Categorized | Article

Steelers Offseason Priorities – Finding An Offensive Line Coach


By Matthew Marczi

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their work cut out for them coming off consecutive non-winning seasons. It takes elbow grease to get from 8-8 to a contender, as everybody knows, of course, but this offseason, the issue is more complicated than simply improving, due to some uncommon circumstances.

The top priority for the Steelers right now, in my eyes, is to find an offensive line coach. In a rather unusual move, head coach Mike Tomlin dismissed Jack Bicknell, Jr. after just one season on the job in the beginning of the offseason.

There were reports that Tomlin was forced to ‘settle’ for Bicknell as a temporary fill-in after former Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler departed the season prior to become the head coach at his alma mater.

Those reports also claimed that Bicknell in some way, shape, or form was either in part or entirely stripped of his coaching responsibilities mid-season. Whether or not that is true isn’t particularly relevant at this point, now that he is no longer employed by the organization and is thus no longer a factor.

The Steelers will now have their fourth different offensive line coach since 2009, when Tomlin and the organization parted ways with Larry Zeirlein. Kugler replaced Zeirlein and was with the Steelers for three seasons until 2013.

Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have thus far interviewed just one outside candidate for the job: former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans offensive lineman, offensive line coach, and head coach Mike Munchak.

Munchak was recently relieved of his duties as head coach—since replaced by former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt—so many speculated that Munchak would perhaps exhaust all opportunities to land a head coaching or offensive coordinating job around the league before opting to re-enter the position coach ranks.

Those higher opportunities, however, are quickly dwindling, with the Cleveland Browns the last of seven teams remaining who entered the offseason searching for a new head coach. Perhaps that is why the Steelers were fortunate enough to have the chance to interview him.

It would indeed be good fortune if the Steelers are able to land Munchak to coach their offensive line, even if it ultimately proves to be for just a season or two.

With the high-value investments all along the line, a line coach the quality of Munchak could help these young players get the most out of their skill set. And there are some questions that need answering, particularly on the outside regarding Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, and Kelvin Beachum.

Before that can happen, of course, the Steelers must offer him the job, and Munchak must accept it. But regardless of who ultimately lands the job, it is a top priority to get that person in place, because the offensive line is perhaps the most unsettled yet high-potential piece of the offense, and the offensive line philosophy will help shape how the offense looks and runs in 2014.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Matthew Marczi

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

    Yup! I would pay this guy the max amount to come in and give these young guys the help to become good or great. Just 2 years could be fantastic.The overall effect should be a stellar group.

    And I disagree with your last line as you failed to include:

    “will help shape how the offense looks and runs in 2004″ and I would say

    “And for years to come.”

  • dgh57

    Please, for the sake of the overall OL but especially Adams, Gilbert, Beachum, and finally Le’Veon Bell and the run game sign this guy up!

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    Maybe the promise of a high draft pick on the OL,(Kouandjio, eg) would sweeten the pot for Munchak?

  • gene mann

    the Steelers must hire the best man for the job.Hopefully all the OC jobs will be looked out and he want to coach and the steelers make him an offer

  • Brian Miller

    amen to that…

  • HopalongCassidy

    The Steelers need a real hard-nosed OL coach who can both teach and motivate.

  • Steve

    The offense goes as far as the line can take them. A Great Coach can make all the difference for the Steelers lines play. Our line has numerous high Draft picks. In order for the O line to get better, they need a fundamentaly sound coach. With the changes in coaches and Philosophys, no wonder why our line is such a shambles. Signing a Great O line coach needs to be top priority for Our team.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    It is simple, hire him and give him an Asst. Head Coach title… He can maybe help with clock management.

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    any word on Munchak? that would be an amazing hire

If you enjoy our content & podcast, feel free to buy us a cup of coffee below.
Shop for 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Nike and New Era Team Gear at Fanatics

Archives