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Titans S Bernard Pollard Says Mike Munchak Didn’t Provide Right Mindset As Head Coach


On Tuesday, the Tennessee Titans re-signed safety Bernard Pollard to a two-year contract and according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean, he proceeded to take somewhat of a shot at new Steelers offensive line coach and former Titans head coach Mike Munchak in regard to the mindset the team had in 2013. Pollard felt a change was needed and he’s glad Ken Whisenhunt is the new head coach.

“When I said things needed to change, one of the biggest things I saw last year was our mindset wasn’t good. When you come to a team that has been consistently losing, that almost becomes the norm for them,” Pollard told Wyatt. “To see things now, with Coach Whisenhunt and some of these other guys that have come in here who have been to Super Bowls and won Super Bowls, the mindset is totally different now. And that is one of the main things that played a factor in my decision on coming back.

“I love coach Munch and his staff. But I knew some things needed to change in order for me to want to be back here with the Titans.”

That’s a weird way to express love for Munchak, who was fired back in early January after being with the franchise for more than 30 years as a player, offensive line coach and head coach.

During his three seasons as the head coach in Tennessee, Munchak compiled a 22-26 record and did not take the team to the playoffs. The Steelers wasted no time in hiring him after he was fired to replace offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr., who had been fired a few weeks earlier. Shortly after his hiring, former Steelers center Justin Hartwig, who started his career with the Titans, had nothing but good things to say about Munchak, who was his first offensive line coach when he came into the NFL.

“He was a great mentor and a great friend,” Hartwig told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I think the Steelers hit a grand slam home run in getting him. If I was drafted into another system, I don’t know if I would have lasted in the NFL. He had patience with me, and he instilled confidence in me. I owe my NFL success to him.”

I don’t know about you, but instilling confidence in players certainly does seem to be the proper mindset a coach should have. In the end, however, some coaches just aren’t cut out to be head coaches and perhaps that’s the case with Munchak. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that his track record as an offensive line coach is a good one and the Steelers offensive linemen can certainly benefit from whatever mindset he gives them.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Average Head Coach… Great OLine Coach

  • John A Stewart

    Wiz is overrated as a head coach

  • Paddy

    Consider the source Pollard is part of the criminal element

  • Shannon Stephenson

    It is hard to say exactly what Pollard meant unless he gets into more detail but 3 years of mediocrity tells us that something wasnt right. Does not mean he is a bad OL coach maybe just not a great HC. Big difference

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Is the same time of mediocrity we are facing and with better players and a franchise QB, so we should ask about Tomlin, that by the way lost every game against Munchack!, we now have 3 former HC in the staff with Munchack, Lebau and Halley, so if we can’t get better I Will call for Tomlin’s head!

  • James Kling

    He was apparently a good enough head coach to have a winning record head to head versus Tomlin. But I agree, whatever his shortcomings as HC, as an OL coach he may quite simply be the best in the business.

  • 20Stoney

    It’s really hard to judge coach when he has Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Locker and Matt Hasselback playing quarterback. It could be argued that 22-26 is pretty good.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Debateable. While he’s not a great head coach, he’s surely better than many head coaches out there. He brought Kurt Warner back to his old pedigree and gave NFC teams run for years with below-average roster. I’d say its a part of his doing that was at fault but mostly has to be on the GM who just COULDN’T get a good quarterback or draft better. Good for them, they are making some strides as of late. With Jake Locker, Whiz will do good at Titans, no question. Great fit.

  • dgh57

    I concur with Justin Hartwig that we hit a grand slam with the hiring of Munchak!

  • westcoasteeler

    I’m only concerned with what Munch can do for us.
    I understand that it starts at the top, but for pollard to blame his coach for a mindset? Like any coach is content with mediocrity? makes me think he has to grow up.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Your last paragraph pretty much sums up what I was thinking.There’s been a long line of Assistant coaches who just couldn’t cut it as a Head Coach. I met June Jones once former Falcons player Head Coach and great offensive mind but I came away thinking he’s just too nice to be a Head Coach. I don’t know everything that goes into being a Head Coach but some guys are just great Assistants. It’s gonna be something to see wart Coach Munchak can do to improve our O line this year.

  • srdan

    I am a firm believer in situations. Not every head coach will be successful in every situation. I think Bill Bellichik is a perfect example. He is crowned as maybe the greatest coach ever (i highly disagree), but many forget his stint in Cleveland.

    I think head coaches look good or bad only based on their QB play. Wiz with Werner was a good coach, Wiz with everyone else was a bad coach. It’s really hard to overcome bad QB play, no matter how stacked your roster is.

  • srdan

    he is great with QBs.

