There are many options for the Browns in the ongoing coaching search. A few coaches have been interviewed already and there are more to come. One name that should be considered for the job is Mike Munchak, who is currently the offensive line coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Munchak may not be a name that excites people, but he may just be the right choice.
Munchak played in the NFL from 1982 – 1993 for the Houston Oilers. He was a Hall of Fame offensive guard and played next to fellow Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Munchak was tough and always played well against the division rival Browns teams of that era. When he retired, the Oilers hired him as a coach. He was an assistant for the Oilers/Titans organization from 1994 – 2010.
In 2011, Munchak was named head coach of the Titans. His coaching record of 22 – 26 in his three seasons as head coach may not be awe-inspiring, but he was better than his record indicates. Some of the assistants who worked for Munchak in those three years include but are not limited to, Gregg Williams, Frank Bush, Dave Ragone, Dowell Loggins and Bruce Matthews.
When Munchak got fired in 2013, then Titans GM Ruston Webster said that had Munchak fired some assistant coaches, he could have kept his job. Munchak showed great loyalty to his people, which is a quality seldom seen. Too often coaches are quick to throw others under the bus especially if it saves their own skin.
After getting fired by the Titans, Munchak got hired by the Steelers to be their offensive line coach. He has passed on his knowledge and technique to many players who have given the Browns problems over the years. He made an immediate impact as in his first year with the Steelers. He helped C Maurkice Pouncey make a Pro Bowl and be named an All Pro.
In his after the season press conference, Browns GM John Dorsey gave some of the attributes that he envisions in a head coach. He said, “What do you want? You want a man of character, a guy who can instill leadership into these young men, a guy who is a collaborative thinker, a guy who’s a continuous learner, a guy who’s consistent on a day in and day out basis…” He then reiterated that he wants a man of character who could lead young men.
Mike Munchak is all those things. He is a “man of character” as seen in the fact that he was not willing to let go of others to save himself. He has coached for over 20 years. In that time, he has been a leader and has had to work with others making him a collaborator. Finally, he has been a model of consistency. He has worked for two organizations in his long coaching career after starting in 156 of his 159 career games.
As an offensive line coach, he has not been a play-caller, which means hiring Munchak does not preclude the Browns from keeping Freddie Kitchens. Additionally, both Munchak and Kitchens have a previous connection in that they worked under Todd Haley. If Munchak does not go with Kitchens, Dowell Loggains or Dave Ragone may get the opportunity to be Munchak’s play-caller. Ragone is seen amongst the league as an up and coming OC due to his work with young signal-caller Mitch Trubisky in Chicago.
Defensively, Munchak may decide to keep Gregg Williams who he has a prior relationship with. Also, Frank Bush was most recently a linebackers coach on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff. With the Dolphins looking for a new head coach, Bush may be available as an assistant coach for the Browns.
Munchak has the connections to fill up a staff. He has proven to be a man of character. He is a model of consistency. He may be the next head coach of our beloved Cleveland Browns.