Throughout this offseason there has been one narrative which no one can truly wrap their head around. Why? Because it is based around something no one has seen.
The narrative being Matt Canada’s offense. No one knows what it will look like.
Sure, everyone is assuming the motions and pre-snap movement we saw in the early weeks of 2020 was Canada’s influence, but do we know this for sure? Also, why did those motions suddenly evaporate from the game plan?
We all can look back at Canada’s time at LSU, NC State, Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh and make educated guesses as to what Canada’s NFL offense will look like. But do we really know this is what it will look like?
We don’t, but the players who have been attending Phase III of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are getting a first-hand glimpse into Canada’s system. During OTAs several players have given the media some insight into Canada’s system.
According to Chase Claypool, the transition won’t be that difficult.
“It’s pretty easy to transition into it because it’s similar concepts like we’ve been running earlier on and last season,” said Claypool. “It’s not too much of a learning curve. I think it’s just nice because we will be able to stick with it throughout the season.
“I think it’s (OTAs) great in terms of installing plays, getting the timing down and just communication. Being around some of the younger guys, I know when I came in as a rookie, I didn’t know anybody, so it was hard to talk to people about some things, like what is going on with the offense. I think it will be good for the rookies once it comes time for the season because they will be more comfortable with everybody and there will be more chemistry.”
That is just one receiver’s opinion. James Washington was also asked about Canada’s offense, and he believes the transition shouldn’t be simple, but also beneficial.
“I don’t think it affects us too much,” said receiver James Washington following Wednesday’s OTA session at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “I think it gives us more options to be in different positions and get different matchups.”
“Formations are a little different, but I think it will help us just because it will help us line up in different positions and move people around pre-snap and get the matchups we want against certain guys,” said Washington. “It’s a little different formation-wise just because we are not used to some of the terminology that is being said now. Throughout OTAs we are learning. As far as the meetings, coaches have been great with relaying stuff to us, getting us the information we need to get lined up.”
Washington continued to talk about how Canada is understanding of the offense being new to many players. Therefore, he is easing them into it early in the preparation process.
“He knows everything is new to us, so he is taking us through it kind of slow, getting us acclimated with it all,” said Washington. “As far as if you have a question, the door is open. He is always willing to help you out and make sure we are all on the same page and can play fast and are ready to go when that first game gets here.”
The fan base won’t really get to see what Canada’s offense will be when it is completely unveiled in the regular season. Until then, fans will have to rely on players’ quotes, and hopefully some glimpses of the offense if/when the Steelers take to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for training camp.
In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.