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.
Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense, and multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quote with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?
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, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: How much will the offense really change with Matt Canada as offensive coordinator as long as Ben Roethlisberger is starting?
We got a chance to hear from Ben Roethlisberger in front of the media for the first time this offseason, and for the first time addressing the change at offensive coordinator. Gone is Randy Fichtner, who had been with the team since 2007 but was offensive coordinator for the past three years. In his place is Matt Canada, who was brought on board to serve as quarterbacks coach a year ago.
The move promises the usual hope and change, but while there is the former, will we receive the latter, and to what degree? I think most are of the opinion that change is necessary in order for this to be a workable, viable offense, so it’s an important question.
Canada is associated with things like pre-snap movements, usage under center, and play-action passes, all things that the Steelers offense has not done much in years. He brought some motion with him last year, but now fully installing his offense, how big a change will there be?
When you have a veteran under center, the offense is a collaboration between the offensive coordinator and the quarterback. it has to be in order to be at its best, so what we see will be a melding of two visions. What that ultimately looks like remains to be seen, but I suspect many believe (one might say fear) it looks a lot like what we saw last year.