I’m not sure any other fan base would get so excited about a new offensive line coach hiring. My twitter was blowing up the past couple of days with excitement over the hiring of Mike Munchak.
I’ll admit I’m pretty excited myself. This is about as close as we get to a high profile free agent signing.
After the initial buzz, I’ve started trying to think what this means for the team going forward.
Many of the national mock drafts you’ll see are slotting Taylor Lewan or Cyrus Kouandjio to the Steelers at the 15th pick… don’t buy it.
I’ve gone on record as saying I think Kelvin Beachum has played well enough to be the starter at left tackle to open 2014, but with the Munchak signing I’d say OL is definitely out in the first two days of the 2014 draft.
I hate to be overly optimistic here, but Munchak could get this team back to being a dangerous playoff team relatively quickly.
How you ask?
I can almost guarantee you the first thing Mike Tomlin and Mike Munchak spoke about in their interview was that they couldn’t spend any more high picks on lineman, and they needed to raise the level of play of what they already have.
This team has a lot of holes; we know that. However, let’s say that Munchak at the very least helps Beachum get to the point of being a solid left tackle, and elevates Mike Adams or Gilbert to the same level on the right side… We’ve got a dangerous offense.
Le’Veon Bell is only going to get better, Sanders is basically the only loss and not much of one if you ask me, and the offense was already starting to get into a groove late in 2013.
David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey have all the tools to be the best in the game at their respective positions, and now they have a Hall of Fame interior lineman coaching them.
It’s also a bonus that Fernando Velasco seems to like Munchak, and we probably have a good chance of bringing him back for cheap. Velasco is a great backup center and guard.
Again, that’s asking a lot… but if all of that happens the Steelers could spend essentially an entire draft on filling holes on a still-aging defense. If you spend 6 picks on the defensive side of the ball, chances are a couple of them are going to stick.
Grab a #2 receiver in the draft and spend the rest of the picks making the defensive side of the ball younger, and this team could compete quickly.