While Pittsburgh Steelers fans wait to see what the team does with OC Matt Canada, one new piece of information may hint at his future with the organization. In an article by ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, she includes this crucial note about his status, confirming Canada is under contract with the team through the 2023 season.
Here’s what she writes:
“At the top of the list is determining the future of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who is under contract through the 2023 season.”
It might seem like a throwaway line but in Pittsburgh, it’s a critical one. Over the last two decades, the Steelers don’t fire coaches still under contract. They “part ways” or “move on” when deals expire. That’s what they did to Todd Haley, Randy Fichtner, and Keith Butler. In fact, the last coordinator they fired still under contract after a season was DC Tim Lewis in 2003.
The tea leaves suggested Canada’s deal ran through next season. Promoted from QBs Coach to offensive coordinator in 2021, Steelers’ coordinators typically receive three-year deals while positional coaches receive two. But there was no confirmation the same happened with Canada until Pryor’s noting of it.
For most teams, a coordinator being under contract is meaningless; they aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But the Steelers are old-school and almost always see deals through. There’s nothing that prevents this team from bucking history and a new regime of Omar Khan and Andy Weidl makes predicting their decisions a little trickier. But the knowledge Canada’s deal runs through next year increases his odds he’ll be the team’s offensive coordinator come 2023. The Steelers’ offense got off to a miserable start but improved after the bye as the team found a more consistent run game and turned the ball over less often.
During his year-end press conference, Tomlin said Canada – like the rest of the offense – improved as the season went along.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Tomlin said. “But largely, I thought he got better in the ways we got better. So it was encouraging.”
However, he declined to answer if Canada would be the team’s offensive coordinator next year.
As Tomlin also noted, the Steelers tend to move slower than others in making coaching changes. Haley’s, Fichtner’s, and Butler’s departures weren’t announced until between 4-6 days after the team’s season ended. If Canada is going to be fired, the news will likely come later in the week, perhaps a Friday news dump. Of course, if he stays, the team won’t say anything, and a non-answer will be the answer. If nothing is announced by Monday morning, expect Canada to be back with the team. Like it or not. And I know you don’t.