The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: The Steelers will lose at least one of their assistant coaches who have been reported to be interviewing for coordinator positions, namely quarterbacks coach Matt Canada and senior defensive assistant Teryl Austin.
Explanation: After dumping their offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, and defensive backs coach, and seeing their tight ends coach retire, the Steelers’ staff turnover might not be done, and that might be determined by other teams, who are in the process of interviewing a couple other members of the staff.
Teryl Austin already has a history of being a defensive coordinator in the NFL, and prior to his rough tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals, which resulted in him being fired midseason, he was even in the conversation for a head coaching position.
For the past two seasons, he has been serving in a role that is clearly below his station as a defensive assistant. One can argue that Matt Canada is also serving below his station, once he has now cracked the NFL ranks.
Canada is a long-time offensive coordinator at the college level who has often worn multiple hats. He even served as interim head coach at Maryland. It’s really only a matter of time before he gets a coordinator position, and that time could be now. The NFL is very open to hiring college coaches now.
As far as Canada goes, the Steelers have an offensive coordinator position open, and it could end up going to him. Pittsburgh will be required to interview at least one minority candidate for the job before they can make a hire, but if they want to retain their system, Canada is the sensible hire, especially considering most of the rest of the staff is…gone.
Austin does have a resume, but he’s also sort of run his course. While not that old—he is 55, and will turn 56 in March—it really feels like he is one of those coaches who have plateaued. And given that the Steelers just let Bradley go, he is now their defensive backs coach. Don’t be surprised if they add something like assistant head coach to his title if they need to tempt him to keep him around.