Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada talked to reporters before the game and offered a lot of praise for starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his handle on the offense.
“I think Mitch has got a great handle on it. I’ve been really happy with the way we’ve done it with all the quarterbacks, especially with Mitch now that we’ve moved into this direction of the things he likes. There’re a million plays, and the plays are the plays. It’s a matter of what your guys do well and getting our guys in the right spots and it’s the key for Mitch to be comfortable. I think as he’s asserted to this spot and moved up every day, there’s more and more conversation and I think we’re in a good spot with he and I knowing what he likes and also just comfortable situations with the players and knowing what they like,” Canada said, via official transcript provided by the team.
Now that Trubisky has officially been named the starter (although it was pretty evident throughout training camp and the preseason that he would be QB1), Canada has the ability to tailor his offense to Trubisky’s strengths. Trubisky is known for his mobility, and that’s a huge plus given the way Canada wants to run his offense. Given that Ben Roethlisberger was far from mobile when he was working under Canada, I think we’ll finally be able to see the full Matt Canada offense unlocked with Trubisky, whose strengths suit what Canada wants to do well.
And make no mistake about it, the fact that Trubisky has been running with the ones ever since he signed means that Canada has been able to tailor his offense to Trubisky’s strengths. It’s not like now that Trubisky has been named the starter, Canada is suddenly adding a bunch of plays that suit Trubisky in the run-up to Week 1 against Cincinnati. The plays that Canada alluded to that Mitch is comfortable with are plays that the team has run with him numerous times throughout practice, training camp and the preseason.
Throughout his tenure in Pittsburgh, reports have come out from Trubisky’s current and former teammates about his leadership ability. Canada also mentioned that as an attribute that Mitch brings to the table.
“I don’t think it’s singled down to one that’s best. I do think his ability to get along, to lead, I think that’s something you’ve seen continue to grow. He does have mobility, which has been talked about. I think he’s an intelligent guy who seems to feel pretty well. So, all of those things are part of it. I don’t know if I can say there’s a best one, but that’s the thing about that quarterback spot. What is it? It’s “it.” What is “it?” Nobody knows. But we’re excited about where he’s at,” Canada said via official transcript provided by the team.
The “it” factor is something that can’t necessarily be quantified. However, Canada believes Trubisky has it. When asked if he thinks Mitch has that factor, Canada answered. “For sure.”
We won’t necessarily know whether or not Trubisky is the best quarterback to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers until we see him in regular season action for a full four quarters. However, it’s a really positive sign that Canada is seemingly a big fan of Trubisky and what he can offer to the team. When Ben Roethlisberger was the quarterback, he wanted to run what he was comfortable with, which may not have fully aligned with how Canada wanted his offense to run.
Results don’t lie, and the Steelers making the playoffs with Roethlisberger last season was certainly an accomplishment. Still, this team should have aspirations of making it past the Wild Card round, and it sounds as if the team’s starting quarterback and offensive coordinator are a lot more aligned this year.
That’s not a bad thing by any means, and while it’s fair to question whether or not Trubisky has it in him to take this team to the next level, I do think the partnership between him and Canada will be a successful one. Canada’s scheme fits Trubisky’s play style, and Trubisky is a guy who has shown he can win the NFL. There are a lot of other factors that will determine Pittsburgh’s success this season (namely the offensive line), but if the Steelers do struggle this year, I don’t think Trubisky will be the reason.
There’s obviously a whole season left to determine whether or not that’s the case, but it’s at least a positive sign that Canada is confident in Trubisky. We’ll see if that confidence leads to positive results on Sunday.