2021 Offseason Questions: How Different Will Offense Look With Canada As OC?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?

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 different will the offense look with Matt Canada as offensive coordinator?

With the Steelers finally officially announcing Matt Canada as their offensive coordinator, the question now becomes how much he is actually going to do to make the offense different from what it was last year. He did have a bit of influence on the offense, particularly with regard to the use of motion, but no doubt it will go much further than that in scope.

Even though he was on the staff last season, this should still be received as an ‘outside’ hire in the sense of bringing in somebody whose perspective is outside of that of the establishment within the team. He will not be simply running the same offense with minor tweaks.

After all, if he were hired as offensive coordinator last year, the signing would be heralded as bold and audacious, employing a college offensive coordinator to run a young offense, albeit with an old quarterback.

Putting together a coaching staff under him is also going to dictate what this offense is like, particularly when it comes to the offensive line, which needs a new staff after Shaun Sarrett was let go.

The Steelers’ scripted offense was awful last year, for Canada has his work cut out for him. They can’t simply rely on the no-huddle offense as their only means of being able to move the ball up and down the field, so something has to change.

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