It’s been a while since we last heard Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin address the media but that all changed on Monday when he and general manager Kevin Colbert both held their annual pre-draft question and answer session with members of the media. At one point during the online question and answer session, Tomlin was asked to comment on the team’s offseason addition of Matt Canada, who was officially hired to be the team’s new quarterbacks coach.
“We’re excited about bringing Matt and Ike Hilliard [the team’s new wide receivers coach] into the fold, you know, new coaches on our staff,” Tomlin said Monday. “Matt’s going to get an opportunity to work hand in hand, obviously, with all the quarterbacks and help them in their growth and development and our readiness for the season. But not only that, man, he’s going to bring some fresh ideas to us as a coach collective and probably bring some schematic ideas as well. That’s all part of the process of kind of team development and I’m excited about getting started with that and in whatever form we get started with that here in a week or so on the 27th, when we start our off season program.”
While Canada was technically hired to be the Steelers new quarterbacks coach, a job that offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner had to essentially cover the last two seasons, it’s obvious that his previous experience as a college offensive coordinator will be put to good use in his first season in Pittsburgh.
Prior to being hired by the Steelers, Canada had served as an offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, LSU and Maryland, where he was also the interim head coach briefly. Canada’s hiring this offseason can likely be compared to the hiring of Teryl Austin as a defensive assistant last offseason. Austin, who was essentially the Steelers defensive backs coach last season, brought a fine NFL resume with him to Pittsburgh that included him previously being an NFL defensive coordinator with two different teams.
As the 2020 season gets underway and progresses, it will be interesting to see how visible some of Canada fingerprints are on offense. They shouldn’t be hard to notice due to his previous usage of pre-snap motions and shifts at the college level. It will also be nice to see Canada work with the Steelers quarterbacks this upcoming season and especially when it comes to the younger players on that positional depth chart such as Mason Rudolph.