When I was a teenager in the late-’80s, I had to endure the heck that was Tom Moore as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator, before Joe Walton came along in 1990 and made the experience pure hell.
In subsequent years, the Steelers went through their fair share of offensive game-planners, including Ron Erhardt, Chan Gailey, Ray Sherman and Mike Mularkey. I enjoyed some and didn’t care for others. Unfortunately for me, even as a 20 and then 30-something, I really had no say in who Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator was. But that all changed with the advent of social media.
My first target was Bruce Arians, a man I negatively Tweeted about on a daily basis. “HE’S TOO PREDICTABLE,” I often typed in all caps. I even took it to the airwaves. “Will BA be held accountable,” I asked Stan Savran on my weekly calls to his talk show.
In January of 2012, the Steelers finally listened to my grievance and moved on from Arians for good.
I won’t bore you with how I felt about Todd Haley and/or Randy Fichtner, the two offensive “geniuses” that followed Arians, but needless to say, I was not easy on them.
Anyway, I’m kidding. I never really cared all that much about who the Steelers’ offensive coordinator was. Don’t get me wrong, I always wanted it to be someone who was good, but I kind of figured the Steelers did, too, so I didn’t get all bent out of shape over who they ultimately chose to orchestrate the offense.
I feel that way today about Matt Canada, the latest Steelers’ offensive coordinator who may or may not have known what he was getting himself into when he accepted the promotion from quarterback coach.
After many years of being an OC at the college level, including stints with Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, LSU and Maryland, Canada will finally get to try his hand at the professional level.
Good for him. He’s 49 (an age that I’d like to think is still young enough), and his ideas appear to be a bit different from what we witnessed over the previous decade with Haley and then Fichtner at the helm. Will Canada have to compromise a bit with the old warhorse, Ben Roethlisberger, presumably coming back to be his quarterback in 2021? Sure, but isn’t that what a good coach is supposed to do, game plan around his players' strengths? Of course, it is.
I admit that I wasn’t all too keen on the idea of bringing in a new offensive coordinator, if for no other reason than I’ve seen far too many of them come and go over the past few decades to get truly excited about it.
But I promise not to bash Canada the first time he screws up. I actually want him to be successful. Why? Because I want the Steelers to be successful.
I wasn’t all that excited about Haley, but I sure loved the way Roethlisberger’s sack totals decreased under his watch.
Fichtner didn’t move the needle all that much for me when he was promoted in the 2018 offseason, but the Steelers red zone efficiency sure did make me happy during the 2018 regular season.
The Steelers are my team, and their offensive coordinator is my offensive coordinator.
All I’m saying is give Matt Canada a chance.
I know I will.