PITTSBURGH — Matt Canada called his plays from the sideline on Thursday for the first time in his three-year tenure as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator.
The Steelers beat the Tennessee Titans, 20-16, and perhaps more importantly, head coach Mike Tomlin said he liked what his team got out of having the offensive playcaller close at hand.
So you can expect Canada to be back on the sideline once again this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
“We’re willing to do whatever is required to progress in all three phases. We make changes week-in and week-out,” Tomlin said. “Obviously, because of his location, that was a more obvious change. I thought it was good reviews.”
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett said after the game that he thought the change made sense for the offense as a whole, noting that while has constant communication with Canada from the booth via his in-helmet radio, the rest of the offense has to have their messages from the OC relayed through their position coach.
“I thought it aided in communication,” Tomlin said. “Coach to player is one thing, but the give and take and the face-to-face component, I thought could add a little value to our cause. The reviews were positive and so we’ll probably continue to work in that area.”
Tomlin said that moving Canada to the sideline isn’t the only structural change they’ve contemplated as the offense has been mired in a season-long malaise, but he declined to go into further detail about what else they might be trying to change in order to improve in the second half of the season.
“We’ll probably continue to turn other things over in an effort to continue to improve,” he said. “But again, we do things weekly. Some weeks you notice them. Other weeks you don’t.”