Film Room: Blocking Still The Culprit Behind Run-Game Struggles


For something like the fourth time in five games this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers failed to move the ball particularly well on the ground. And four the fourth time in five games, the vast majority of the blame rests on the shoulders of the execution of the blockers, rather than of the performance of the running back.

While Le’Veon Bell was able to break a couple of runs during his 15 carries that can be credited to good blocking, there was a very high frequency of breakdowns that led to negative runs. Below are six such failures that resulted in either no gain or lost yardage.

We might as well start at the top. Early in the first quarter, with the Steelers facing a second and six at the Jaguars’ 11 following a four-yard run, the Jaguars strung Bell out and dropped him for a loss of two yards.

With David DeCastro and Vance McDonald leading the way on the counter, the inability of the lineman to stick his block contributed to McDonald overpursuing, hoping to catch the furthest defender in case Bell was able to find the edge.

Later in the quarter, from back at their two-yard line, out of 22 personnel and facing a nine-man box, three separate failures of execution from DeCastro, Roosevelt Nix, and B.J. Finney saw Bell’s narrow window collapse for no gain.


They did escape that miss to continue the drive, but later from the 30, on first and 10, both Jesse James—especially James—and Maurkice Pouncey failed to hold their blocks, which otherwise would have produced a nice hole inside of the left guard on the play.

Four minutes into the second quarter, showing a heavy run look on the right side, the back was stopped after just a yard with Pouncey losing his block up the middle and DeCastro unable to reach the linebacker at the second level.

Early in the third quarter, with James in the backfield on first and 10, the tight end was way too hesitant hitting the hole up the middle, with the speedy Telvin Smith easily kicking inside of him to drop Bell for a loss.

Perhaps the ugliest play of the day came beyond the midpoint of the third quarter, with DeCastro and James pulling. Both of them missed their blocks, and the two came in to drag the running back down for a huge loss of five yards.

The run blocking this season too often has been just ugly in terms of execution. Often enough, they are not even getting beaten, but simply not executing their assignments—in other words, beating themselves. It’s funny that when this is happening nobody is criticizing Mike Munchak’s coaching ability. Why is he the only coach on the roster free from criticism?

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • falconsaftey43

    Nice breakdown per usual. You end with a silly question. Everyone knows that all offensive failures/issues lie at the feet of Todd Haley. Munchak is the sole reason the OL has ever blocked anyone. If the OL is poor, it’s because Haley is a terrible play caller, I mean why else would he call for so many “ole” blocks?

  • Smitty 6788

    The OL has been horrible and JJ even worse at blocking. They need to stick to the blocks longer. Bell is still a great runner but he can’t be having to break tackles or make 2 or more guys miss in the backfield. That’s why it makes 0 sense to me to employ the big sets. Munchak is definitely getting a pass but needs to be held accountable.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Have to get get it figured out

  • Rob

    Strange that you compare the coordinator to the position coach… We didn’t blame Mann when receivers were running poor or wrong routes last year either. Or Porter for the lack of pressure from OLBs. Or Saxon for Bell’s slow start to this season. or the Fichtner for Ben’s issues.

    Haley has not been perfect or even average given the talent on this offense. Name another offense loaded with this much talent that is flailing.

  • StolenUpVotes

    I am not sure you have been paying attention if you think Porter hasn’t received his share of criticism lol. Dude has been questioned by people on this site since day one

  • Rob

    Do you think Porter gets more criticism than Dupree or Jarvis did? The answer should be no, if you are paying attention.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Than Dupree? I’d say it is closer than you think. Jarvis? You are correct. Absolutely not.

  • Rob

    No one has been saying “Wow Porter can’t even get Dupree to be more productive”. And then tying that to the defenses struggles. Like if only Joey Porter could make the OLBs execute better, the defense would thrive. (Granted my actual point is in reference to the offense, and doesn’t apply as well to the D and Butler.)

  • StolenUpVotes

    And for the record I agree with your sentiment on position coaches. More times than not poor play falls on the players rather than the coaches in this instance.

  • falconsaftey43

    You must be new here if you think Porter wasn’t blamed for lack of pressure. How about Lake getting all the blame for poor secondary play in years past. Not to mention that Munchak was pretty much universally lauded as the reason our OL started to perform well. Just as a rule, I don’t like trying to evaluate Coaches because we as fans have so little information to base an opinion on as far as how “good” of a coach anyone is.

