Steelers News: Matt Canada will bring innovation to the offense

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Pittsburgh Steelers offense lines up against the San Francisco 49ers defense late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Pittsburgh Steelers offense lines up against the San Francisco 49ers defense late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 30: Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner talks with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 30, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 30: Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner talks with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 30, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

How can Canada influence the offense as a quarterbacks coach?

I hear you. Randy Fichtner is the offensive coordinator. He’s also Ben’s friend and confidante. How in the heck is Matt Canada going to inject creativity and innovation into an offense when he’s not in charge of doing so?

The Steelers have a history of top assistants influencing coordinators’ game plans.  Look no further than last year. Teryl Austin joined the team as a senior defensive assistant with a focus on the secondary. Yes, improved talent played a huge role in the defense’s growth in 2019, but it’s no coincidence that Austin joined and helped coordinator Keith Butler when it came to planning for Sundays.

Before that? Remember a guy named Bruce Arians who was the Steelers’ wide receivers coach under then coordinator Ken Whisenhunt? Yes, coach “whiz” installed a brilliant string of game plans that led to a Super Bowl victory during the 2005 season, but Arians’ influence became apparent when he was elevated to offensive coordinator after Whisenhunt’s departure. Bruce overcame a terrible offensive line and was part of two Super Bowl runs with a victory in 2008.

As a matter of fact, the Steelers have a long history of assistants who grew up in the organization and whose efforts helped lead to many successful seasons. Remember Mike Mularkey and Chan Gailey? How about Mike Munchak.  Think he may have influenced Haley’s game plans? The answer is a definitive “yes.”

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