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Former Packers, Steelers TE sounds off on the simplicity of Matt Canada’s offense

Brace for more Matt Canada commentary.

Jace Sternberger #87 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Former Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad tight end Jace Sternberger just dropped some big-time insight on Matt Canada’s installation of the offense... and it wasn’t pretty folks.

Peter Bukowski of Locked on Packers hosted Sternberger for an interview ahead of Week 10’s matchup, a former third-round pick drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2019 NFL Draft. While Sternberger acknowledged that the overarching concepts between most NFL offenses aren’t super unique beyond verbiage, he did say that the Steelers’ installation of OC Matt Canada’s offense when he arrived in 2021 was... unique.

They had the intern, or, not the intern — the assistant — draw with a Sharpie and a pen, then they made him go down to the coffee room on break time, print copies... like, the details on the assignment were... nothing. It was literally like, “Five yards, you’re running a stick [route], we’re gonna draw it vertical and flat. LaFleur? ... The organization, the details. Like I said, if [the route’s] to the boundary, you’re plus-four outside the hash on this play.

I had to take tests in Green Bay. ... I’m taking school tests every week, and they don’t want little answers, where Matt Canada’s like, “Hey, what do you have on this [play]?” and it’s like, “Oh, I have a five-yard slant,” or “I have a corner route.” No. Green Bay is, “I have a five-yard slant. If it’s pressed, I have to give time to let the inside guy run his fade.” You have to give three or four coaching points for every assignment.

Going to Pittsburgh, it was actually harder to learn, because I’m like, “Why are we doing this? What’s the reasoning behind it?”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard former NFL players or analysts sound off on the simplicity of Matt Canada’s offense, but it might mark on of the first times we’ve heard from a player who has experienced both extremes. Regardless of concepts, Sternberger’s account is more problematic in the way that it doesn’t appear the installation of the offense elevates the players or their knowledge base. For as physical as the game of football is, it’s just as cerebral, and the teaching component can be just as important, if not more, than the actual offensive installation when you’re looking to build a team of players with a high football IQ.

Yeesh. We knew it was bad, but this first-hand account gives us a glimpse at why we might not be seeing second-year Kenny Pickett make the big leaps we’d rather be seeing.

Watch the clip below.

Find the entire episode of Locked On Packers on Apple Podcasts here.