Mike Munchak thinks Steelers line can be “special”


The Steelers didn’t make significant personnel changes to the most unstable part of their team the last few years.

But they still think the one tweak they made can make a big difference.

With Hall of Famer Mike Munchak joining as offensive line coach, the hope is that he can mold the Steelers’ existing linemen into something they’ve not been in the past.

I think we can have a special group here,” Munchak said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The biggest hurdle will be getting Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey well again, after last year’s torn ACL which triggered a revolving door in the middle of an otherwise healthy line.

The right side of guard David DeCastro and tackle Marcus Gilbert started every game, and left guard Ramon Foster missed just one. They shuffled left tackles during the season, but settled on former seventh-rounder Kelvin Beachum over second-rounder Mike Adams.

Munchak thinks that stability will pay off.

“People don’t know how hard it is to just get plugged in and how much that affects the chemistry of the offensive line,” Munchak said. “I’ve followed them through college and know what type of players they are. I’m excited to work with them.”

If he can turn what has been a hodge-podge into a quality line, they’ll be excited to work for Munchak, as well. And he’ll deserve a raise.

25 responses to “Mike Munchak thinks Steelers line can be “special”

  1. Bears did it last year, and Coaching was a big part of it…but you still need some horses.

  2. There’s certainly talent there, that needs molded.

    DeCastro and Pouncey already have shown flashes of being some of the best in the NFL at their position.

  3. If anyone can turn an O-Line around it’s Munchak. To me he is one of the best, if not the best O-Line coaches there is. We as Titans fans wish him the best.

  4. Life long, hard core Steeler fan. It’s been painful watching the O-Line play over the past few years. I truly hope Munchak can get this unit working this year. We’ll see.

  5. Agree wholeheartedly. If Pouncey is available for the full offseason, and with his motivation being a MACK PLUS deal after the season ends, Munchak will have a great opportunity.
    Three good backs. Ben with time. Maybe this is the year the Steeler offence carries the team all the way.

  6. 7 sacks over the last 7 games. They were actually very good the second half od last season. Hes got a great set of players to improve on they just need some stability. Hopefully Pounce can come back and everyone stays healthy. If so, they will be a strong point especially with Munchak.

  7. Giving Munchak all the credit, or stating that the line is a “hodge-podge” is ridiculous. Pouncey and DeCastro were both first round picks. Gilbert and Adams were both second rounders. This should be a good O-line, and honestly, they played well last year. There are more concerns on the defensive side of the ball by far.

  8. Pouncey’s been a pro bowler and DeCastro should be this year, but I think Adams has the chance to make the most progress under Munchak. This is his third line coach in his three years, and the guy from last year wasn’t a technique guy, he was more of a scheme guy. That’s a bad match for Adams, who is still only 24 and still has the upside to be a good one – if he can be first taught to realize it.

    Mike Munchak is a great teacher of techniques and discipline, the two things Adams needs the most. That offensive line played awfully well the last several games of last season. Munchak was a better addition than any one player could be, because he can make every offensive lineman better – and hopefully, especially, Adams. Go Steelers!

  9. People love to beat up on Adams and declare him a bust. What could possibly be the reason for his slow development? Let me think…. Uh, oh yeah, he was stabbed! I think we will see a much different player this year. When the Steelers drafted him, they knew he needed to mature physically (and mentally) to be a viable starter. Having Munchak is a bonus I wasn’t expecting.
    I will say, however, that dude needs to grow up and keep his nose clean!

  10. If Pouncey gets injured again, then it’s time to move him to OG or OT or get rid of him.
    I don’t care how much “potential” a player has, if he can’t get on the field due to injuries then he is of no use to the team.

  11. The injuries on the O-line have allowed the Steelers to build some depth from unexpected places. Velasco actually played nearly as well as Pouncey (at a much better value). Decastro is starting to develop into a pro bowl caliber guard. Foster is still solid and Gilbert was starting to figure it out. Things are looking up for this unit. I thought they were one of the team strengths down the stretch last season.

  12. The Steelers usually keep nine offensive lineman on their roster with the top 7/8 (depending on health issues) active on game day. Right now the starters are Beachum and Gilbert at tackles, Foster and DeCastro at guards and Pouncey at center. Cody Wallace, last year’s fourth and final center, and Mike Adams are probably locks as the interior and exterior back ups respectively. I think the addition of Mike Munchak can improve every one of these players.

    Guy Whimper will probably be the 8th as he’s already signed for this next season, and Velasco will probably be resigned when his health is a bit better. The wild card is 5th round pick Wesley Johnson, and because that fellow was Munchak’s own decision, I’d bet he sees something special in him. These are the back ups to the back ups, and sadly due to injuries, the Steelers have needed players like these over recent years – but hopefully not this year too.

    All the rest of y’all will have to figure us Steelers fans for our giddiness. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this level of optimism about our offensive line. Go Steelers!

  13. let’s see. with the titans he had a starting line with a lst rounder a 2nd , a3rd, a 4th, and they spent big money on a guard.so the titans invested heavily on 0-line. they must have been pretty good with Munchak as the coach….wrong, they sucked. a pro bowl resume as player does not mean you will be a good coach.
    now he is going to help a clueless bust in Adams and a guy who when blocking can’t distinguish the other team from his own center and knocks him out for the year.
    rest of afc north def licking their chops. Roethlisberger is like a lamb being led to slaughter lol

  14. All I can say is when he was the titans O-Line coach we had one of the best O-Lines in the league during his time. And the titans never spent a 1st rd on any O-Line players in the draft…why? Because Munchak could turn avg to below avg into great players. Now that’s a fact!! When he took over as a HC is when he hired Bruce Matthews as O-Line coach, in which he was HORRIBLE as a coach, HOF player but sucked as a coach. Munchak couldn’t spend the time with just the O-Line as he did while being a HC. Give Munch a yr or two and I promise u will see results on the O-Line.

  15. We’ve got good personnel–if they can stay healthy. And it’s amazing what a good coach can do with good personnel. I’m looking forward to what Munchak can bring … assuming no one tears and ACL on opening day.

  16. Good one scoobs. But no joke, I’d take Bell over AP today. Now the AP with 5 yrs less tread, that’s a different story. Bell’s the real deal friend.

  17. Bell & Lacey were the best R backs out of last years draft. Bell being quick to the hole really does make it better for the O line and also forces 8 in the box which will be great for Ben and all of the receivers.

  18. Bell only averaged 3.5 yards per carry last season. The ONLY way the Steelers will EVER run the ball effectively is by employing a blocking fullback — a SKILLED, legitimate blocker, a la Tim Lester — just as they did when Cowher was the coach.
    Secondly, an O-line is only as good as its depth. The Steelers have (on paper) some quality starters, but they lack seasoned depth. Pouncey has never lasted an entire season. I doubt that Munchak can fix that.

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