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BSD Endorses: The Case for Mike Munchak

As Penn State begins its search for a new head coach, different factions from across the Penn State fan base have called out for their preferred candidate to get the job. We at BSD are no different. Here's the case for Mike Munchak, the sixth in a number of editorials from the staff.

Sunny out here
Sunny out here

Similar to our last head coach endorsement post, Mike Munchak is not my top choice to be the next head coach of Penn State football.  If I was choosing, I would want either James Franklin or Al Golden.  My original thought was "GIVE ME FRANKLIN OR GIVE ME DEATH", but after talking with a bunch of the recruits, they all seem to be big fans of Golden.  So now I find myself leaning towards big Al taking over.  But both are great choices, so I'd be happy either way.  Hopefully we do end up with one of them.  Wait, who is this post supposed to be about...?

Mike Munchak was fired by the Titans today.  Munchak was an offensive lineman for Penn State from 1978-1981, where he was named a 2nd team All American for his senior season.  He was then drafted 8th overall in the 1982 draft by the Houston Oilers (who later became the Tennessee Titans), and proceeded to spend the next 32 years in the Titans organization.  After Jeff Fisher retired (but who really retires nowadays?) after the 2010 season, Munchak took over the reigns.  After 3 seasons, leading the Titans to a total 22-26 record (9-7, 6-10, 7-9), Munchak's Titan career has finally came to a close.   He leaves the Titans having compiled 9 Pro Bowl appearances, 10 All Pro selections, and was named to the 1980s All Decade Team as a player.  He was also named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and had his jersey (#63) retired by the Titans organization.

So Munchak's done alright for himself.  He didn't find himself with the most desirable job in the NFL for his first head coaching gig , going from offensive line coach to head coach.  While the Titans are not completely devoid of talent, they certainly are not one of the more powerful squads in the league; during Munchak's time as their head coach their calling card was playing average to above average defense, and hoping Chris Johnson and Jake Locker could attempt to live up to their contract and draft position (respectively) to salvage some offense.  As you can see by the record, this strategy didn't work out most of the time.

There are many positives to Munchak as Penn State's head coach.  He obviously is familiar with the school, seeing as he is an all time great.  He should know what is expected from the fan base, and will be prepared to talk to the media.  He will have all the "WE NEED A TRUE PENN STATER"s on his side.  He knows how to develop an offensive line, and would probably attract many big time offensive line recruits.  He has NFL experience, and can use that to his advantage on the field, in the pressroom, and in recruiting.  He's extremely loyal, and would likely stay with Penn State as long as he would be allowed to.  He would likely be able to bring in some great assistant coaches that would be a mix of NFL guys and former Penn State guys to fill out the staff.  He would also surely keep Larry Johnson on staff, which would cement the defensive recruits in the 2014 class staying on board (I've been told this by multiple recruits).

There are also negatives to Munchak's hire.  He clearly did not have much success in his first head coaching gig, why would we assume he would do any better here.  He spent his entire career, excluding the last 3, focusing on the offensive line.  He is not necessarily known for any brilliant insights on either side of the ball, aside from having a vast knowledge of blocking schemes that could be turned into a deeper knowledge of the run game.  We don't know what kind of connections he truly has with potential assistants.  He could do anything from hire Bobby Engram to hiring my high school's defensive coordinator (My high school sucks at football).  The scary thing about Munchak as head coach is simply how much he still has left to prove as a gameday coach.  Granted, this was true about O'Brien as well, but Munchak comes from a different situation.  Whereas O'Brien came from a high-powered Patriots offense, Munchak comes from a disappointing and unexciting Titans team.

If neither Golden nor Franklin works out for PSU, Munchak will likely become the leading candidate.  Whether this is truly a good thing or a bad thing is not yet known.  Should he take over the reigns leading the Nittany Lion chariot, the majority of his success will come based on what assistants he fills out his staff with.  He's also a Lion at heart though, and that's not a bad thing.  Either way, let's come to a decision here soon boys.  BSD is getting so much attention via site hits and twitter right now that I'm letting it go to my head.  NOW FETCH ME A SANDWICH, READERS.