The Pittsburgh Steelers were surprisingly active at the trade deadline yesterday, dealing wide receiver Chase Claypool in exchange for a second-round draft pick and bringing in cornerback William Jackson III for minimal draft compensation.
The move fans are really eying, though, is at offensive coordinator and whether the team would be willing to make an in-season change in that role. The Steelers are now on their bye week, and one would figure that this would be the time to do it.
If it is coming, however, then nobody seems to have been informed yet. According to quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, everybody went about business as usual during the day. Then again, so did Claypool, and then he got dealt. But that’s different from relieving a coach of his duties because you get something in return.
“We went through here and had very, very in-depth meetings. Meeting with Coach T and meeting with the offensive staff”, Sullivan told reporters yesterday, according to Jeff Hathhorn for 93.7 The Fan. The quarterbacks coach, who does have some play-calling experience, would be the most likely candidate to see a larger role if any alteration of the offensive coaching staff were to be made.
So what exactly are we talking about? Of course you all already know. The Steelers are averaging 15 points per game this season under the guidance of Matt Canada, now in his second season as the team’s offensive coordinator.
While it’s tradition for a fanbase to call for its offensive coordinator to be fired, Canada’s reign in that chair with the Steelers has been particularly futile, especially in juxtaposition to the supposed talent that he has at his disposal.
At least for the time being, it doesn’t appear that the plan is for him to go anywhere, and I wouldn’t bet on that plan changing. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t. This is a week for self-scouting, and that’s a process that’s underway now. The work for week 10 on the field begins in earnest next week, not now.
Whether now or later, it seems inevitable that Canada’s time in Pittsburgh is running out. It is unlikely that he is retained beyond this season. But simply finding another offensive coordinator won’t magically solve all the problems the team has.
They have to figure out what they have at quarterback, for starters. They drafted Kenny Pickett, of course, and he is starting and gaining experience, but has he looked like the future of the franchise? Not exactly.