Pittsburgh — Matt Canada is back as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator, team spokesman Bert Lawton confirmed to ESPN.
Canada, 50, signed a one-year contract extension last year through the 2023 season and will be the offensive coordinator for the third season. He was previously the quarterbacks coach for the 2020 season.
Although speculation about Canada’s situation was rife outside the building, internally, a league source told ESPN, the expectation was that Canada would return and that his job was not in danger.
“I thought it was an improvement,” coach Mike Tomlin said in his press conference at the end of last year. “Just as our team has improved…we’ve got some work to do, but I thought largely it was an improvement in the ways we got better. That was encouraging.”
The Steelers finished the year averaging 4.2 yards per carry, a number that ranks near the bottom of the league, but improved from 2021 as they finished 28th with 3.8 yards per carry. The Steelers also finished last season with 12 passing touchdowns, but it’s a rookie Kenny Beckett He threw five touchdowns on just one interception after a Week 9 bye, after throwing two touchdowns for eight interceptions in his first five appearances.
Pickett, who knows Canada since his former college offensive coordinator recruited him to play for Pitt, said he had a good relationship with the offensive coordinator.
“We’re open and honest about what I see, and he asks me all the time,” Pickett said Dec. 7. I think the open line of communication will continue to improve, and he’s very open to suggestions we all have as players or staff. It’s a team effort, and it’s definitely great to have an OC that’s open to that and not just kind of closed-minded. So, it’s a very good relationship he has with all of us.”
Canada and the offense attracted intense scrutiny in the first half of the season when the team went 2-6 before a Week 9 bye and struggled to find a consistent rhythm or identity.
The Steelers only scored four touchdowns in their first three weeks, and are looking for a spark, at last Mitch Trubisky to Pickett in the first inning of the Jets’ Week 4 loss.
However, changing starting quarterbacks didn’t immediately galvanize the offense, and it took a series of meetings between Tomlin, Canada and the entire team during the bye week to get everyone on the same page.
Next, the offensive lineman Kevin Dotson The offense, he said, was a plan Canada trusted and led the team to finish 7-2 for a 9-8 record.
“Farewell week definitely opened a lot of people’s eyes to his true vision because we were sitting around [talking about] Dotson said last week: what he expects and wants to happen in the future. And Tomlin complemented that with his vision, and I think that helped all of us.
The wild offense showed the most improvement after the bye, and for the second year in a row Nagy Harris He went from averaging 45 yards per game in the first half of the season to 74 after the bye.
While the Steelers retain Canada, they lose one offensive coach. A source tells ESPN that assistant wide receivers coach Blaine Stewart is leaving to work at West Virginia. Stewart, who spent four years on the Steelers’ staff, is the son of the late WVU coach Bill Stewart.