Matt Canada, the Steelers' quarterbacks coach during the 2020 season, has replaced Randy Fichtner as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator, the team announced Monday. Canada had recently interviewed with the Dolphins, who are looking for a new coordinator following Chan Gailey's retirement.
Canada, 48, spent 25 years in college before joining Pittsburgh's staff last season. Canada was instrumental in Pittsburgh's offensive success in 2020; he was credited with helping integrate more pre-snap motion and jet sweeps. Ben Roethlisberger also quickened his release while running an up-tempo, quick passing offensive attack. Pittsburgh's early offensive success helped the Steelers start 11-0 before losing five out of their last six contests. The Steelers' 32nd ranked rushing attack at least partially contributed to Pittsburgh's late-season collapse, and it is an issue Canada will look to correct in 2021.
The news of Canada's expected promotion earlier this month likely increased the odds that Roethlisberger will be back for an18th season. There is growing optimism within the Steelers' organization that Roethlisberger will return in 2021, according to NFL Network's Mike Garofolo. Roethlisberger has one year remaining on his current contract, a contract that may need to be restructured given that his '21 cap hit is currently $41 million.
While the Steelers' offense could lose linemen Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner in free agency, guards David DeCastro and Kevin Dotson, tackle Zach Banner, center Maurkice Pouncey, receivers Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, James Washington and tight end Eric Ebron are still under contract.
After years of spending first-round picks on defense, the Steelers may use the 24th overall pick in the 2021 draft on the offensive side of the ball. CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Ryan Wilson has the Steelers drafting Virginia Tech lineman Christian Darrisaw. Fellow draft analyst Josh Edwards has Pittsburgh taking Michigan's Jalen Mayfield.