    As for Haley and the talent of the offense, what makes you think they’re loaded with talent? AB has looked excellent, but can you name another player out there that’s looked good? Maybe you’re overrating the player’s talent? There is little point in this exercise because it’s a chicken and the egg situation.

  • pittfan

    FIRE MUNCH! There, I did it! lol

  • Rob

    Even if no blame belongs to Haley, and it is only player execution that is holding the offense behind (hard for me to believe), I still think, the team could be more productive with a more creative OC.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Well after going back and watching some stuff this week I can tell you it is not only player execution. I’ve been a fan of Haley since before he got here, but he seems to be in a rut right now

  • WreckIess

    You must not have been here earlier this year. Guys were pissed that the team “let” Kevin Greene sign as the Jets OLB coach instead of getting him to come to Pittsburgh.

  • Charles Mullins

    Thanks for the gifs! In the third gif AV man handles 50 (maybe put a stamp on the gifs so they are easier to talk about just an idea 1st 10@40, 110402017 etc)… You should not be able to do that to a professional football player especially a LB… Crazy. Besides that I would say that they look uninspired…. I wouldn’t want to be in that film room.

  • falconsaftey43

    Holy Cow! Good catch. AV destroyed that guy. Like to see a little more of that haha.

  • Rob

    Porter comparatively, has not been blamed for Dupree, Jarvis, Chickillo, and for sure not Harrison’s lack of production. And falcon, you know im not new here, so need need for the dig bud.

    Lake got blamed, and it was clear, he had no real pieces to work with, and similar things can be said about Porter, though I’m not going to start defending his ability as a position coach.

    To try and start blaming Munchak for what was outlined in the article as player execution mistakes, is a reach. What info is there that he changed anything?

    Haley in fact, received upgrades to the talent he had to work with overall. And the offense looks even worse. I don’t know why that is worth defending.

  • john bennett

    Tackle the guy that stands out, pink arm sleeve and towel makes him so much harder to pick out of the crowd….duh. Why are 5 foot 9 RB,s having such success? They are hard to find. Strap on some neon signage and not so much.

  • Rob

    That was mostly a blip in my memory. When he was in the bar fight, people wanted him to be let go for Greene, but they still aren’t blaming him right now for the OLBs lack of production. It mostly falls on Dupree, as it did on Jarvis for not producing.

  • Charles Mullins

    Jarvis was a bust, Chick is an over achiever, Dupree is a work in progress that needs to stay healthy. With those three players i would say that JP is doing a good job. Jarvis isnt playing football anymore and he cant control Duprees injuries.

  • john bennett

    Before this past weekend that would have been the Giants, Cards, Chargers, Dallas, Seattle and several other clubs. After Thursday night you can add Carolina.

  • falconsaftey43

    Porter was straight up blamed by many for Jarvis not panning out and Dupree not progressing. I’m not attempting to blame Munchak, just pointing out the double standard. I never even talk about position coaches because we have zero information on what they do. No way to separate player talent/execution from coaching.

    As for Haley, I’m just trying to make a point. You say he got upgraded talent, but based on what? I’m not saying he’s not part of the problem, but just like it’s not Munhcak’s fault that James and DeCastro are wiffing on blocks, it’s not Haley’s fault either.

  • Rob

    None of those teams have offense with as much talent as ours. The Giants only have skill players…well had. The cards lost their biggest weapon, and have an aging WR1, Dallas’ offense wasn’t exactly flailing, and Idk why Seattle is even on this list.

  • WreckIess

    They were definitely blaming him for Jarvis and Dupree also. The same way they were blaming Carnell Lake for the DBs not performing. Steeler Nation is definitely not opposed to blaming the position coach if they need to.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Dude I’m sorry, but he’s terrible.

  • Rob

    So he would have only got upgraded talent if the offense was thriving? What are you getting at? That Bryant and Juju are downgrades from Ayers and Hamilton because they aren’t producing? Then there is just no discussion to have because youd be cherrypicking who gets the blame before it even starts.

    I never blamed Haley for missed blocks. I can just recognize that the offense even if players were executing as they are supposed to, doesn’t seem like it would reach 30 points or any barometer close to what we should. Just want to remind you that we have the most expensive offense in the league. If the blame belongs on us actually having bad talent, then we have a whole new issue.

  • john bennett

    Are you watching the games and seeing the results or just going by the preseason hype? They have not done ANYTHING better than all of the teams mentioned above. And the talent level is only talent if it performs, if it does not, it is also-ran’s.

  • Rob

    I can’t speak for everyone. That blame on Lake was ridiculous, and while again, I wont defend Porter’s ability, Jarvis couldn’t be farther from his fault. Does he get any credit for Chickillo? Probably not either.

