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Mike Munchak releases statement as to why he is staying with the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - 4 hours 57 min ago

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach withdrew his name for the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job, and he explains why.

On a day filled with change for the Pittsburgh Steelers, there will be one coach remaining in the Steel City. After the dismissal of offensive coordinator Todd Haley, offensive line coach Mike Munchak has decided to stay in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday evening he released a statement, via the team’s Public Relations team, explaining his decision.

#Steelers Offensive Line Coach Mike Munchak statement on remaining in Pittsburgh: pic.twitter.com/s4sK84fNIS

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) January 17, 2018

Munchak was a finalist for the Arizona Cardinals’ head coaching vacancy, but when the team requested a second interview, he withdrew his name from consideration.

While it doesn’t look like Munchak will be the team’s new offensive coordinator, he will have the opportunity to continue to lead one of the league’s best offensive lines.

Under Munchak the line has flourished.

Since becoming the #Steelers offensive line coach in 2014, Mike Munchak has led a unit that has allowed the 4th-fewest sacks in the NFL over the past 4 seasons (111) and ranked in the Top 3 in each of the past 2 seasons in fewest sacks allowed:

2016: 2nd (21)
2017: T-3rd (24)

— Dom Rinelli (@drinelli) January 17, 2018

I speak for all Steelers fans when I say we are all excited to see Munchak stay with Pittsburgh for at least another year!

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news on the black-and-gold.

Steelers receivers coach Richard Mann retires

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 5 hours 19 min ago

In the wake of offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s departure, the Steelers made another staff change official Wednesday.

Steelers prepared to name Randy Fichtner offensive coordinator

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 5 hours 33 min ago

The Steelers are prepared to name Randy Fichtner as Todd Haley’s replacement at offensive coordinator, pending final approval of his contract, a team source told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Mike Munchak turns down Cardinals interview to stay with Steelers

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 5 hours 38 min ago

The Steelers won’t be losing one of the most important members of their coaching staff. Offensive line coach Mike Munchak is staying with the Steelers after turning down a second interview with Arizona to become the next head coach of the Cardinals.

Mann makes his retirement official

Steelers.com News - 6 hours 43 min ago
Richard Mann officially retired after coaching in the NFL for 33 years, five of them with the Steelers.

Report: Steelers preparing to name Randy Fichtner the new offensive coordinator

Behind the Steel Curtain - 8 hours 9 min ago

Shortly after dismissing Todd Haley, it is being reported the team knows exactly who they want as their next offensive coordinator.

The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to part ways with Todd Haley Wednesday, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson, the team is already eyeing up their next play caller in quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner.

Steelers are expected to promote their QB coach Randy Fichtner to offensive coordiantor, per @mortreport.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2018

Fichtner, who has a tremendous relationship with Ben Roethlisberger, would make for a very smooth transition from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. The terminology would remain largely the same, but the ultimate philosophy of the offense would certainly be what Roethlisberger wants.

These reports could be premature, and the Steelers could be interviewing other candidates to fill the void at offensive coordinator, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if they already have their man, and start to move ahead with Fichtner at the helm.

If Fichtner is the next man up, the team would have to look for a new quarterbacks coach. There will be plenty of names likely floating around, but this job search would not be nearly as important as promoting someone to the roll of offensive coordinator.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on this story as it develops.

Todd Haley: An appreciation

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 8 hours 15 min ago

Todd Haley is hopping into his Camaro and riding off into the sunset, and if you were to search for folks who are happy about it, it wouldn’t take long.

Tomlin statement on Haley

Steelers.com News - 8 hours 28 min ago
Statement from Head Coach Mike Tomlin on Todd Haley

Joe Starkey: Todd Haley’s time was up, but what about this Steelers defense?

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 8 hours 36 min ago

Ben Roethlisberger is the single most important person in the Steelers organization, and it’s not close.

Todd Haley is out. Who will replace him?

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 8 hours 46 min ago

The decision to not renew offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s contract has coach Mike Tomlin facing a critical decision of whom to hire as his replacement and whether he should promote from within to maintain stability with one of the top offenses in the NFL.

Heyward: 'It doesn’t stop here'

Steelers.com News - 8 hours 58 min ago
Cameron Heyward talks about changes, run defense, execution and Dan Rooney.

Heyward: 'We have to grow'

Steelers.com Videos - 9 hours 3 min ago
Cam Heyward on what needs done in the upcoming offseason.

Jacksonville bakery thanks Ben Roethlisberger by sending him seven turnovers

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 9 hours 8 min ago

Ben Roethlisberger played an instrumental role in the Steelers’ two losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars this season. The quarterback threw five interceptions in the teams’ first meeting back in October. He also threw a pick and lost a fumble that together led directly to 14 Jaguars points in the AFC divisional round playoff game Sunday at Heinz Field. 

