At least from some quarters, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been heavily criticized so far this offseason for making seemingly little change. While they opted not to renew the contracts of three coaches, including offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, two of them were replaced by in-house promotions, while the other was not replaced.
Taking over at offensive coordinator is Matt Canada, who was hired in 2020 to serve as the quarterbacks coach, and the team remains in search for a new quarterbacks coach. Offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett was also let go after two seasons in that post following a long tenure as assistant.
His own assistant, Adrian Klemm, was promoted into his place. Klemm was originally hired in 2019 when Sarrett was first promoted, and that marked his first coaching job in the NFL, after years of work at the college level.
The concern with the ‘retreads’ is that it won’t lead to meaningful change when you keep the same staff. Some, like Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, have disputed that, and he did that again in a recent chat session, responding to a question in this vein.
Salvador: Hello Gerry, Thanks for all of your chats! I love them! What should be expected of the coaching changes Tomlin has made. Seems like he is not doing drastic changes, so I am not sure we should expect different outputs from this next year. Thoughts?
Gerry Dulac: Just because they have promoted internal coaches doesn’t mean they will do the same old things. On the contrary, they want to do things differently. The bigger moves will come when they decide to change their scheme and personnel, and that is certainly the intention. Give them time to do that. If they don’t, then rip them to your hearts desire, because they would deserve the criticism.
Canada has been coaching since 1994. With roughly a quarter of a century of experience under his belt, should one year in Pittsburgh really label him as an in-house hire, and lead to the assumption that he is just going to keep things as they are, even with a long history to doing things differently?
Likewise with Klemm, he enjoyed a six-year playing career in the NFL as a former second-round draft pick learning under the great Dante Scarnecchia. He coached for nearly a decade at the college level, including running the offensive line room, acting as run game coordinator, and acting as associate head coach.
Do you think that just because he served as assistant to Sarrett, who really has no bona fides outside of working with Mike Munchak for several years, is really an indication that he is going to keep things the same, even though he has far more experience doing things differently than doing as things have been run the past two years?