  • Rob

    Is Chick an overachiever, or is he getting good coaching from Porter? lol you can’t really say which is why blaming position coaches is such a strange way to go about things.

  • Rob

    You’ve lost me

  • john bennett

    Ok , take Seattle out and insert Buffalo and the NY Jet”s and don’t dare leave out Jacksonville.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Make JJ practice with the O-line, no excuse for being this piss poor at blocking.

  • john bennett

    The Steeler’s have the best talent on offense and are……does any of that find you?

  • Rob

    Did you complete that sentence? The Steelers are the best offense to you? I think I’m still lost John.

  • falconsaftey43

    I’m just trying to be fair to the coaching staff. So many people just say the offense isn’t performing “as they should be” or “up to their talent” and thus it’s Haley’s fault. I know they have talent, a lot of these guys have played really well in the recent past. But they aren’t playing well now.

    This OL was dominating people last year, now they aren’t. Is that Haley’s fault?

    I have no idea what to expect talent wise from this Bryant. He and Ben certainly aren’t connecting on the deep ball like they used to. Is that Haley’s fault?

    Do you see what I’m getting at here? The talent they have isn’t playing like they used to. End of last year the run game was dominating. Haley was the coach, Bell the back, same OL and TE. This year the run game is pretty poor overall. So who is at fault for that? If EVERYONE, including the coach, is the same, why are soooooo many people blaming the coach?

    2014 was the most points the Steelers ever scored in a season. 2015 was 2nd most. last year was 5th most. Haley was the coordinator all those years as well as this one. So was he good then and not now? Was the offense succeeding despite him then, and unable to overcome him now?

    I honestly don’t know where Haley ranks among OC’s. But to suggest he’s the primary reason this offense isn’t playing well is unfair, especially when we can see so many examples of different guys (like above article) just not playing well.

  • falconsaftey43

    exactly

  • john bennett

    The sentence was left open ended because that is where the Steeler offense is right now. They have not played a good game this year nor have they stepped up under any circumstances. They are 3-2 just like a whole bunch of middle of the road teams with what you think is inferior talent? They could not outscore Jacksonville or Chicago. They certainly did not strike fear in the hearts of Cleveland and Baltimore. The other game is not even worthy of mention.

  • falconsaftey43

    Why? What makes you think that. Haley’s offenses have scored the most points in Steeler’s history. 2014 (1st) 2015 (2nd) 2016 (5th) and it’s not just because “the game has changed”, because the previous high water mark was set in 1979. So what, the offense just overcame his terribleness in the past and now it can’t?

  • Rob

    You misunderstood what I’m saying here at some point. I don’t think we a disagreeing.

  • Rob

    Youre twisting my words to fit your narrative.

    I have not once blamed everything on Haley. The same way these players can underperform, so can Haley. You are giving him none of the blame, and I don’t know if that is fair to the players either.

    You brought up past years, and I’m talking about now. The offense is unrecognizable, even if execution was up to par, in my opinion. There is seemingly no flow. Obviously, we are trying to answer a question that we don’t get paid enough to. Id the offense failing because of your OC or is he doing the best with what he has. My belief: I don’t think he is doing the best with what he has, right now. You can disagree, and that’s fine. I’m not saying he should be fired, but I’m not going to absolve him of any blame as you appear to either.

    Nowhere either did I say that he was the primary reason. You projected that on to me. He is a reason, and in my opinion, far greater a reason than Munchak like the article contended was a realistic gripe to have. Which was the original subject of my post, before you added other tangents here.

  • john bennett

    If that is correct than I apologize. This offense that we have seen is terrible. I don’t care about paper offense, it has not translated to the field yet. And it might not.Baltimore could be in 1st place in the AFCN come Monday morning and I would not be the least bit surprised, disappointed, yes.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Because the offense sucks? He has as much talent as any OC could ask for yet year to year there is no improvement. The offensive output is trending down and is only getting worse. . He had a decent run, but the fact of the matter is this is HIS offense and it’s in the bottom third of the league. This is the most talented offense in steelers history so that’s not really saying much

  • Steeler Nation!

    JJ has been a big disappointment this year. You expect progress in his 3rd season. I doubt anyone in the building is pleased with our TE group at this point. If McDonald could catch, then he would be the guy.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    He has progressed, just not as a blocker.

  • falconsaftey43

    Didn’t mean to imply you specifically were blaming Haley. I’m talking in generality about the majority of the fan base/poster on this site. Was using your comment as a launching point for a discussion, not meant as a direct attach or anything like that.

