Could the Steelers’ biggest offseason acquisition be an assistant coach? Let’s have a look at Matt Canada and find out.
The Pittsburgh Steelers did more this offseason than to merely add receiving threats and needed depth in the draft. It was sneaky, their strategy, but I suspect when the offense takes the field in 2020 (if the offense takes the field), fans are going to see something they haven’t for the past three years. Pre-snap activity, and a considerable amount of it.
This all started when I began to look at all of the Steelers’ offseason additions, rather than focusing just on draft picks. There were the free agency pickups like Eric Ebron and Stephen Wisniewski, and beyond that, the addition of a quarterbacks coach in Matt Canada.
At first, I was curious as to how the Steelers might be able to use both Vance MacDonald and Ebron together, along with some of their other promising weapons at wide receiver like Juju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, James Washington, not to mention running back, James Connor.
A creative offensive coordinator should be able to accomplish quite a lot with this lineup, but the jury is still out on whether or not offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner, should be considered “creative” beyond his (over) use of the wildcat formation in 2019.
Excuses abound. Fichtner was working with inexperienced QBs and a mostly inexperienced wide receiver group in 2019. Injuries were everywhere. Yet, somehow the excuses ring hollow. Beyond restricting his QB’s from throwing the ball further than 10 yards downfield more than 2 times per game, where was the innovation? Did it exist in 2018 when the Steelers took a step back in their first year post-Todd Haley? How will Fichtner kick-start Ben’s return and utilize the talent the Steelers have added during the offseason?
I think this is where Canada comes in.