Updated: Jan 16, 2021
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
On Thursday morning, the Steelers announced that they no longer need the services of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley, as all three didn't have their contracts renewed.
With Fichtner gone, the Steelers have an opening for an offensive coordinator, and many at first thought assumed that quarterbacks coach Matt Canada would be promoted to the position. So far there's been no news in regards to that, but according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Miami Dolphins are believed to be taking a hard look at Matt Canada for their vacant offensive coordinator position. Canada consulted with Miami in 2019 when he took a year off from coaching.
In the college ranks, Canada was regarded as being very innovative and creative with pre-snap motions, shifts and jet sweeps. He had success at Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, NC State and Pitt as a play-caller, and was named as the offensive coordinator at LSU in 2017, but things didn't work out there and they mutually parted ways after the season.
Canada was hired as the offensive coordinator at Maryland in 2018 and was promoted as the interim head coach before the season as D.J. Durkin was put on administrative leave following the death of Jordan McNair, an offensive lineman at Maryland. Mike Locksley was hired as the permanent head coach at Maryland after the 2018 season and Canada was relieved of the day-to-day head coaching responsibilities and wasn't brought back.
Canada spent his first season in the NFL this season as the Steelers' quarterbacks coach and implemented some of his concepts like pre-snap motions, shifts and jet sweeps in Fichtner's offense. But at the end of the day, Fichtner was still calling the plays.
Canada has never been a play-caller in the NFL, but he has excelled at the college level and certainly has a creative mind. It will be interesting to see if the Dolphins name him as their offensive coordinator, or if he's promoted in Pittsburgh to offensive coordinator with Fichtner departing.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Dolphins received permission from the Steelers to talk to Canada about their offensive coordinator job and interviewed with Miami on Thursday.