PITTSBURGH -- Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum wasn’t even 5 years old when Mike Munchak played in his final football game in 1993. But Beachum knows enough about NFL history that he didn’t need to do any research after the Steelers hired Munchak to coach their offensive line.
“He’s one of those guys you don’t have to go to Google and read about him,” Beachum said. “You know about him already.”
Beachum distilled the impact of Munchak's credentials into two words: “Instant credibility.”
In a Steelers offseason marked by additions – and subtractions – Munchak could prove to be the most significant one.
The Steelers have yet field an offensive line under coach Mike Tomlin that can consistently take over games. That could change with Munchak, a Pro Football Hall of Fame guard and also a highly regarded offensive line coach.
The former Titans head coach will mold and lead a promising group that returns four starters as well as Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.
“The guy is no-nonsense,” Beachum said. “He wants to get the job done. He has guys in the offensive line are hungry to win and to go out and prove that this is an offensive line that can really carry this team. He’s already had a presence in the room since we’ve met with him a couple of times as an offensive line.”
Munchak is still early in the process of getting to know his new players -- and vice versa -- and he has to be encouraged with the potential of a group that won’t have a starter over 28 this season and only allowed seven sacks in the Steelers’ final seven games in 2013.
Beachum said the line has met with Munchak several times and that the terminology won’t change much. That should ease the transition to a new position coach for the players.
Munchak is expected to implement an outside zone-blocking scheme, something the Steelers abandoned after Pouncey tore his ACL eight plays into the 2013 season, but Beachum said, “I think we’re still going to be varied a little bit, the inside zone and the outside zone and still using the gap scheme. I’m looking to the running game just really taking off in general.”
The offensive line, too.
“To have a Hall of Famer in the room really just speaks volumes because he’s played the game,” Beachum said of Munchak. “He knows what you’re going through, he knows what to expect, he knows you’re going to get beat sometimes, which is part of the National Football League. Then he also knows how to excel. He’s done it a very high level. He’s known for it, and I think he’s going to bring a lot to the room and I know he will.”