Steelers OC Matt Canada is right for including Big Ben in new offense

Steelers’ new OC Matt Canada is being judged harshly about a recent comment.

The Steelers have a new offensive coordinator who made waves with a comment, “We’re going to do what Ben wants to do and how Ben wants to do it”. For a fanbase that has been hearing about Ben’s influences on Fichtner’s offenses in the past two seasons, which were two of the worst offenses the Steelers had fielded in the last decade, that is understandably disheartening. However, Canada is absolutely correct in this approach.

To start, we saw how bad an offense can be when an OC and future Hall of Fame quarterback don’t get along. If you don’t remember, look back at the vastly underperforming offenses during Todd Haley’s short tenure as the offensive coordinator. For a young coach with his first coordinating job in the NFL, he is smart to not ruffle his quarterback’s feathers.

Secondly, we can’t take his statement too literally. The bottom line is that Ben wants to win. He isn’t concerned about stats or his individual performance. He wants to win a championship. Look back at the postgame interviews for when the Steelers were actually running the ball marginally well at the start of the season. Ben was elated. If Najee Harris lives up to the hype, Ben is going to want to run the ball. He’ll want to keep his jersey clean and let the Steelers’ star-studded, and hopefully well-rested defense, close out games.

I fully expected Ben to have a lot of say in the passing game regardless of whoever, the OC would be in 2021. Matt Canada is a savant when it comes to masking offensive line deficiencies in the run game, and creating favorable matchups with running backs and tight ends. That’s because of his use of motion and formations. Ben is going to let Canada make the game easier for him, while Canada is going to listen to Ben when it comes to what he is seeing from a defense. That is a good thing.

To me, the biggest takeaway from the interview was Canada saying, “The quarterback is the focal point and it’s the greatest position in all of sports, in my opinion”. Look at the Bills with Josh Allen, the Ravens with Lamar Jackson, and the Chiefs with Pat Maholmes. They cater to their quarterback’s talents and those offenses are all vastly different, yet very explosive. Canada will cater to Ben’s strengths and the results should be fun to watch.