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Hall of Famer Mike Munchak arrives in Denver with eye on improving Broncos’ offensive line

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Mike Munchak is a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

The nine-time Pro Bowl guard was inducted in 2001 — and he’s got the gold jacket to prove it.

But as he gets further away from his playing career and his pupils in the offensive line room get younger and younger, some of the name recognition he earned as a player may be fading.

“You walk in the door, you’re in front of the room for the first time, [and] a lot of these guys have no idea who I am and most of them don’t know I’ve ever played a down in the NFL,” Munchak said Thursday. “They have to go Google me and figure out who I am.”

Once his players realize his credentials, though, Munchak captures their attention. Then comes the tricky part.

“I think when you have a resume — whatever the resume may be — if you had some success as a player or as a coach, I think when you walk in the door you have that,” Munchak said. “They’re wondering, they’re willing to listen, and after that, it’s, ‘What can I do for them? Can I make you better?’ I think that has a big part of it. If I can’t help you and I can’t make you better, then I think you start losing it real quick.”

Munchak, who will enter his first season as the Broncos’ offensive line coach after five seasons in that role in Pittsburgh, hasn’t had to worry about losing a team’s attention or trust.

During his three years as a head coach and 19 years as an offensive line coach, Munchak’s teams have boasted some of the league’s best offensive lines. In 16 of those 22 seasons, Munchak’s unit finished in the top 10 in fewest sacks allowed in the league.

Most recently, Munchak helped turn around a Steelers offensive line that was among the league’s worst. During Munchak’s five years in Pittsburgh, the unit gave up the second-fewest sacks in the league.

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