Conflicting reports, combined with Todd Haley’s dismissal, make Mike Munchak’s future cloudy

Behind the Steel Curtain - 9 hours 53 min ago

No one quite knows what to think regarding Mike Munchak’s future.

Wednesday has been quite the day for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fans arrived to work/school to see the following information coming from ESPN’s Adam Schefter regarding the potential hiring of offensive line coach Mike Munchak as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals:

Steelers’ OL coach Mike Munchak has turned down the chance for a second HC interviews with the Arizona Cardinals, per @mortreport. Munchak our and Patriots’ LB coach Brian Flores now in play.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2018

Fans were excited to see the experienced, and tremendous, coach reportedly staying in Pittsburgh after turning down a second interview. Then, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat writer Gerry Dulac added a wrinkle into the entire situation:

Mike Munchak is a "serious" candidate to become head coach in Arizona, per NFL source.

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 17, 2018

With fans not knowing what to think of these conflicting reports, when Todd Haley was told he wouldn’t be brought back for next season as the offensive coordinator, some were curious if the two scenarios were somehow intertwined.

Could Munchak have turned down the Cardinals job after being promised the offensive coordinator position?

Did the Steelers offer Munchak more money, and/or a higher role on the team, if he wasn’t the next in line for the offensive coordinator position?

Is Dulac’s source correct, and Munchak is still being heavily considered for the Cardinals’ vacant head coaching position?

Or, is this possibly a negotiating ploy by Munchak’s representatives to possibly get more money from Arizona if they decide to pull the trigger on the deal?

Either way, this is one of the many situations which will be worth keeping an eye on as the Steelers’ young, but intense, offseason rolls on. Be sure to stay with BTSC for the latest on this story, as well as others surrounding the black-and-gold.

Report: Todd Haley is out as Steelers offensive coordinator

Behind the Steel Curtain - 10 hours 35 min ago

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly parting ways with Todd Haley.

For many in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base, the time is now to rejoice.

Reports are swirling the team has decided to part ways with Todd Haley as the offensive coordinator moving forward.

Sources: The #Steelers are allowing OC Todd Haley to walk now that he’s out of his contract. Pittsburgh expected to have a new OC.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2018

#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has had incredible success with OC Todd Haley. But that relationship was not sustainable. Haley is out.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2018

From our Championship Wednesday coverage: #Steelers OC Todd Haley is out. Pittsburgh needs a new play-caller. pic.twitter.com/MekJLCPisV

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2018

If these reports are true, the Steelers will certainly be searching for a new offensive coordinator heading into the 2018-2019 season. The logical decision for the team would be promoting quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to offensive coordinator. Fichtner would be an easy transition, and has a great relationship with Ben Roethlisberger, but it would ultimately mean Roethlisberger would have a tremendous amount of control over the offense, compared to what it was with Haley at the helm.

Another option for the Steelers at this point would be to also consider promoting Mike Munchak to the offensive coordinator position, this coming after rumors of him turning down a second interview with the Arizona Cardinals swirled earlier Wednesday.

Either way, it looks as if the Steelers will be bringing in a new play caller next season, and the large majority of Steelers Nation couldn’t be happier.

Stay tuned to BTSC as more information is released on this story.

Todd Haley won't return as Steelers offensive coordinator

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 10 hours 37 min ago

Todd Haley’s tenure as Steelers offensive coordinator ended Wednesday, multiple sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Source: Mike Tomlin told defensive coaches their jobs are safe

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - 12 hours 8 min ago

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has told his defensive coaches he is not going to make any changes and intends to bring that portion of his staff back next season, per a team source.

Ben Roethlisberger is probably allowed to run a quarterback sneak, even if he's not

Behind the Steel Curtain - 12 hours 22 min ago

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not only 6'5", he's the straw that stirs that drink in the Steelers organization. I'm pretty sure he could have gotten away with a quarterback sneak or two in Pittsburgh's playoff loss to the Jaguars on Sunday.

Near the end of the third quarter of the Steelers divisional round playoff game against the Colts on January 15, 2006, Indianapolis faced a fourth and short and decided to send the punt team out.

Quarterback Peyton Manning quickly waved the unit off and decided he was going to go for it.

Manning's boss, Colts head coach Tony Dungy, mouthed, "You better make it."

As you know, Manning made it, a conversion that segued into the Colts quickly evaporating most of what was a 21-3 deficit in an ending for the ages, as Pittsburgh barely escaped with a 21-18 victory.

Anyway, back to Dungy telling Manning "You better make it." If I'm Manning at the moment, I might mouth back, "Is there an 'Or else' that goes with that, Coach?"

After all, who's more indispensable to a football team, a franchise quarterback or his coach?

Not much of a debate, as even your greatest head coaches throughout history have had a hard time winning without a franchise passer.

Which brings me to this past Sunday, and the Steelers not-so-memorable 45-42 loss to the Jaguars in a divisional round matchup at Heinz Field.

