It’s easy to get excited about changes that made for the sake of betterment, before those changes have an opportunity to come into effect. I’m sure the ‘Fire Canada’ chorus is exercising their vocal chords already in preparation. For the most part, the majority are anxious to see what the new offensive coordinator will bring to the table for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Eric Ebron, for one, loves what he’s seeing so far at this early stage in terms of what Canada’ offense means for the role of the tight end. “It gets me very excited”, he told reporters on Thursday. “I think I’ll be featured a lot more. The tight end position, period, I feel like will be featured a lot more”.
Ebron did have one of the better seasons from the tight end position that the Steelers have seen in some years. He is actually just one of three tight ends, of six seasons total (since 1970), to record at least 500 receiving yards with five receiving touchdowns in the same season. Heath Miller did it three times. Eric Green did it twice. And that’s it. Bennie Cunningham did have a 512-yard, four-touchdown season in 1979, though.
This year, it’s not just Ebron, as they added Pat Freiermuth via the second round, for whom he also sees big things this year, both for the sake of his own talent, as well as within the Steelers’ new offensive scheme that is coming together.
“We’ve dominated, and I say that with emphasis, because I feel like our room is pretty good”, he said, “and we should carry a lot of stress on our room to be great every week, because we’re very capable of that, especially in Canada’s offense”.
While there is still much for us to learn about who Canada is as a coordinator and play-caller, the perception that we’ve gotten is that his priority is to maximize talents and put players in the position to succeed.
One would hope that this includes exploiting the versatility of two-tight end sets when you have two receiving threats at the position, because it’s less obvious if the play is going to be a run or a pass, but even the players are still learning what’s to come.
“I don’t know what Matt has in his bag of tricks, but I do see us dominate, and I do see us making a lot of plays”, Ebron said. “In this offense with Matt Canada, I see a lot from all tight ends, whoever’s on the roster, it’ll be good”.
Of course, there’s a lot more on Canada’s plate than just figuring out how to use the tight end talent on the roster. In conjunction with offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, he’s tasked with reconstructing the trenches and revitalizing the running game with Najee Harris in the backfield.