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Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Search: Mike Munchak offers hope for the offensive line and experience as a head coach

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Get to know the Arizona Cardinals head coaching candidates, a familiar face with Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals have said they are looking for three things when it comes to their next head coach hire:

A leader, track record of performance and finally someone who keeps the culture and accountability the organization wants moving forward.

That is obvious with a couple of the names they are looking into, as two of the six names we know are former head coaches.

One of those former head coaches is Mike Munchak, the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Unlike Pat Shurmur, who has a long and winding journey to get to the top of the coaching world, Munchak was a more direct route:

After a 12 year NFL career with the Houston Oilers, Munchak joined the Oilers as an offensive assistant in 1994. After three years, he moved up to the offensive line coach for the Oilers and then the Titans when they moved to Tennessee. He was the offensive line coach from 1997 to 2010, all under Jeff Fisher.

After the 2010 season, when Jeff Fisher was let go, the Titans went in-house and promoted Munchak to head coach.

In his three seasons as head coach of the Tennessee Titans, Munchak went 22-26, which in today’s NFL isn’t the complete failure many coaches end up with, so what went wrong?

Terry Lambert of Music City Miracles was nice enough to let me know:

Average. I mean the very definition of average. He would probably still be winning seven to nine games a year here had they kept him here. He’s kind of a boring guy with the media. He’s not going to offer many specifics or let you in too much. You could do worse than Munchak, but you could certainly do a lot better.

Now, Munchak is the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

What is amazing about Munchak is he has coached for two teams (three if you count the move from Houston to Tennessee). He also has never been more than an offensive line coach as an assistant coach.

Munchak has never been a coordinator.

In Tennessee, his coordinators were Chris Palmer and Jerry Gray, two guys with experience as an offensive (Palmer) and defensive (Gray) coordinators previously.

Both were spectacular failures in Tennessee and have not been coordinators again in the NFL (Palmer has been a senior assistant for the 2014 49ers and the Bills in 2015/16).

The one young guy that Munchak brought through the ranks was Dowell Loggains, who was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears the last two seasons. Loggains was the OC in Munchak’s final year in Tennessee, but he did not get much out of the team.

That is where the questions will come with Munchak, can he nail the coordinators this time around?

For Steelers fans over at Behind the Steel Curtain, they are not looking forward to losing Munchak, that is how highly the fans think of what he has built.

From Jeff Hartman:

Munchak has everything an owner would want in a head coach. He was a Hall of Fame player, has head coaching experience, is loyal to a franchise and has done a tremendous job turning the Steelers’ offensive line into one of the best units in all of football.

Someone tell me why Munchak shouldn’t be getting some interviews? The only reason I can fathom for him not being considered for some of these potential openings would be if he simply doesn’t want to be a head coach anymore.

What do you think?

Is this the man for the Cardinals?


Is Mike Munchak the right man for the Arizona Cardinals job?

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