Burt Lauten, a team representative, told that Matt Canada will be back as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Canada, 50, will serve as offensive coordinator for a third season after signing a one-year contract extension last year through 2023. In the past, he was in charge of the quarterbacks for the 2020 season.
A league source told that, despite the fact that outside the building, there was a lot of talk about Canada’s whereabouts, the expectation was that Canada would return and that his job wasn’t in danger.
“I thought he got better,” coach Mike Tomlin said in his end-of-year press conference last week. “Just like our team got better. … We got some work to do, but largely I thought he got better in the ways that we got better. It was encouraging.”
The Steelers finished the year with an average of 4.2 yards per carry, which is near the bottom of the league. However, this is better than their performance in 2021, when they were 28th with 3.8 yards per carry. After throwing two touchdowns and eight interceptions in his first five appearances, rookie Kenny Pickett threw five touchdowns and just one interception after the Steelers finished last this season with 12 passing touchdowns.
Pickett said he had a good relationship with the offensive coordinator, and he has known Canada since the former college offensive coordinator recruited him to play at Pitt.
“We’re open and honest on what I see, and he asks me all the time,” Pickett said Dec. 7. “I think that open line of communication is just going to continue to improve, and he’s very open to suggestions that we all have as players or staff. It’s a collective effort, and it’s definitely cool to have an OC that’s open to that and not just kind of closed-minded. So, it’s a pretty good relationship that he has with all of us.”
During the first half of the season, when the team went 2-6 before the Week 9 bye and struggled to establish a consistent rhythm or identity, Canada and the offense came under intense scrutiny.
At halftime of their Week 4 loss to the Jets, the Steelers substituted Pickett for Mitch Trubisky, who had only scored four touchdowns in the previous three games.
Still, changing the starting quarterbacks didn’t start the offense right away, and Tomlin, Canada, and the entire team had to meet a lot during the bye week to get everyone on the same page.
Kevin Dotson, an offensive lineman, said that after that, the offense bought into and trusted Canada’s plan, which helped the team finish 7-2 and 9-8.
“The bye week definitely opened up a lot of people’s eyes to his true vision because we had that sit down [talking about] what he expects and what he wants to happen in the future,” Dotson said last week. “And Tomlin supplemented that with his vision, and I think that helped us all.”
After the bye, the ground attack improved the most, and second-year running back Najee Harris increased his average yards per game from 45 to 74 after the bye.
The Steelers are keeping one offensive coach while keeping Canada. Blaine Stewart, the assistant wide receivers coach, will be moving to West Virginia. The late WVU coach Bill Stewart’s son, Stewart, worked for the Steelers for four years.