As Pittsburgh Steelers’ coaches such as Joey Porter and James Saxon are not brought back for next season, Steelers Nation is eagerly awaiting the future of Mike Munchak as the Steelers offensive line coach. Serving as the head coach from 2011 to 2013 for the Tennessee Titans, Munchak has drawn the eye of several teams after five successful years coaching one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Interviewing in Denver last week and reportedly remaining for the weekend to see how the situation played out, Coach Munchak has already turned down an interview with the Miami Dolphins. At this point, it appears Munchak is looking for a perfect scenario in order to even consider leaving Pittsburgh.
If Mike Munchak were to be the head next head coach in Denver, his first major task would be to fill out his coaching staff. Being an offensive line coach himself, filling this position can be a little tricky. The easiest way to hire an offensive line coach would be to bring in someone he has worked with closely in the past. Unfortunately for the Steelers, this could be taking his current offensive line assistant coach Shaun Sarrett with him.
For Steeler fans who are not familiar with him, Shaun Sarrett has been with the team since 2012 as an offensive assistant. Before joining the Steelers, Sarrett had coaching stints at Marshal University and Duke University after playing collegiately at Kent State University. In February of 2018, Sarrett was officially named Assistant Offensive Line Coach after basically performing the job since Munchak joined the Steelers in 2014. By all indications, the two coaches have worked well together in helping to build arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.
If Mike Munchak is offered and accepts the job in Denver, it will be interesting to see if Shaun Sarrett is promoted to the Steelers’ offensive line coach. It’s hard to say if the Steelers front office believes Sarrett is ready to handle the position, but being classified as Munchak’s assistant this past season was a step in the right direction. And there is something in keeping as much continuity as possible within the unit if Coach Munchak were to leave. If the unit were in need of a shake up by bringing in a new coach, I would be all for it. But obviously this group is performing at a high-level, and keeping someone familiar as coach would have its benefits. This exactly what the Steelers did last year with the offensive coordinator position. Would Todd Haley have been let go if the Steelers didn’t have Randy Fichtner ready to step in? It’s hard to say for sure.
Perhaps the Steelers have been preparing for Munchak to get another shot as a head coach and had Sarrett pegged to step into the position all along. Or the Steelers may have just been using Sarrett as a quality assistant and haven’t thought of him beyond this role. It may not matter what the Steelers has in mind for Sarrett if he wishes to remain Munchak’s protégé.
Although he arrived several seasons prior, it is uncertain what such a young assistant would deemed to be more desirable. Would Sarrett and like to stay with the Steelers, or would he like to continue to learn under one of the greatest offensive line coaches the NFL has ever seen? Would moving on with Munchak even be an option?
These questions will obviously be played out in the next several weeks. As of now, Mike Munchak remains the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was only a year ago he was pursued by the Arizona Cardinals only to decline a second interview in order to stay in Pittsburgh. Regardless of Coach Munchak’s future, he is not the only offensive line coach with whom the Steelers need to be concerned.