Why is former Coach Mike Munchak consulting with LA Rams this week?

Mike Minchak
Mike Minchak / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

There was some debate over who would and who would not compete in preseason games for the LA Rams this season. Well, after one game, the Rams strategy seems to be a bit more in focus. It appears that the Rams will not play veterans who will either start or who are likely to hold significant roles this season.

That takes Rob Havenstein, Brian Allen, and Coleman Shelton out of the rotation for preseason games, but it still commits such players as Steve Avila for the gauntlet of preseason work. While there are certainly some benefits to that strategy, keep in mind that the Rams offensive line is less about individual play and more aptly about cohesive communication, coordination, and cohesiveness.

To accomplish that, the Rams will need to settle in on a starting five and work them with repetition to get their work from thinking about it to automatic and reflex. RIght now, the Rams are not simply trying to coach up and assess their younger offensive linemen, but the toll of assessing the best five to start is still not fully accomplished.

And that opening kickoff is rapidly approaching.

A new set of coaching eyes

And so, the LA Rams have added offensive line coach Mike Munchak to the practices for this week. If you wanted a veteran coach to weigh in for the LA Rams offensive line, you are likely doing backflips right now. Coach Munchak began his coaching career in 1994 with the Houston Oilers and has carried him with the team to set up as the Tennessee Titans. His latest chapter had been serving as the Denver Broncos offensive line coach for the past three seasons.

The LA Rams seem to be placing tremendous emphasis on their offensive line this season. The first course of action was to bolster OL depth. To that end, the Rams addressed the offensive line twice during the 2023 NFL Draft with Steve Avila and Warren McClendon. The Rams' roster deepened further by adding three more rookie offseason linemen after the draft concluded.

But it's not enough simply to add more players. The real work began as soon as the pads went on and offensive linemen began to experience authentic contact as they attempted to replicate all of the drills and practices in live contact.

But even that has its limits. The LA Rams players are limited by the number and depth of experience of their offensive line coaching staff. So far, OL Coach Ryan Wendell seems to know what he's doing, but his depth of experience as both a player and OL Assistant Coach are limited.

This week, the Rams have addressed that issue by bringing in a new set of eyes in veteran Coach Mike Munchak. We can speculate over what specifically is his charter for appearing at Rams practices, but we can agree that he is likely there to aid Rams players and coaches in fine tuning blocking strategies and techniques.

Hot. WR McCutcheon sets All-Time record. LA Rams Lance McCutcheon sets Rams All-Time record, but nobody is talking about it. dark

But he is also one more set of trained eyes. We know from the LA Rams depth chart that the Rams are torn at starting left tackle between Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson. We also know that the Rams are torn at the starting offensive center between Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton. Munchak could be tasked with breaking that tie and allowing the Rams' OL to define who starts once and for all.

With just two preseason games to go, the Rams need to get their ducks in a row pretty quickly. Coach Munchak has a wealth of knowledge and experience. But perhaps he also makes the perfect judge as well, particularly in assessing how the LA Rams depth chart is finalized for the 2023 NFL season.