For the second time since 2018, the Pittsburgh Steelers are searching for a new offensive coordinator. Will this also be the second time that they find that new offensive coordinator on their own coaching staff? The last time around, when they opted not to renew Todd Haley’s contract, they promoted quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner into that post.
Now with Fichtner’s contract not being renewed, it could be the quarterbacks coach who replaced him, Matt Canada, who takes over the coordinating job as well. During his first two seasons coordinating, Fichtner served a dual role, maintaining his responsibilities as quarterbacks coach, before hiring Canada this past year.
While they have interviewed other candidates for the coordinator position, namely Hue Jackson and Pep Hamilton, the sense has been that Canada remains the overwhelming favorite. Yesterday, Andrew Fillipponi wrote that a sourced told him “it’s 99.9% a done deal”.
He noted that there are some issues that remain unresolved, such as whether or not Canada will remain in the role of quarterbacks coach, and suggested that it’s possible one of the other individuals that they interviewed for the offensive coordinator role—Jackson or Hamilton—could take over the quarterbacks coach job.
There has been some contradictory reporting on this matter, but from what I understand with the Los Angeles Chargers firing Anthony Lynn this year as their head coach, assistant head coaches who are under contract are permitted to make a lateral coaching move if they so choose, so Hamilton could be their quarterbacks coach—if he wanted, though I can’t imagine why when he would have Justin Herbert to work with.
Jackson, on the other hand, has been out of coaching, and is thus a ‘free agent’, so to speak. He has served in a wide variety of roles in the past, from virtually every offensive assistant position barring the offensive line, to coordinator, to head coach.
Though he was humiliated during his two-plus year tenure as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and took a major blow to his ego and his reputation in the process, he is also an accomplished and qualified coach.
Of course, all of this is assuming that Canada is actually hired to be the offensive coordinator, and not one of the others who are named—or possibly even somebody that we don’t know. Until somebody signs a contract, everything is really up in the air and idle speculation, whether informed or otherwise.