Dunlap: Steelers Way Is Welcoming Canada Back

Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Canada
Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Canada Photo credit © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This won’t be popular.

No way in the world you’re going to agree with me – and, heck, I don’t agree with myself here.

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But I’m feeling like this is the reality; like it is what frankly will happen.

OK. Here goes. Man, even just writing these words pain me, but I find them to probably be true: I’m guessing the Pittsburgh Steelers will keep offensive coordinator Matt Canada around another year.

That’s their way. That’s what they do. That’s who and what they are. And the thinking here is they will give him a chance with the next quarterback and, to be fair, maybe a quarterback who can sling it deep from time to time in the middle of the field.

You see, Canada hasn’t come in and worked wonders in this final year of Ben. The offense headed into the playoffs is 23rd out of 32 in yards per game. They are an abysmal 29th in the NFL in rushing. That just isn’t good enough – not by any measure.

I’ll tell you where they are first in the league – throwing short of the sticks on both third and fourth down. I don’t have the numbers but they have to be; like you, I’ve never seen a team complete more 3 yard passes on third-and-9 than this one. It is uncanny and ridiculous all at the same time.

But even with all of that, even with seemingly the totality of Western Pa. screaming at the televisions when the Steelers have the ball, watch them bring Canada back next season.

Know why? Steelers brass will use the justification that he helped get this team to the playoffs. A team with a terrible offensive line and rookies at both tight end and running back.

Oh, and about that rookie running back, that’s another reason they will use to bring Canada back --- the Steelers won’t want to screw up any continuity or familiarity Najee Harris has gained this season with the staff. Ownership will be loath to want their big dog --- and make no mistake, that’s what Harris is --- to have a revolving door of coaches.

Know what else they will say? With JuJu hurt and Roethlisberger’s diminishing skills this season, Canada never really got to show everyone what his true offense was. He was handcuffed and restrained by an offense that didn’t have a quarterback who could move the pocket some.

In truth, there is actually some truth to that.

But, all that said, Canada’s playcalling --- especially early in games --- was curious at best and criminal at worst.

So you can yell and shout. Get as mad as you want and scream for change. Should the Pittsburgh Steelers go in a different direction at offensive coordinator? Yep.

Will they? I wouldn’t count on it.