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.