The Pittsburgh Steelers started their first of three mandatory minicamp workouts Tuesday, and the offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, took center stage. No, he did nothing dramatic on the field, and wasn’t overly boisterous.
He just spoke.
Some might think this isn’t a huge ordeal, but this was the first time Canada spoke with the media since he was hired this past winter. It was the media’s first chance to ask him questions about his offense, where he sees it going and how Ben Roethlisberger fits into the scheme.
Before getting into some of the things Canada said, it should be noted he is a coach, and one under Mike Tomlin, who will toe the company line when asked questions.
When asked about the transition for Roethlisberger, Canada downplayed Roethlisberger having to learn an entirely new system. In fact, Canada suggested they will do what Roethlisberger can, and wants to do.
Matt Canada on transition to the system for QB Ben Roethlisberger:— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) June 15, 2021
"We'll do what Ben wants to do what and how he wants to do it."
On top of that, Canada even suggested his new offense doesn’t involve any sweeping or drastic changes to the offense. Some are suggesting Canada’s offense is going to be night and day from what the Steelers ran under Randy Fichtner, but Canada insists there are no major changes to the offense.
Just blowing smoke? Take it for what it’s worth.
Steelers OC Matt Canada said his offense doesn't involve "drastic changes." He likes what the players have picked up so far. "Guys have been great. I feel like we've had a great work environment from all sides -- coaches and players."— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) June 15, 2021
This isn’t to suggest there aren’t questions on the defensive side of the ball heading into the 2021 regular season, but how the offense will be the primary focus for the majority of the fan base and media. Can Canada sculpt an offense which allows Roethlisberger to not throw the ball 40+ times a game? Can Canada be the offensive genius everyone talks about at the college level? The foundation is just starting to be built...
Now more nuggets of information from Tuesday’s minicamp workout:
During T.J. Watt’s media session, he was asked about whether he feels he will be able to stay on the field as long as necessary. Clearly, the depth at OLB is in question, but Watt wasn’t about to suggest he stay on the field longer than he normally would. However, Watt did say if he had some gas left in the proverbial tank, he would be staying on the field.
T.J. Watt on if he can push his workload even more: "If we trust the depth behind us I have no problem with taking a break and letting the guy behind me get some reps. But if it is third down and I have a little bit of gas in the tank, I am going to try to get that rep."— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) June 15, 2021
Two players, namely Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster, didn’t finish practice. But before fans start to stress about injuries to two key offensive players, Mike Tomlin threw water on those flames immediately after practice. It also should be noted the NFL doesn’t mandate teams release injury information during minicamp.
Mike Tomlin says he is not required to discuss injuries and so he won't. Asked specifically abt JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving early and Ben Roethlisberger needing attention from a trainer, Tomlin says, "Rest assured, if I thought something was significant I would address it."— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) June 15, 2021
Near Perfect Attendance
The Steelers nearly had perfect attendance for minicamp, but the one outlier had a legitimate excuse. Tomlin stated Stephon Tuitt, who recently lost his brother in a hit and run accident in Georgia, was tending to family matters. He was the lone player to miss practice.
89 of the 90 were in attendance at Steelers minicamp. Stephon Tuitt was excused.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) June 15, 2021
Steelers Vaccination Efforts
The Steelers organization is quickly getting their players and coaches vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus, and this is something Mike Tomlin was extremely proud of when he was asked about it during his post-practice press conference.
Mike Tomlin says #Steelers are 'tops of the league' in vaccinations. Said 'a couple more' Steelers got vaccinated today as well. Wouldn't give specifics but seemed comfortable with the situation.— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) June 15, 2021
You can say a lot about the Steelers and the decisions which have taken place this offseason, but you can’t say the players aren’t hard workers and dedicated. Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network noticed how Watt, and the secondary, stayed on the field well after practice ended to continue working on their respective crafts.
Mike Tomlin (If video is blocked, click HERE)
T.J. Watt and Terrell Edmunds (If video is blocked, click HERE)
Day 1 Live Look-In
Just a gorgeous day here. My goodness. Nice cool breeze, too. Forty seconds of footage from Steelers minicamp right now: pic.twitter.com/SGJoekmZmT— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) June 15, 2021
Najee with the catch and the tumble pic.twitter.com/BOW9SP9Kq9— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) June 15, 2021
Steelers complete the first day of minicamp Tuesday at Heinz Field. pic.twitter.com/QRyvGj4TEE— Matt Freed (@mattfreedpghpg) June 15, 2021