PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – It’s not just Ben Roethlisberger coming back that should excite Steelers fans about an immediate improvement to their offense, new quarterbacks coach Matt Canada is bringing his motion and innovations to a group that was second worst in the NFL in scoring touchdowns last year.
“This offense will have his fingerprints all over it,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “You’ll see some stuff on Monday night I’m pretty sure with those motions. Hopefully we can just be successful with it.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin cautioned that Canada, along with new receiver’s coach Ike Hilliard, will likely be focusing more on their positions than input on offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s game plan against the Giants. However, Tomlin added both will bring new ideas and we will see more of their philosophies on the offensive scheme as the season progresses.
Regardless of how early the impact is, wherever Canada has gone, offenses improve. Here are a few examples.
· In 2007 as quarterbacks coach at Indiana, the Hoosiers set a school record for points.
· In 2011 at Northern Illinois, that MAC school was top 12 in the nation in scoring, total and rushing offense.
· Then to Wisconsin where his offense scored 70 points in the Big Ten championship game in 2012.
· At NC State he helped QB Jacoby Brissett to 43 touchdowns and 11 picks his junior and senior seasons.
· With Pitt, he took a struggling offense and averaged 42.5 points a game.
· During his short time at Maryland his offense scored 51 points in a game against Ohio State, beat Texas and beat Minnesota by 29.
For those that watched him at Pitt, Canada’s offense featured jet sweeps and misdirection as receiver Quadree Henderson rushed for 631 yards, current Steeler James Conner had 16 touchdowns and fullback George Aston had 10 combined scores.
“It’s definitely different for a player like myself who has been in the NFL for so long because it does have a lot of college feel to it,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s taken some getting used to.”
“I asked our lineman and our defense what it does for them and it definitely throws a defense into a little bit of a tizzy when you see the motion and you’re not sure who is getting the ball.”
A couple of years ago Roethlisberger said “this old cowboy has a little left in him”, if that same old dog can learn the new tricks, the Steelers could have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league.