    I’m not absolving any coaches of the blame. I personally don’t like to try to evaluate them, as I don’t feel I have enough information about what they are doing to say if it is right or not. I can see players on the field, and more confidently say if they are performing well. All I’m trying to do is defending the coaching staff against those who want to place all of the blame on them with nothing more to point to than the “offense isn’t good, must be Haley’s fault”.

    The offense is terrible. It needs fixed. That falls on everyone from Tomlin, Haley, position coaches, and the players. We’ve seen everyone involved in this offense from coaches to players perform at a much higher level, so we know that the potential is there for it to be better. But it hasn’t looked anything close to it this year.

  • falconsaftey43

    My only point is it’s the same coach and pretty much all the same players, so why is Haley now terrible and the reason it’s not doing well now? Is the OL playing anywhere near like previously? Is Ben? Is Bryant? It’s unfair to just say Haley’s terrible. No one is playing well. The offense’s problems are on Haley and all the players too. We’ve seen Haley offense play very well in the past, so the idea that he’s suddenly terrible, or always has been and the offense just did well anyway doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  • Rob

    Agreed. I just think it’s easier to observe what an OC/DC does than a position coach or HC who’s responsibilities are as muddied as Tomlin’s.

    Like we can see play design, play scripts, ebb and flow of the kinds of calls made, and personally, I’m souring on Haley. I use to defend him, but I’m finding less reasons to as the season goes on. Hoping everyone can get things firing on all cylinders.

  • falconsaftey43

    Fair enough Rob. Sorry, sometimes I go hardcore on a point because I get used to dealing with those that don’t look at things reasonably and just want to point blame at someone. I can come off as an apologist sometimes because of that. I’m obviously not thrilled with the offense and what Haley’s doing, but I honestly have no idea what needs to be different. Nothing seems to be working with any consistency. So many things we were great at, we’re suddenly terrible at. It’s really baffling.

  • Gautam Ramani

    I don’t understand why JJ’s blocking is so bad. So tentative to engage, and often just throws out his arms. Does not drive through blocks. Would think this would be easy to teach. I am a JJ supporter, but this display is UGLY. I live near D.C., and the fans get on Jordan Reid as a blocker, but some of these look worse than him m

  • Rob

    No worries man. I do the same thing. It’s gonna happen from time to time the longer you’re on this site haha

    But yeah, so many issues, so many people to blame, and as fans, not a lot of info, so we just gotta hope they get more consistent and figure things out.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Maybe he was never that good?
    Maybe he lucked into an offense that was going to be good with or without him?
    Maybe DCs have figured him out? As predictable as he is, it wouldn’t be too tall of a task.
    I know that players are responsible too but there has been no progression in this system. There is no cohesion, no flow to the play calling and worst of all, no touchdowns.
    Honestly I think Ben probably deserves the 2nd-most blame for his inconsistency, but between the two of them something is not working and it’s not getting better. We’re not cutting Ben so that only leaves one option.

  • Dofdmp

    We forget how much D.J. did for the blocking last year…He is missed.

  • Rick McClelland

    Hmmm. After reading all of the comments, many of which I agree with, I’m still left going back to two things. Leaders and Leadership. I don’t think there is a true leader among the players in the locker room and I also think the leadership at the coaching level is poor. Being a players coach means too much of being the player’s friend. You’re not their friend, you are their boss. Act accordingly and tell them what needs done and how they are going to do it. Someone at each level needs to step up. Tomlin should be the first, but who among the players has the cojones to tell their comrades how it is going to be?

  • falconsaftey43

    I want to say two things.

    1) I think the biggest reason this offense seems to have no flow and just overall sucks is the fact that they have the 31st rank rushing average on 1st down at 2.57 ypc. It’s pathetically low, forces you to throw more than you want and gets the team behind the chains. Why it’s that bad, I don’t know. But if they can fix that, I think the offense will see a huge improvement.

    2) I don’t think wanting a different OC and thinking Haley is terrible have to be mutually inclusive. I don’t think Haley is terrible, but I’m actually ok with the idea of switching out Haley for someone else. Sometimes change for the sake of change can have a big impact. Doesn’t mean Haley was doing anything wrong or the new guy does anything innovative, sometimes just shaking things up can serve as a wake up call. Get players going, hearing a different voice.

    Look at CIN, Dalton looks like a different QB since they fired their OC. I doubt they’re doing anything all that different, but sometimes it just wakes everyone up. Not always logic to things in sports.

