The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, now into the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.
There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the regular season. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.
Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.
There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: Will the Chase Claypool-to-Derek Watt touchdown pass be Matt Canada’s last hurrah as the Steelers’ de factor and de jure offensive coordinator?
Being a coach in the booth, we don’t get a ton of shots of offensive coordinator Matt Canada during the game. And it’s no surprise that most of those shots haven’t shown him looking too thrilled if you consider for even a moment the way this season has gone.
But we were certainly on-site for a brief moment of relief and jubilation when one of his play calls actually worked rather well. Building off of his wide receivers jet sweeps, of which wide receiver Chase Claypool had been the central figure, he called for the wideout to throw a left-handed pass to fullback Derek Watt as he swept left, leading to the Steelers’ only touchdown of the game.
That was late in the first quarter and it made it a 7-7 game. We were perhaps still harboring brief illusions that this might at least be a competitive contest, but it was 21-10 by halftime and finished up at 35-13, so…not great.
If head coach Mike Tomlin’s post-loss assurances about Mitch Trubisky being their quarterback are anything to go by, then we can fairly wonder if the Steelers might make a formal change at offensive coordinator during the bye week, a time at which he said that they have the time to honestly assess where they are.
Honestly, the offense is in a sucky place, and it doesn’t take a keen or even observant mind to figure that out. Just look at their points per game. You’re ultimately judged by how many games you win, and to win games you need to score points. The offense isn’t doing either.
So will the play-caller survive the week? I ask if he will be the de facto (by matter of fact and/or de jure (by matter of authority/title) offensive coordinator by the time the Steelers take the field again. While they may not officially fire him in-season, something Tomlin has never done to a coach before, it is possible that they shift the hierarchy behind the scenes. But if they do, we might not even hear about it.