Steelers fans abuzz over Munchak hiring

Steel City wake-up: morning links

Steelers fans may want to hold off on ticketing Pittsburgh for the 2014 Super Bowl, but their excitement over the hiring of Mike Munchak to coach the offensive line is understandable.

The Steelers have more often than not won in spite of their offensive line since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach seven years ago. The uneven play of the line, which, in fairness, has been consistently ravaged by injuries, is why Tomlin is hiring his fourth different offensive line coach.

A young offensive line that returns all of its starters in 2014 is also expected to get Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey back from a torn ACL. The line really jelled in the second half of the season as it allowed just seven sacks in the final seven games and also improved in run blocking.

Munchak’s credentials strongly suggest that he is the coach to pull everything together up front.

I can’t remember such a consensus among Steelers’ fans in applauding a Tomlin coaching hires. There is indeed a lot to like about Munchak, who will return to his native Pennsylvania after spending more than three decades with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans as a player and then a coach.

  • It is pretty quiet around the AFC North, and that is news when it comes to the Browns as Cleveland has yet to hire a head coach. Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has emerged the favorite to land the job, and he is scheduled to interview with the team today in Cleveland. ESPN.com reporter Browns reporter Pat McManamon has a good read on what is taking so long for Cleveland, which abruptly fired Rob Chudzinski earlier this month, to hire a coach.

  • ESPN.com NFL draft analysts Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl break down how some of the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl have fared during practices this week. They also list four players who may not wow teams during the workout aspect of the pre-draft evaluation but should not be overlooked because of that. Ohio State offensive tackle Jack Mewhort, a player who could interest the Steelers, is among those players.