  • falconsaftey43

    They are 31st in 1st down rushing average with 2.57 ypc. I think fixing that would go a long way to letting the offense have a better “flow”

  • ThatGuy

    Still waiting on that Steelers breakout game

  • Michael James

    “As for Haley and the talent of the offense, what makes you think they’re loaded with talent?”
    Well, you simply can’t deny the fact that this team has one of the top-3 offenses on paper. We all know what Ben, Bell, Brown, Bryant, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert etc. can do when they’re at the top of their game. Therefore fans rightfully said that this offense was loaded with talent at the start of the season.
    I think there are a lot of factors contirbuting to their horrible play right now and it needs to be analyzed by Tomlin & Co. (which I’m sure they’re trying to do).

  • kev4heels

    James might literally be the worst TE blocker that I have ever seen. The guy doesn’t look like he is even trying. He seems to be completely scared of contact. Those plays are indicative of what we see each week. It’s utterly embarrassing.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Even when they were running the ball well there was never a real flow to the offense. Drives would still sputter in the RZ too often.

    Exactly, maybe I exaggerate a little by saying he’s terrible, but he’s definitely no good for this team as it stands. I think the need for change and Haley’s deficiencies are about even. The ratbirds won the SB after dumping Cameron mid-season.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    same plays each year no new looks or formations

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Lol yea I was going to make that point too. There’s little to no creativity. The formations too often give the play away. Going 5-wide on the goal line is just stupid.

  • falconsaftey43

    that’s not necessarily on Haley. Most pass plays have a deep route. Ben doesn’t have to throw that. It is on Haley to tell him not to do it so often though. I also don’t think it happens as often as you think. Steelers are 10th in NFL at converting 3rd and 4 or less via the pass this year (61.9% conversion rate).

  • falconsaftey43

    No idea about how going 5 wide numbers work out, but here are the just general numbers on plays inside the 5.

    NFL averages 2015-2017
    41.6% TD rate via Pass (PIT 8th, 48.7%)
    41.0% TD rate via Run (PIT 1st, 58.5%)

    So NFL wide last 2+ seasons, teams actually score a TD on a slightly higher rate when passing within 5 yards of the goaline than by running. Steelers are good at both, and better at Running it. But by no means do these stats suggest that it’s stupid to throw it when you’re inside the 5 yardline.

    This is a classic example of results based opinions. tons of fans and analysts are saying it was terrible play calling by Haley to throw it 3 straight times inside the 5, should have just run it in. The only reason people say that is because they didn’t score a TD. If you actually look at the numbers on a significant sample size, league wide it make virtually no difference. Steelers specific, it’s only slightly less successful.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    It’s not throwing that’s stupid. It’s going 5 wide. No run threat bails the defense out in that situation.

  • falconsaftey43

    wasn’t disagreeing with that point. I don’t care for 5 wide either. I also don’t care for trying to run an out and up in that small of a space. I don’t actually recall, did they go 5 wide down there? I remember Nix as the lone RB on a couple of occasions, but he was back there at least.

    Was just pointing out the numbers for throw vs run in that situation since that has been a hot topic of discussion lately.

  • Paddy

    James & #66 look like they couldn’t care less

  • John

    The Bears ran the ball against us with Mike Glennon as their QB. Hence there are factors other than how the QB is playing that determine whether you can run the ball or not. The GIFs show the O-line is the problem.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Man…literally every coach on the roster, including James Daniel, John Mitchell, and even Garret Giemont, the strength coach, have gotten criticized. Everybody except for Mike Munchak, about whom I’ve never seen a negative comment.

  • Matthew Marczi

    That made Geoff Schwartz’s Disrespectful Blocks of the Week, actually. https://www.sbnation.com/2017/10/12/16465472/ravens-center-ryan-jensen-nfl-offensive-linemen-blocks-damn-good

  • Matthew Marczi

    Remember David Paulson? Also keep in mind these are lowlights. To be fair to James (and I’m usually accused of being a harsh critic of his), he hasn’t been all bad. It’s more about consistency.

  • Charles Mullins

    Well deserved. Thanks for the link!

