Steelers add one coach, might lose another

January 23, 2014
Mike Munchak, a Penn State product and hall of famer, is the Steelers new offensive line coach. - Associated Press

Mike Tomlin filled the only vacancy he had on his coaching staff late Wednesday night by hiring former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak as offensive line coach.

But he might find himself looking for another assistant soon.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson had an impressive interview with the Ravens Wednesday for their offensive coordinator opening and will get a second interview with the team today.

It appears that Wilson, who has been the Steelers’ running backs coach since 2007, and former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, son of former Denver and Washington head coach Mike Shanahan, are the finalists for the job. Kyle Shanahan had a second interview Thursday.

Baltimore’s offensive coordinator position opened when Jim Caldwell left to take the head coaching position with the Detroit Lions.

Munchak, will be the fourth offensive line coach Tomlin has employed since becoming the team’s head coach. Munchak follows Larry Zierlein, Sean Kugler and Jack Bicknell Jr., who was fired at the conclusion of the 2013 season after just one year on the job.

Munchak spent 31 seasons as a player and coach in the Tennessee Titans organization, following the team in its move from Houston.

The 53-year-old former Penn State star had a Hall of Fame career with the Houston Oilers before retiring in 1993. He immediately joined the team’s coaching staff and replaced Jeff Fisher as head coach in 2010.

Munchak was fired at the end of the regular season. He led the Titans to a 22-26 record in three seasons.

Munchak takes over the coaching duties for a line that improved as the season wore on, despite the loss of Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey to a season-ending knee injury in a Week 1 loss at Heinz Field to Munchak’s Titans.

After giving up 36 sacks in their first nine games, the Steelers allowed just seven in their final seven games.

Munchak coached five Pro Bowl linemen as Tennessee’s offensive line coach.

Dale Lolley has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1993 after previously working at WJAC-TV and the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, and The Derrick in Oil City. A native of Fryburg, Pa., he is a graduate of North Clarion High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he earned a degree in journalism. He has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers since joining the Observer-Reporter in 1993, and also serves as the outdoors editor. He also is a radio host for Pittsburgh’s ESPN 970-AM, and serves as administrative adviser for the Red & Black, Washington & Jefferson College’s student newspaper.

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