At this point, it feels like the Steelers are on a collision course for the end of the season and the likely severing of relations with offensive coordinator Matt Canada. It seemed to be coming. Even more prevalent, as Ben Roethlisberger even touched on it on the latest episode of his podcast.
During his live edition of Footbahlin, Roethlisberger watched the team’s matchup against the Jaguars and discussed who the team could add if Canada does not return. For him, the answer is obvious, and that would be former Steelers quarterback and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
“I’ll tell you what, I’m never one of those fire this guy and get this guy, but I think if the team was to move on from Matt, I would love to see Byron Leftwich come in here and be the OC,” Roethlisberger said. “He was here, he played here with Coach T, understands what it is to be a Steeler. I think he is a great OC.”
Leftwich and the Steelers have been connected before for offensive positions. Weeks ago, it was reported that Leftwich had made his interest known to the Steelers, but the Black and Gold brain trust has not taken him up on that offer.
Leftwich played for the Steelers under Mike Tomlin in 2008 and 2010-12 and has family in the area, so a job in Pittsburgh would make a lot of sense for him.
Former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians got Leftwich into coaching in 2016 as an intern with the Arizona Cardinals. Leftwich moved up to quarterbacks coach and was interim offensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2018.
In 2019, Arians took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching job and hired Leftwich as his offensive coordinator. With Leftwich calling the plays and Tom Brady under center, the Bucs won Super Bowl LV after the 2020 season and another two NFC South titles.
Though winning the NFC South, the Bucs finished the 2022 season with an 8-9 record and were rocked in Brady’s last game in the Wild Card playoff by the Dallas Cowboys.Tampa fired Leftwich immediately after the season, and he did not find other work elsewhere this year.
Pittsburgh has struggled offensively, and the resume that Leftwich brings does not seem all that much better. Regardless, speculating about future offensive coordinator candidates seems futile, as Pittsburgh will likely wait until after the season to make the call on Canada.