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Both the Bears and Jacksonville’s play calling was predictable too. Yet they still ran the ball. If you o line is really among the top five in the league, you should be able to run the ball from the five and score seven. The Steeler’s struggle to do this and their problem is not a new one. Now It is time for reality to set in. Fact one is that all us predicated the Steeler’s receivers would be much better than they really are. The other fact is that for years, while this O-line is the best we’ve had in years-it has never been as good as advertised. This group has never established dominance inside the red zone-an area where you really need to run the ball. Now that Ben is playing poorly too the wheels are coming off. I think very little of the offensives issues stem from Haley all of sudden turning into an idiot coach. The Steeler’s have talent issues most are in denial about, but opposing defenses are not.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Exactly, truly talented offenses don’t display the consistent struggles the Steelers are having. Their talent is good but drastically overrated. Except for Ben, Brown, and Bell no other skill player has really proven anything. Granted Bryant has outstanding physical tools and has made big plays. However, he has never been neither and excellent route runner nor sure handed and both inadequacies are showing up this year.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    I agree with idea that a lack of talent maybe the issue. Dick Lebeau always said great players create smart coaches.

  • Steve

    My Grandmother has been dead 25 years and could block better than Jessie James.
    Wish he would just hit someone, but he runs around them, sorta wimpish.

  • Steve

    Bell has lost a few steps. Look at the 1st Gif, can’t even keep up with McDonald.

  • Steve

    No,, after the Steelers got behind, they had to pass and that is when Ben was picked off twice. Gifs are showing me terrible blocking by Jessie and McDonald. Steeler need a quick sweep, not these long winding sweeps. Steelers need to do some counters and when there is 8-9 in the box, throw a screen.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Man, Bell must be just steaming. How’s he going to get $17M/yr with these numbers?

  • Rob

    It’s promoting senseless accusation of the coaches. Sure, a portion of the fan base criticizes every coach and waterboy after each minimal mistake by players or position groups on a per play basis, but to give them validity, given your position here, by saying Munchak deserves criticism for these miscues just doesn’t sit right with me.

    With as disappointing a start as the offense is having, I’m sure enough blame is there to go around (how we would know that its the fault of position coaches is beyond me, truly), but its creating a narrative that may need fanning down in a few weeks.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Munchak is responsible for the performance of his players, is he not? That’s not a narrative. That’s the way jobs work. When the line struggled several years ago, they fired Linehan. When it struggled again, they fired Bicknell. The Steelers have better talent on the line than either of those coaches had. I don’t see why is shouldn’t be expected that he gets more out of his unit than the team has gotten over the first five weeks. And he would be the first person to say that.

  • Rob

    What is he doing wrong to not get good performance in these first five weeks, that he hasn’t done since he’s been here? It’s a bit easier to see dislikes/issues with how players are being used, as opposed to whether position coaches are teaching incorrect technique/doing their job poorly leading to poor performance. I’m not sure that’s even something that you can identify with the issues you outlined in the article here.

    I’m not going to start blaming coaches for player miscues or lack of execution when I don’t know that they aren’t doing their job the way they are supposed to during the week. Especially when the sample size is 5 weeks of up and down play. The same thing you imply fans shouldn’t do to Haley, you are doing to Munchak. “Haley is responsible for the performance of the offense, is he not?” Almost no position group is thriving on offense, so they should all be axed? That’s the way jobs work, indeed. But lets throw James Daniel in there for Vance MCDonald dropping passes, and Jesse James inability to block. Richard Mann for not getting much out of anyone not named AB. Fichtner for Ben having a rough set of games.

    I’m sure he would say he could do better, there is not one coach on this team that shouldn’t be saying that right now. Even if we were 5-0, that’s what I’d like to hear, but still kind of ridiculous to me to throw any position coaches name out there, when I can’t observe the work they do. Sure, Munchak could suddenly be doing a terrible job, and that’s the reason why the OL is doing poorly, I just have no proof of that.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The question that you start off asking can be applied to every other position coach, all of whom have also been criticized. It can largely apply to most of the other coaches as well. All of them have been blamed for different things, many of which no doubt were not their fault. Some of them they are accountable for, however, and I can guarantee you that Munchak is disappointed in his unit’s performance and takes responsibility for it.

    At no point have I ever indicated, even remotely, that Munchak should be gotten rid of. In fact, in the article, I never even actually criticized Munchak, but merely pointed out the amusing nature of the fact that he seems to be invulnerable to criticism, justified or not, where every other coach has not been. I’ll quote here what I wrote in the article for ease:

    “It’s funny that when this is happening nobody is criticizing Mike Munchak’s coaching ability. Why is he the only coach on the roster free from criticism?”

    Again, I not only did not suggest that he should be fired; I simply did not even offer an actual criticism of his coaching. I just asked why he is free from criticism in juxtaposition to the harsh critiques of other coaches on the team.