  • srdan

    Except for the one that counted.

  • dennisdoubleday

    Except that Tomlin was 28-20 in the same time frame and did make the playoffs one year. So, other that, yeah, totally the same.

  • dennisdoubleday

    Not to mention that the Steelers crushed the Titans in 2011, so you are wrong about that one, too.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I think Locker will take them nowhere and Wiz will realize this soon enough. He does seem like a good motivator.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I said the instant Munchack was signed that it will easily be the best move or acquisition of the year. Huge potential benefit for the Steelers. It seems Hartwig wholeheartedly agrees and he’s been there.

  • steeltown

    Indeed

  • J&LSteeler

    how about a few statistical facts to back that up…

  • j m

    Much like Dick LeBeau. Average HC, great Def. Coordinator.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Well the difference are just 6 games in 3 years span favoring Tomlin, with a Franchise QB and a Super Bowl caliber team its just awesome, but in our favor now we have a HC a 3 former Head Coaches, maybe they just need some one to manage the clock, oh and maybe other one to Keep Tomlin out of the players way cheating!

  • ed

    hello Bernard,you play for the titans..you are NOT good enough for the steelers or you would be here. CK your local channels to watch us in the playoffs,because u will be home and who will you blame it on then..

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    The same Locker with the Titans that had us beaten? I don’t know, I do see Locker as a good system QB. That’s the Titans without reliable targets, when they do have one on a consistent-basis they can be a very dangerous offense who will beat you when you let the game gets close. Whisenhunt will wonders for the Titans if they have a right GM in mind.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    This. If you put three head coaches (some former) in same class, which is; disciplinary, hard-nose, and a playbook guru with one side of ball, you have Jay Gruden, Tom Coughlin, and Todd Haley in same class. Differences? One Coach has a franchise QB.

    Which is why I see a lot of similarities in Bill Cowher and Ken Whisenhunt. Both are firm with their own systems because it worked, two franchises and one had patience with the head coach, came to an understanding that he need a different GM that would share same vision. Other franchise just didn’t have that kind of virtues and pulled out shotgun on everybody.

    Again, situations are very delicate, when you are a head coach, you should be hired for the service you are well-known for, not for what they want you to be.

  • srdan

    I like your point. But the patience you mention is extinct except with a few franchises in all of sports.

    But very good point.

    If this is true, that would bean that Ken is a goodcoach because he caters to QBs and is good at it. Let’s wait and see. I have’nt quite made my mind up on him, but I am extremely happy that we chose Tomlin over whiz.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    It is funny because after I wrote about the 3 mediocre years I realized we have 2 under our belt…not good.

  • Chase

    The Titans Beat The Steelers This Past Year!

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Me also. However… if you are truly asking me, it wouldn’t have made any difference between Tomlin and Whisenhunt. Rooneys family made it clear- they are the Captains of ship, Tomlin steers it. Would drafts have been any difference? Philsophy? Even with Bruce Arians? Shrugs.

  • DoctorNoah

    Official Position Statement: Bernard Pollard is a schmuck. Mike Munchak is quality. Whisenhunt may be a good coach, but he ain’t the Steelers’ coach, so he is doomed to failure and ignominy.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Yes, you are right 2 and counting!

  • Steve

    We will see, the prof is in production on the field and not how many ex head coaches we have. Seems like Hartwig and Munch hit it off and hope the same with our O line.

  • Steve

    Poll

  • Will Hammer

    Wait till he sees Wiz in action .. This guy is the same goos OC lousy Hc..

  • mike

    Pollard was an idiot when he was in baltimore–gee I wonder why they got rid of him?

  • Will Hammer

    I didn’t see Tomlin fumble on the 2 yrd line

  • mike

    Pollard was a loud mouth and cheap shot artist in baltimore. “nuff said?

  • J&LSteeler

    no, not enough said. That doesn’t make him a part of the criminal element of the NFL. That would be the likes of the Patriots’ Hernandez, or Cincy’s Pacman Jones. A loud mouth and cheap shotting doesn’t make you a “criminal”. I understand where you are coming from, though. You like to “group” people.

  • mike

    You have your opinion I have mine! Unfortunately or fortunately you did not have to listen to him when he was interviewed in baltimore. Pray tell me your definition of a criminal then? Pollard was a bum, that is why the “raisins” released him so quick!

  • mike

    Methinks Wiz should have been the head coach. Just sayin’

  • DoctorNoah

    I don’t think so. I love what Tomlin brings. The man is respected around the league, he’s never had a losing season. Players want to play for him, and he’s brought us to two Superbowls and won one. I’d pick him over Whiz again.

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