The Pittsburgh Steelers made the decision this offseason to move on from Randy Fichtner as offensive coordinator, and ultimately decided to promote quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to that position. He was first hired only the year before after serving many years in the college ranks, including one season as offensive coordinator at Pitt in 2016.
Now he’s running the show, and so far, it sounds like his offensive guys are taking to him. Mason Rudolph, the team’s backup quarterback, is among them. Of course, they worked together closely last year since Canada was his position coach. Rudolph shared his thoughts on him as he moves into a bigger role—with humility.
“Matt will be the first to tell you that he’s, ‘hey, I’m just a college guy’, he jokes all the time”, he told reporters following OTA practices today. “I think guys appreciate he’s not the guy who’s trying to be more than he is”. But despite his self-deprecating humor, he has his players’ respect.
“He’s an unbelievable coach. He’s got a great offensive mind”, Rudolph said. “But he’s hungry like everybody else, and the way he works, the way he shows up in the building every single day and teaches—he’s not a yeller, he doesn’t really come down on guys, but he’s a great teacher, and he’ll pull you aside and answer any question you have. I just like his demeanor overall, and I think he’s gonna do a great job”.
The Steelers are looking to inject some life into what has become a stale offense. That includes revitalizing a running game among the least-dynamic in the NFL over the course of the past several seasons.
To that end, they drafted running back Najee Harris in the first round and added blockers in the next three. They also made a change at the offensive line coach position as well, promoting Adrian Klemm and his philosophy from an assistant role in which he served the past two years.
But at the end of the day, it’s Canada’s job to get everyone in the best positions to succeed. Both individually and as a unit. It’s about creativity in plays, responsivity in selectiveness, and a forward-thinking approach to how a game unfolds.
He is a rookie operating in this capacity on this level. From that perspective, we should reasonably expects mistakes to be made. He also has a reputation to overcome from his tenure in college as being somebody who can’t stay in one place for too long. But he has the opportunity now to define his legacy with one of the premiere franchises in the premiere league of his sport.