5 moves Steelers must make to ensure future success

Quarterback Kyle Trask #11 of the Florida Gators. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Quarterback Kyle Trask #11 of the Florida Gators. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner as Mason Rudolph (2) Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers need to promote Matt Canada.

I don’t think it is because Fichtner is a bad coach. I think he is a great quarterback coach, but his problems with playcalling are just too much to ignore. There are already reports that Pittsburgh does not plan on renewing Fichtner’s contract. Matt Canada should take over as the OC. I wouldn’t be opposed to the Steelers offering Fichtner his original job back, but at this point, it may be too much for his pride, or too unpopular of a move to the fans. Yet, we shouldn’t forget the job Fichtner did as the right-hand man of Ben in his heyday, or the capable backup performances by guys past their primes like Byron Leftwich, Brad Gronkowski, Michael Vick, or simply quarterbacks not talented enough to start in the NFL like Charlie Batch, Devlin Hodges, and Landry Jones.

Matt Canada’s fingerprints were all over the offense in the first half of the season, back when the Steelers were averaging over 30 points a game. I would suggest giving him more control of the offense as the pre-snap motion is becoming more normal throughout the league. I don’t think that there is any negative that could possibly come from this. When your veteran quarterback has to abandon your offensive coordinator’s game plan and call all of his own plays you learn what the issue is. The Steelers quadrupled their score against a good defense vs. the Colts in one half by simply taking Fichtner out of the equation.

I think Matt Canada coming into next season with a fresh young quarterback could design an offense that wouldn’t be too much for a rookie to handle. He could make it simple and easy on his quarterback by designing much more creative run-schemes and this would, in turn, take the pressure off of whoever is under center in 2021. It provides an added bonus of having a young sharp coordinator who is familiar with his offensive roster at this point. With the offensive line getting younger, Canada’s offense which would show a lot more later motion could help with a line that most likely won’t be at its strongest in forming a standard pocket in 2021.

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Even if Canada doesn’t work out, the absolute worst-case scenario is that he delivers the same type of performance as Fichtner. The Steelers really can’t go anywhere but up in this situation and if the Steelers can’t fix their issues with game-planning and play-calling they will have no chance of being able to make a run in the playoffs short of drafting another first ballot hall of fame quarterback that can overcome it. Although that seems unlikely with Pittsburgh only holding the 24th pick in the draft.