According to one Pittsburgh Steelers’ beat writer, you can just about write Matt Canada’s name in pen to be the team’s offensive coordinator in 2023. In Gerry Dulac’s most recent chat for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was asked the odds of Canada being fired and offered a pretty clear response. Here’s what Dulac said.
“The odds are very, very, very slim. In fact….”
What that “in fact” means isn’t clear. Perhaps that mean the team will soon announce, in some form or fashion, that Canada will return next year, though the fact he’s under contract means the team doesn’t have to say anything. No news would be an admission he’s returning.
A Tuesday report seemed to leave Canada’s status up in the air, noting Mike Tomlin has been dealing with a personal issue that’s delayed the start of the team’s offseason decisions, including its coaching staff. But the headwinds has been trending in favor of Canada returning from the acknowledgement he’s under contract through next season, the Steelers historically don’t fire coordinators, and beat writers like Dulac strongly hinting at Canada remaining in place.
Later in the chat, Dulac left the door cracked for a change but doubled down on his belief Canada will return.
“There’s always hope, I just wouldn’t get yours very high”
Dulac notes Tomlin is back in the Steelers’ facility and any significant coaching changes have already been decided, meaning Canada’s choice has been made.
Hired in 2020 as the team’s quarterbacks coach, Canada was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021 to replace Randy Fichtner, whose contract was not renewed. Under him, the Steelers’ offense has struggled, finishing 21st in points per game last year and 26th this year.
But Pittsburgh showed improvement the latter half of 2022. With more stability and certainty at quarterback and a far stronger running game, the Steelers’ offense played ball control and closed out games far better than they did the first half of the year, contributing to their 2-6 start.
With an offense set to basically return all starters and core pieces next season, the Steelers don’t seem to have a desire to change coordinator and go through growing pains a new coach presents. But if Canada returns, the heat will be on for this offense to finish drives and put points on the board.
So far, the Steelers’ coaching staff is unchanged. Defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores has been a hot name this coaching cycle and could be considered a favorite for the Arizona Cardinals’ head coaching job. So far, he’s the only name who has gotten attention from outside organizations. The Steelers haven’t announced any positional coaches will not be returning either though if Tomlin’s process is delayed, it’s possible those announcements are made by week’s end.