The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How much of a role might Matt Canada have with the team beyond quarterbacks coach, whether this year or later?
A couple of days ago, the Steelers announced that they would be hiring Matt Canada to fill the quarterbacks coach position, which has been helmed by Randy Fichtner since 2010. Fichtner, however, has had to compartmentalize his responsibilities for the past two years while also acting as offensive coordinator.
With a young crop of quarterbacks at the position and the sudden reality that their instruction is of the utmost importance, it seems as though the impetus to hire a dedicates quarterbacks coach came down from on high, meaning Art Rooney II. He told reporters recently that they began interviewing several candidates after the season, and chosen Canada because of their comfort and familiarity with him.
Canada has never worked among the professional ranks before, but he also has about as much experience acting as offensive coordinator as he does solely as a quarterbacks coach. In fact, his consultation has even been sought by other teams, last year while between jobs, because of the perception that he is a creative mind.
That certainly leads one to wonder if he might tap into other areas of the team beyond running the quarterback room. Mike Tomlin likes to say he doesn’t care where good ideas come from. In the past, Mike Munchak has operated as run game coordinator without a title. Even Eddie Faulkner has allegedly brought in some new ideas with him. It’s not unreasonable to get the impression that Canada may do a little more than coaching up the youngins’.