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Solving the Matt Canada Puzzle: How FA Signings Affect the Steelers Offense

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Solving the Matt Canada Puzzle: How FA Signings Affect the Steelers Offense

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been awfully busy this off-season. They got their QB, solidified the offensive line, and they got some solid additions on the defensive side of the ball. It’s been a great off-season in which they’ve already filled a majority of their needs. Now, this article isn’t going to be a recap of the Steelers free agency so far. You’ve probably read a ton of those already. In this article, I am going to focus in on the offensive side of the ball. More particularly, how these recent signings will aid the Steelers offense moving ahead, and how they will help offensive coordinator Matt Canada rebound from a disappointing 2021 season.

Before we get into the actual signings, I just wanted to remind people just what type of offense Matt Canada likes to run. We saw hints of it last season, but it was evident that he didn’t get a chance to fully implement his offense with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. The main staple of a Canada offense is play-action pass. He tends to favor this type of play to catch the defense off guard. He uses this concept to open up the defense and take shots down the field. Another key part of his offense is the type of rush offense he uses. Power run concepts are Canada’s go-to. He likes to have a guard pull across the line of scrimmage and act as the lead blocker. Another staple to a Matt Canada offense is his creativity. Whether it’s pre-snap motion, shifts, or jet sweeps, Canada likes to keep the opposing defenses on its heels and force them to think twice before the play. We’ve seen glimpses of all these concepts last season, but we’ve never really seen Canada put his stamp in this Steelers offense. However, with the Steelers’ recent off-season signings, he now has a real chance to take charge of the offense and run it the way he wants.

Now onto the signings and how they impact this offense.

Let’s start with the main one and that is QB Mitchell Trubisky. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft is coming off a year sitting behind Buffalo Bills‘ star quarterback, Josh Allen. This move screams Matt Canada to me. For Canada’s scheme to succeed, he needs a mobile quarterback, and Trubisky fits the bill. He can create plays with legs and that is evidenced by this key stat: Since 2017, he has averaged 8.2 yards per carry, which ranks him fourth in the NFL. Another reason Trubisky fits this Canada scheme is his success with play-action. When Trubisky was in Chicago, he had success passing off of play-action. Overall, this signing shows that head coach Mike Tomlin is trusting Canada with this offense and giving him the keys to improve this unit.

Next, we got the offensive linemen. The Steelers completely revamped their interior line. They have brought in C Mason Cole along with former Chicago Bears‘ G James Daniels. I noticed a few common trends with these signings. The main one is versatility. Both Daniels and Cole have the ability to play both G and C. This allows for Canada to get really creative with his scheme and personnel. Also, they are both excellent in run blocking. Daniels is a mauler, and Cole is rated as one of the best-run blockers in the NFL by PFF. Both guys fit Canada’s power runs scheme, having the ability to move across the LOS and get to the second level as well. Overall, Matt Canada got two players that will really help solidify this OL, especially in the run game.

All in all, Canada’s offense may not be a success and frankly, he may be gone after this season. However, it’s interesting to see that the Steelers are at least giving him the personnel to successfully run his offense.

What do you think of the Steelers off-season thus far? Let us know in the comments section below!


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rob Sprague

    March 17, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    Should be an interesting season. Steelers have made a lot of good moves and expect some more to come. Hopefully, Canada can develop his offense and be innovated to the NFL. With a strong defense and solid offense the Steelers should be successful.

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