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Mike Munchak providing Steelers' OL with minor changes that make a major difference

Some might downplay the importance of a position coach, but when the Steelers hired Mike Munchak to coach the offensive line, they knew they had struck gold.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Munchak has a resume that any football organization would be foolish to ignore. Not only is he a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his experience as an offensive line coach and head coach at the NFL level make him a rare commodity in his coaching fraternity.

That was a large reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers and Mike Tomlin were so aggressive in bringing Munchak in to coach the Steelers' offensive line after he was fired from his job as head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

Munchak has lived up to his billing so far and, while the changes he's making along the line are sometimes subtle, they've made a huge difference in the way the unit functions.

"He has the tackle setting with depth and he has the guards actually setting with depth, too," starting left guard Ramon Foster told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "That's something I had never done. I knew to do it, but he enforces that on us, to lose a little ground so we're on the same level as tackles. I'm taking two kick-slides to get on the same level as the tackle. That evens the odds right there because if they're going to run something we'll be able to pass it off."

It is Munchak's attention-to-detail approach that has the Steelers' offensive line oozing with confidence heading into the regular season.

"We're much more confident than we have been in the past, and it has a lot to do with the three interior guys," right tackle Marcus Gilbert said. "It's allowing the quarterback to step up and make throws. We're working together and building continuity."

That continuity will be the cornerstone of the Steelers' success as an offense. As great as Munchak is as a coach, he can only do so much if the line becomes decimated with injuries for another season.

If the line is able to stay relatively healthy under the tutelage of Munchak, there's no doubt the Steelers should see improved protection for Ben Roethlisberger, as well as a more dynamic running game with Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount in 2014.