Updated: Jun 18, 2021
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
A lot of people are intrigued to see how the Steelers' offense looks in 2021, as Matt Canada is implementing a lot of schemes that are uncustomed to what veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is used to. Seth Galina of Pro Football Focus recently wrote just how different and unusual the pairing of Roethlisberger and Canada are.
"Last year, the Steelers played in shotgun at the fourth-highest rate in the league. Canada’s last college offense, the 2018 Maryland Terrapins, did it at the 117th-ranked rate in the country," Galina wrote. "The Steelers used pre-snap motion at the 23rd-highest rate in the league, while the Terrapins used it at the second-highest rate in college football.
"Roethlisberger wanted to sit in shotgun, catch the snap, stand there and get rid of the ball as fast as possible. That’s never been Canada’s style of play, but Roethlisberger is the veteran, so he may have enough influence to sway the Canada offense in a different direction. There might not be a more dissimilar quarterback-offensive coordinator pairing in NFL history."
Canada spoke with reporters this morning and made it clear that there won't be a power struggle between him and Roethlisberger.
“We’re going to do what Ben wants to do and how Ben wants to do it," Canada said via Mike Prisuta of Steelers.com. Our job is putting every player in position to make plays. There are changes with terminology, how we're calling things, which has been an adjustment for Ben. He has adapted easily, just like we all knew that he would."
Roethlisberger said a few weeks ago that he has no issue going under center more and Canada believes that bolstering the run game will help in the play-action department.
“Ben can do everything really well. I don’t have any concern about Ben doing anything that we want to do," Canada said. "If you're gonna run the football, I think play-action is very important. Mr. Rooney (Steelers president Art II) has sent out a very clear directive to Mr. Colbert (General Manager Kevin), to Coach Tomlin (head coach Mike) and then to me, we want to be able to run the ball when we have to run it. That doesn't mean we're gonna run the ball for X-amount of yards in a game. All that matters here is winning. Our charge is to win the Super Bowl, and that's it.
Canada also stressed that tempo and changing it throughout a game is crucial to keeping defenses off balance.
“We’ll run the ball when we have to run it, and we’ll throw when we have to throw it,” he said. “After that, we’re going to do everything we can to get our players — and we’ve got a lot of really good ones — in position to make the plays their talents direct us to do.”