(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Steelers president Art Rooney II spoke with members of the Pittsburgh media on Friday and he made it sound like Matt Canada will return as offensive coordinator in 2021, as he said,“That’s something Matt will want to address this offseason” in regards to the slow starts.
The Steelers' offense failed to score a first-half touchdown in six of their last seven games of the season, including the 42-21 loss to the Chiefs in the wild-card round game.
Mike Tomlin said on Jan. 18 during his season-ending press conference that he's "optimistic" about Canada leading the offense, along with saying that Canada "brings attractive things to the table."
Tomlin also said, "When you've got red paint, you paint the barn red" when asked if Canada had to hold back some of the offense as the season went on because of personnel.
While he didn't say it, I'd assume Tomlin meant Ben Roethlisberger not being mobile at all, and the offensive line being less than stellar affected the offense from succeeding.
Those comments suggested that Canada would be back, but there was some speculation if Rooney would overrule Tomlin.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was on 93.7 The Fan last Friday and referenced the Bruce Arians "retirement" from after the 2011 season when Rooney fired Arians, despite Tomlin wanting to retain him as the offensive coordinator. Gerry Dulac mentioned the same scenario in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Steelers' offense regressed this season, as they averaged just 20.2 points per game in 2021, which ranked 21st in the league. The offense under Randy Fichtner in 2020, averaged 26.6 per game, which ranked 12th.
Former Steeles quarterback Charlie Batch wasn't happy about the possibility of Canada returning, which now appears official, but he noted that Rooney doesn’t typically fire coaches with time remaining on their contract.
“He’s not going to pay him to sit at home, so if he has years on it, Matt’s going to be back,” Batch said.