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Kenny Pickett “excited” to continue his work with Steelers OC Matt Canada

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback has put his support behind his first NFL offensive coordinator.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

There are some debates which can be had within the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base which are split rather evenly. Debates like which player’s jersey might be retired next, or whether Super Bowl XL or Super Bowl XLIII was better.

Then there are some debates which are one-sided. The topic of discussion which would top the list this offseason is the future of current Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada. As I said prior, this is a rather one-sided discussion considering the vast majority, but not all, want nothing more from this offseason than for Canada to be relieved of his duties as play caller.

Before the 2022 regular season came to a close, it was reported the Steelers were planning on turning a large part of the decision to newly minted starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. It makes sense, considering Pickett would have to be working closely with whoever is dialing up plays on a weekly basis.

Nonetheless, several fans felt Pickett was too young and inexperienced to be given this type of clout, as it pertains to organizational decisions.

As of Wednesday, it is now official the Steelers are bringing Canada back as the offensive coordinator for the 2023 season. Check the link below for more details:

With that said, what would Pickett say if he were given the chance to provide his two cents on the topic? Well, when Pickett recently joined Cam Heyward’s “Not Just Football” podcast he was asked about his offensive coordinator and if he liked working with Canada.

“He picks my brain on what I like and how I like it,” Pickett said. “Throughout the game, (he’s) asking me to rank plays. He likes to see the game from the quarterback’s point of view. He keeps things different. We really caught stride after that bye week, and we figured out what it takes to win — what that recipe looks like, so we can continue to grow as a team and grow as an offense.”

Anyone who watched the Steelers last season knows they found the recipe for success, but that doesn’t truly answer the question at hand. Does Pickett support a Canada return to the Steelers in 2023?

“We need to take that jump into Year 2.” Pickett said. “We need more explosive plays. He is doing a great job of trying to figure out what we need to do to get those and put up some more points. So I am excited to continue to work with him this offseason.”

Not necessarily a glowing endorsement from Pickett, and a very political take on a coach who is still under contract and holding the position of coordinating the Steelers offense. However, it does seem since Canada is being retained, Pickett seems to be okay with it.

Another topic which was brought up during the interview was the prospect of Pickett being reunited with his former Pitt teammate Jordan Addison. The two lit the ACC up in Pickett’s final season at the University of Pittsburgh, and before Addison jettisoned via the transfer portal to USC for his final season. Addison has declared himself for the 2023 NFL Draft, and Pickett would love to have his former teammate as a new teammate with the Steelers.

“That would be awesome, man,” Pickett said when asked about having Addison in the Steelers locker room. “We talked about playing in the NFL together while we were at Pitt. That’s like the college teammate’s dream … especially like a quarterback-receiver, that kind of dynamic. Especially how well we played together.”

As for Addison’s overall potential, Pickett suggested people not sleep on his overall skill. On top of that, Pickett predicted Addison will turn some heads this offseason with some of his numbers at both his individual pro day and the NFL Scouting Combine.

“He’s probably going to run low 4.3s, maybe 4.29-4.28 if he’s got a good start,” Pickett said of Addison’s 40-yard dash time. “He’s got that kind of speed. I think people are kind of underestimating his speed. He runs routes at that speed. Some guys that run 4.3, but they don’t play at that speed. That’s what’s impressive about him, he plays at that speed. He’s in and out of cuts at that speed. He’s an elite receiver. Whoever gets him is going to get a special talent.”

Could the Steelers get Addison? There is a chance he is gone before the 17th overall pick in Round 1, and it is unlikely the Steelers take a receiver with their top pick in the draft. But you can’t fault Pickett for trying his best to get his guy with him in black-and-gold. While it isn’t a pressing team need, the thought of Addison being added to the Steelers’ current wide receiver room is tantalizing.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.