When the Pittsburgh Steelers lost offensive line coach Sean Kugler following the 2012 season, it began what was essentially a two-year coaching search that left Jack Bicknell Jr behind as a speed bump fill-in on the road to the main goal, the acquisition of the highly reputable Mike Munchak this offseason.
We’ve already read a variety of beat writers share their thoughts on what kind of impact they believe bringing in such an established presence would have on the young and talented but underachieving offensive line.
We’ve even heard from Munchak himself a time or two during interviews speak about why he chose to come to Pittsburgh, and even a bit about what he expects to bring to the offensive line, and the offense as a whole.
Now that the team has been able to meet a few times with the offseason officially underway, we are finally beginning to hear from the players, and Kelvin Beachum recently shared his thoughts on his new position coach, who gives the offensive line precisely what the team was looking for: in Beachum’s words, “instant credibility”.
He described Munchak as “no-nonsense”. Like the team as a whole, after missing the playoffs for two straight seasons and failing to win a postseason contest in three years, “he wants to win. He is hungry to win”.
More specifically, Beachum said that “with the addition of coach Munchak, technique is really going to be a thing that he focuses on and makes sure that we do a good job of”, a proposition not too surprising, given that Munchak made a Hall of Fame career out of being a technically sound right guard during his playing years.
It’s his reputation from his playing days that gives him that credibility as a coach, and a comfort level with the players he’s coaching. Beachum said about him that “he knows how to excel. He’s done it a very high level. He’s known for it, and I think he’s going to bring a lot to the room and I know he will”.
“To have a Hall of Famer in the room really just speaks volumes because he’s played the game” he added. “He knows what you’re going through, he knows what to expect, he knows you’re going to get beat sometimes, which is part of the National Football League”.
Most importantly, perhaps, however, is that he’s already built a rapport with his new pupils and instilled a sense of unity of purpose within the offensive line room, which has already been able to meet as a group a few times this offseason.
The linemen know what they have in Munchak, and likewise, they believe that their coach knows what he sees in his players. Together, they share a common responsibility and a common goal to elevate the offensive line, and both parties seem motivated to achieve that end.
“He wants to get the job done. He has guys in the offensive line that are hungry to win and to go out and prove that this is an offensive line that can really carry this team. He’s already had a presence in the room since we’ve met with him a couple of times as an offensive line”.