The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t retain Randy Fichtner for a reason. The offense which had, at on point, averaged 30 points per game had plummeted down the stretch. On top of that, the Steelers’ running game ranked dead last in both yards per game and yards per attempt.
Needless to say, it was time for a change.
The Steelers wasted little time getting candidates lined up for interviews, but even before candidates like Hue Jackson and Pep Hamilton met with Mike Tomlin rumors swirled Matt Canada was the Steelers’ man for the job.
Of course the Steelers went through their interview process, and ultimately made the Canada promotion official.
What was so intriguing about Canada? Was it his ability to take what a team has on their roster and make it successful? Was it his impact on the offense in just a short year with the team as the quarterbacks coach? It certainly wasn’t his inability to stay anywhere in his career for more than a few years.
Team President Art Rooney II spoke about Canada, and why he was the man for the job when he spoke to media last Thursday.
“Matt was our internal candidate that we knew very well, and Mike interviewed a couple of other coaches he felt good about, felt they were good candidates, and they were,” Rooney said. “But at the end of the day he felt like Matt was the best fit for us. Some of the kinds of things you’re seeing in offenses around the league we need to employ in our offense. We did some of that this year. At times we got away from it, and that may have contributed to some of the inconsistency we had in the offense. We look forward to Matt coming in and really having another year to put his system in place, and we think he’ll do a good job.”
Rooney said what fans want to know. It was Canada’s ability to deploy some of the new offensive schemes you are seeing around the league which ultimately resulted in him being the Steelers’ man for the job. What caught my eye during Rooney’s response was the following:
“At times we got away from it, and that may have contributed to some of the inconsistency we had in the offense.”
There is no doubt the Steelers got away from the motions and pre-snap reads which are staples in the Canada offense, which worked by the way, but why they got away from them is the an answer which is vital to the team in 2021.
If it was Fichtner who scoffed at those systems, then the problem is now gone. Canada will have full reign within the offense. But if the person who was doing the scoffing was Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers will need to think long and hard about really welcoming Roethlisberger back to the team if he isn’t going to be buy in to Canada’s system.
Would the Steelers be better off with a quarterback like Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins, if they are fully buying into the Canada offense, compared to a veteran quarterback who is resistant to change and doing things the way he always used to do them?
Either way, the Steelers have clearly put their eggs in the Matt Canada basket, and it is time they do what is best for the offense to flourish with Canada at the helm.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.