Updated: Jan 26, 2021
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Steelers announced today that they've promoted Matt Canada to offensive coordinator. Canada will replace Randy Fitchner as the Steelers' offensive coordinator, as Fichtner's contract wasn't renewed following the 2020 season.
Canada will not remain as the Steelers' quarterbacks coach and the team will hire someone for that position, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Canada was regarded as one of the most creative minds in college football but he has no experience in the NFL as a play-caller. This past season as the Steelers' quarterbacks coach was his first year in the NFL.
Canada is known to be creative with pre-snap motions, shifts and jet sweeps, and those concepts were implemented in the offense this past season, especially at the early portion of the year until it went by the wayside. Canada had success at Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, NC State and Pitt as a quarterbacks coach and play-caller. Pitt set records for points per game (40.9) and points in a season (532) in Canada’s only season with the program. Canada was named the offensive coordinator at LSU in 2017, but things didn't work out there with head coach Ed Orgeron, 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.
Former Browns' head coach Hue Jackson and Chargers' quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton also reportedly interviewed with the Steelers for the offensive coordinator job. Being that Canada has a year under his belt with the organization and Ben Roethlisberger is heading into the final year of his contract, the Steelers hiring Canada for the role means it wouldn't be a complete adjustment for the soon-to-be 39-year-old franchise quarterback.
Canada will serve as the Steelers' fourth offensive coordinator under Mike Tomlin, following Bruce Arians, Todd Haley and Fichtner, and will be the fifth offensive coordinator for Roethlisberger, who's expected to return in 2021.