The ending could have been one for the ages if the Steelers had been able to convert on one or both of their fourth and inches attempts during the game.

Why didn't they?

One of the reasons may have had to do with Ben Roethlisberger being forbidden from executing the old quarterback sneak, something he hasn't even attempted since late in the 2015 season.

The theory is that Roethlisberger, a 6'5", 240-plus pound man nicknamed 'Big Ben,' isn't allowed to try quarterback sneaks these days, out of fear he'll get injured.

I find that funny, since Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a 6'4", 225 pound man often nicknamed a wimp by those who hate his guts, does it all the time.

Following Sunday's debacle, Roethlisberger was naturally asked about why he didn't sneak it on one (or both) of those fourth and inches attempts.

In yet another instance of Big Ben being Passive Aggressive Ben, Roethlisberger said of the decision not to sneak it, "That's over my head."

Yeah right, that's about as disingenuous as when a player says his contract negotiations are "up to his agent," you know, the one he hired?

Nothing in the Steelers playbook is over Roethlisberger's head. I know this, because each play, save for the occasional one that starts in the wildcat formation, begins with the football in his hands.

Basically, Roethlisberger, like any quarterback, can do whatever he wants once he decides to take the snap from center.

And, as I alluded to earlier, a quarterback of Roethlisberger's status would certainly have more latitude with waving a coach's orders off and saying, "Screw it, we're running this play!"

In Roethlisberger, we're talking about one of the toughest people to ever play his position at such a high level.

We're also talking about a quarterback who is 18 of 19 during his career attempting quarterback sneaks.

You know what else we're talking about? A quarterback who takes every snap from a Pro Bowl center, who, oh by the way, has a Pro Bowl guard lined up to his right.

Speaking of offensive linemen, unless it's some elaborate running play that involves pulling and such, can't you simply attempt a sneak even if your mates think the play is something else?

The most famous sneak of all time occurred when nobody but the quarterback knew what was coming.

I'm talking about Bart Starr's famous sneak for the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of the 1967 Ice Bowl that earned the Packers their third-straight NFL Championship.

The play was designed for running back Chuck Mercein, but given the icy field conditions, Starr decided to just keep the ball and plunge over the line himself.

I'm pretty sure the Packers coaching staff—including Vince Lombardi—was okay with Starr's decision to keep everyone in the dark.

And if one or two secret quarterback sneaks on Sunday would have segued into a trip to New England (instead of some tropical destination), I'm pretty sure Ben Roethlisberger's coaches and teammates would have been okay with keeping them in the dark.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 salary cap situation

Behind the Steel Curtain - 14 hours 3 min ago

Do you think the Steelers are sitting pretty regarding their salary cap situation? Well, think again.

The BTSC boards are erupting with fans upset and angry after a tough loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but for me, it is time to look toward the future and set the past where it belongs. That future starts now with the offseason. Where better to start than looking at where the Pittsburgh Steelers sit regarding the salary cap?

Before I get started, I feel the need to inform Steeler fans that Over the Cap has made changes. I’m not happy about the changes, as they’re leading to confusion about what OTC is, and isn’t, including in the cap number.

OTC has made its projection of the cap increase in 2018. There will not be much disagreement about the figure of around $10 million that is used. This figure is what the cap increased last season. It includes carryover money from 2017. This also makes sense, but is confusing because in the past, it was listed separately. Now people are unsure whether it was or wasn’t included in the 2018 cap. The last item that is not readily visible is dead cap space. It’s at the bottom of the page, and not all players who are involved in the dead money are listed. Here is Jason’s tweet regarding the changes.

Yes both are there. I dropped putting the carryover online only because we have some data we source exclusively and then its taken and never credited so its an extra step of work for them to do.

— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) January 11, 2018

(I agree with his reason, as well and the logic behind it. OTC claims that Spotrac uses his info, along with that of others, while never giving credit.)

So, where do the Steelers sit regarding cap space?

It is worrisome, and not pretty.

There are 51 players under contract.

Total 2018 cap liabilities: $186,078,086

Dead money: $956,175 (This is included in the above figure.)

2017 carryover: $4,040,611 (This is included in the above figure.)

Projected top 51 2018 cap number: $178,386,911

The following are not yet included.

Pittburgh’s six draft picks: $4,933,532

52nd and 53 roster spots: $1,110,000 (This is minimum but those two spots will be taken up by draft picks. The remaining four draft picks, for simplicity, will bump off four minimum salaries of $555,000 each.)

The 10-man taxi squad: $1.4 million (estimated)

The 2019 carryover: $3.5 million (estimated)

The estimated cap space is: -$14,194,707

While the Steelers will not be over that full amount, they are currently over the cap. This is not a big deal right now, but they will need to get under the cap by March 14 for compliance.

Who do you think will be the cap casualties? Who do you think will be the biggest surprise cuts? Which player with the largest salary deserves to be cut? Who is your favorite player who you expect to be cut?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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