that contribute on other teams. Sometimes that is need based (AQ, McBeam) but other times the player has talent(Ta’amu). I don’t have an issue with AQ but big issues iwth letting a 3rd round guard walk after a couple years.
    The other gripe I have is that when Tomlin was hired I read into the hire as “he is a secondary guru” and our secondary was struggling on a yearly basis if you recall. To some extend I don’t blame him because they are not running Tomlins system therefore he doesn’t have reign over the secondary choices, but i really thought he would have more of a positive influence. And there have been plenty of failed high draft picks in the secondary.

    I could go either way on Harrison.

    Both of our arguments highlight two pretty good staffs, and it is a good problem to have.

    It took Cowher a while to get it right, and tomlin is being given the same privlidge. And I trust the rooneys decisions, why wouldn’t I?

  • srdan

    3/4 college players seldom get selected especially OLBs. JJ is an exception. ILBs from 3/4 schools get selected now.

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    I think you might be correct, but I really hope not. I’m barely sold on the projected starting five,(Pouncey and Gilbert seem to be injured more than the average bear and, just how long can Beachum be counted on to overachieve his butt off?); the backups are flat out scary. A high pick that actually plays that way would go a long way to let Munchak retain his sanity. The more I see about A.Richardson, though, the less I like him.

  • Wayne Darby

    Oh I’m a tard? I took 2 consecutive seasons just as you did and Tomlin still hasn’t done worse than Cowher. You getcha fuckin facts straight moron.

  • Wayne Darby

    Sorry @SteelersDepot:disqus but this guy is a moron and if you wanna block me I can deal with that as well. #dulynoted

  • Wayne Darby

    And when people throw the Cowher argument and say Tomlin is bad at clock management, I have to shake my head. Cowher was really bad at clock management but some people like to have selective memory.

  • Wayne Darby

    Right after that Colbert said that he was responsible for that. Tomlin was just being a leader and trying to say the buck stops with him but we know that isn’t true. If it were, why have Colbert around?

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Agreed on the gripes. I have no problem in giving him some time to get it right. Just saying to the fanbase that until that time comes (if it does), expect mediocrity and many first-round playoff exits.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    It’s because Colbert is the “spokesperson” for the draft more than MT. That’s also been a constant over the Cowher years, now even moreso because he’s an “official” GM.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Stating responsibilities, yes sure. Both are responsible parties for drafting. But let me again go back to my initial point: if both parties are fundamentally responsible, then why the start contrast between the Cowher and Tomlin eras when Colbert was the constant? Inductive reasoning.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Well I wouldn’t generalize it, I think skill level, potential, Combine numbers, and especially stats are the most important predictor of selection regardless of scheme. And how their body type fits into a scheme (e.g. being a 4-3 OLB vs. a 3-4 OLB).

  • Wayne Darby

    I don’t see how there is such a stark contrast. There were plenty of bad picks under Cowher and good picks under Tomlin. Let’s call a spade a spade. You don’t like Tomlin and most people that I have talked to that don’t like Tomlin all have selective memory loss.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    See above on my answers to srdan, including early and late round draft picks as well as premature releases of drafted players. It should be more than enough unbiased evidence for you.

  • joed32

    The guard who was let go, Urbik was only here for the one year and was beaten out by Foster. He never really got much of a chance, he was drafted in 2009 and was waived B4 the 2010 season that was under Larry Zierlein .

  • Virdin Barzey

    Dude its your opinion but not sure who you are trying to convince but you stand just about alone. Every critical thing you say about Tomlin, you can easily find in Cowher if you watch his entire tenure in the Burgh and more. For you to talk about 8-8 season and not talk about all the departures, cap issues, injuries, etc. we’ve had is asinine at best.

    You better go back and look at some of the personnel decision Cowher made starting with how long it took him to get Big Ben. Genius. Worse of all what you are basically saying is that the Rooney’s made a mistake in hiring Tomlin and that they don’t know what they are doing since they can’t see but you can see it clearly that Tomlin should be replaced. Brilliant.

    Go ahead with your Tomlin rant. He may not be a great coach but he is way better than most in the league. BTW since you want him gone lets hear who you would replace him with. I need a good laugh.

  • charles

    Great move. But that is not the issue of greatest need. Pass rush is. We need either Jones to look like Mr. Harrison or another impact D lineman. Heywood becomes a pro bowler when we get another lineman who can create matchup nightmare for the O.
    Meanwhile look for Munchak to get 1500 or more out of Bell.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Sure and our franchise QB is getting younger allowing Tomlin to learn how to Coach!!!

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Its not amnesia, he admitted several time that his players made up for his bad coaching!

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    I think the players stated focused and turned arround, he had nothing to do with that, Tomlin is What we all saw in The Baltimore game…

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Just remember Super Bowl XL, the worst Rating of a wining QB, and they won because Cowher found a way to win the game even with Ben playing so poorly, and going back to SB XXX, Yes he lost it but, all his calls were just right, but O’donell gave away the game twice, now that is a Coach, just tell me What can you say about Tomlin?

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Here is one, Fisher for example, with Ben and the remainings of Cowher’s team would be great, time has passed and sadly we won’t see anymore champion ships from Ben not with clueless Tomlin in comand, he just landed in Pittsburgh to justify the Rooney’s rule!

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    It shouldn’t had been crapy with a Franchise QB, just tell me a crapy season of the Pats with Brady, or the Colts with Manning!

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Longer tenure of Cowher, lets wait and see how Tomlin sinks the whip and his percentages!

  • srdan

    hmmmm

  • srdan

    This is a very nearsighted approach to running a team. It is perennially attempted by teams like Washington and Cleveland. Fire coaches, bring in veteran QBs and players instead of growing your own…and so on.

    These teams are looking for fans, may I suggest you trade in your terrible towel?

    All of these silly arguments that Tomlin haters make are based on this this irrational thought that teams can switch coaches like socks and that systems don’t matter. What you are suggesting is for the steelers to go against what they believe in as an organization. You want to get rid of the HIGHEST WINNING PERCENTAGE COACH IN STEELERS HISTORY for a new unknown commodity.

    The steelers, benglas and ravens have had one coach each since 2006. The browns have had 6 or 7. Do you ever stop to think why they are always in teh bottom of the division every year. I’ll give you a hint. Type this into google backwards: ytiunitnoc

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    I really believe that continuity is the source of al the success the franchise has had, but it is pretty evident his lack of football intelligence, and after the Ravens game his lack of integrity, when he arrived he said “I ‘ll take special teams under my wing” and guess What he never could get it fixed, the unleash hell in December, the O line poor draftings, to keep Worilds in the wrong side is poor evaluation and the list goes on and on, He has repeatedly quote that his players made up for his mistakes, so please lets wait and see how he sinks the ship. The team runs in cruise control with Ben and others, and he represents so bad the Ronneys family and all What they stands for.

  • joed32

    Sure, I understand that but if you read the post above mine you’ll see what I was referring to.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Yes I get it, how I miss that shin intensity!

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