Denver Broncos made a huge mistake letting Mike Munchak out the door
Mike Munchak is still a Denver resident. Can the Broncos call him up and tell him they’re sorry? Can they get a mulligan on this one?
Letting go of Mike Munchak should have never been allowed by George Paton when he brought in Nathaniel Hackett as the team’s head coach. Hackett obviously sold Paton on a plan of innovation and quarterback-friendliness when he made his head coaching pitch, but that initial plan clearly included Green Bay assistant coach Adam Stenavich, the Packers‘ offensive line coach who was promoted to offensive coordinator and blocked from coming to Denver.
When Hackett lost out to Matt LaFleur on bringing in Stenavich, he should have been begging Munchak to stay on his staff. Perhaps Munchak didn’t want to work for Hackett, or maybe Hackett just really thought Butch Barry was going to be a better teacher for the offensive linemen than Munchak was.
Whatever the case, the Broncos clearly made an error by letting Munchak go and after taking the year off, hopefully he is amenable to coming back in 2023. The team has been so much worse on the offensive line in 2022, they have been one of the most penalized teams in the league, and they’ve regressed from what I thought was progression under Munchak’s watch.
Not only is it disappointing that the Broncos let go of Munchak, but they also had an opportunity to promote someone in-house with Chris Kuper, who played in the zone blocking scheme as a member of the Denver Broncos and was taken under Munchak’s wing. He’s now doing a tremendous job developing the offensive line for Kevin O’Connell’s Minnesota Vikings.
The offensive line has been such a problem area for the Broncos this season. Despite injuries taking their toll, this unit just doesn’t play disciplined, they don’t communicate well, and they’re costing the team when it comes to down-and-distance and efficiency on third down and in the red zone.