It’s been quite a while since we have heard new Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada speak and the last time might have been during the season when he was stull the team’s quarterbacks coach. Recently, however, Canada talked some to Missi Matthews about him now being the team’s offensive coordinator. He also talked some about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and specifically about two of the things that he really admires about the veteran, who will pay his 18th NFL season in 2021.
The first thing that Canada noted that he admires about Roethlisberger is his competitiveness.
“He’s such a great competitor,” Canada said of Roethlisberger. “He competes at everything he does, and his competitive drive is so strong and it’s just so awesome to be around no matter what we’re doing; obvious practice football, but anything else that happens to come up.”
Next, Canada talked extensively about Roethlisberger’s accuracy and his ability to practice where to put the football at on his throws.
“And then just his accuracy,” Canada said. “And I’ve said this to one of my buddies, who’s a quarterback coach somewhere else, young quarterbacks, I wish there was some way for them to be here and watch how he practices putting the ball in certain spots. It’s such a unique talent that he’s able to do it. Not every quarterback can do that, and he finds out what guys can do. ‘Can he catch it here? Can he catch it here?’
“He doesn’t just sit there and play catch. Even in practice, a good throw is here, but he’ll practice because he visualizes what’s going to happen in a game. ‘Hey, I know the DB is going to be here if I’m throwing it, it’s probably going to be a low throw here.’ And not only does he practice it, he forces the receivers, the tight ends and the backs to do that, and it’s just such a great thing to see. And I wish more young quarterbacks or even coaches could see it because it’s such a unique talent and the way he prepares that it’s been really fun for me to watch.”
It’s not surprising that Canada noted Roethlisberger’s competitive nature as one of the main things he admires about the quarterback. I think most of us have known that for years. Canada being impressed by Roethlisberger’s accuracy and how he goes about practicing it wasn’t something I expected to be high on Canada’s list, even though we have heard the quarterback talk in the past about how he likes to throw off target passes to his eligibles in practices to get them accustomed to masking tough catches.
While Roethlisberger is still very accurate with his shorter throws, his longer ones of more than 20 yards down the field aren’t as on target these last few seasons as they were earlier in his career. It will be interesting to see if another year with Canada can help Roethlisberger in that specific part of his game.
This will be the first year that Canada has served as Roethlisberger’s offensive coordinator and quite honestly, it might be his last as it looks like 2021 will more than likely be the verraans final year of his career. There were no real signs of any friction between Roethlisberger and Canada last year when the later was the team’s quarterbacks coach so hopefully his transition to offensive coordinator goes smooth with him already being with the team and involved some with the offense for one full season already.
“Yeah, obviously my role has changed a little bit in the sense of, you know, last year I just had one position to focus on and now I’m certainly trying to help and contribute with all positions on offense,” Canada told Matthews.