Press Conferences

Tomlin says Munchak to be interviewed

Posted Jan 2, 2018

The Steelers granted Arizona permission to interview Mike Munchak.

In the retail industry, it’s known as Black Friday, and it signals the official start of the Christmas shopping season, and often, lunacy prevails.

In the professional football industry, it’s known as Black Monday, and it signals the official start of the head coach shopping season, and annually, lunacy prevails.

Black Monday in the NFL was yesterday, and even though it was a national holiday with all banks and courts closed and no mail delivery, the folks in the business of firing and hiring coaches were in the office or on the phone, or both, doing that they do.

For the Steelers, a team coming off a 13-3 regular season that earned them the AFC North championship and a bye in the first round of the playoffs, there is no interest in participating in Black Monday, but because of their 2017 record and a recent history of success that has had them qualify for the postseason four straight times, there can be interest in some of the assistant coaches on Mike Tomlin’s staff.

On Sunday after the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Seattle Seahawks, news surfaced that Bruce Arians was going to retire after five seasons as Arizona’s head coach. The Cardinals subsequently sought permission from the Steelers to interview offensive line coach Mike Munchak for that position, and that permission has been granted.

During Mike Tomlin’s news conference today at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, he was asked whether the Steelers had granted the Cardinals permission to talk to Munchak and if the team would allow other assistants to be interviewed as well.

“We have and we will,” said Tomlin. “There are a lot of things that get done this time of year, particularly for teams in our position, and that’s one of them. That’s the fruit of the labor if you will. We’re not going to be resistant to that. We’re going to be supportive of that and do what’s appropriate.”

Munchak, who was the head coach of the Tennessee Titans from 2011-13 before being fired, was hired by the Steelers in 2014 to coach their offensive line. In situations where an assistant from a team with a playoff bye is a candidate for a job with another team, the interview typically takes place during that bye.

Tomlin confirmed that typically is the procedure, and he also said the Steelers haven’t been contacted yet regarding interest in any of the assistant coaches currently on staff.

“We have a few injuries to talk about. One in-game – B.J. Finney. He had an ankle injury that he was able to come back from, and then he had a thigh injury that he wasn’t (able to come back from). It was probably a culmination of the two. If I had to characterize his status this week, I would characterize it as questionable. I saw him this morning, and there’ no way you can count B.J. Finney out. I saw Antonio Brown this morning also. His progress is going well, his rehab. If we were playing a game this weekend, I would characterize him as questionable as well. There are not a lot of other people to talk about, and that is a good thing.”

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