History of Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Munchak was the offensive line coach of the Tennessee Titans for 14 seasons. I thought I'd take a look at what happened during that time.

First off, as the phrase goes, coaches coach and players play, let's try to remember that.

First, the passing game. (Cleveland and Houston will not be considered in any stats because they weren't around for the whole time period)

From 1997-2010 The Tennessee Titans allowed the second fewest sacks of any team in the NFL, just behind Indianapolis and the unsackable Peyton Manning.

It helps that during that time they threw the 3rd fewest passes, but the Steelers gave up the 8th most sacks while throwing the least passes during that same span. The Titans also recorded the 2nd fewest games with 3 or more sacks at 78, compared to the Steelers 118.

During those 14 years the Titans ranked in the top 3 for lowest sack percentage (percentage of pass plays ending in a sack) 5 times, top 10 8 times, and in the bottom half of the league twice. (17th in 1997, 23rd in 2004) I won't even bother comparing that to the Steelers rankings, because it is pathetic and we all know that. In 2012 when Ben was hit the least since 2005 we ranked 15th.

The QB's for their worst two seasons were Billy Volek in 2004 and Steve McNair in 1997 in his first season as the starter. 1997 was also Munchak's first year as O-Line Coach.

What about the run game?

It is hard to look at overall numbers to judge an O-Line, esp. when Eddie George is the running back for 7 of those seasons, and Chris Johnson's first three years account for three more. It is interesting to see the change in Chris Johnson's production after 2010, when Munchak was in charge of the whole team, not just the O-line, even if that wasn't the only factor.

Looking at Football Outsiders ratings team offense the Titans ranked top ten in rushing offense efficiency 7 times, and in the bottom 10 4 times.

Their Offensive line yards stat gives crazy variance from year to year, ranking quite low a good amount of the time, that ranking system is pretty inconsistent in general, so it probably just doesn't apply well.

What I think we can safely expect from Munchak's offensive line is a continued high number of running plays, with improvement from our current results, as his lines have been consistently better than ours have done recently, but not some magic wand that turns us into the 2004 Steelers, unless health and luck are stacked up for us again.

The big thing is the pass protection. Only Billy Volek could push Munchak's protection to the bottom half of the league after his first season. His lines protected Kerry Collins and Vince Young really well, and I think we can expect returns in that area more than in the running game.

Munchak isn't bringing the smash mouth football to Pittsburgh, but he is bringing a track record of protecting QB's at an outstanding rate. I think we can all appreciate the possibility of Ben being a little safer in the pocket.

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