PITTSBURGH — Matt Canada’s offense has already revealed its fair share of twists and turns.
Already, comments from players have indicated lots of pre-snap motion. Ben Roethlisberger, in particular, pointed out the Steelers will do rollouts, more concepts from under center, and in general, that offense will look much different. For Roethlisberger, who is a 17-year veteran, the offense is a challenge, but he is all-in on trying to learn the offense.
However, there is another wrinkle about the Canada offense that the Steelers wide receivers have noted in recent weeks. While last year, the receivers were largely in static positions, that does not appear to be the case this season. Last week, James Washington noted that the Steelers will move around the wide receivers all around the formation.
“Formations are a little different, but I think it will help us because we will line up in different positions,” Washington said. “We’ll move people around pre-snap and get the matchups we want against certain guys.”
Washington went on to note that there is no true ‘X’ receiver or ‘Z’ receiver for the Steelers this season. Instead, that will be a chess-piece matchup that Canada will use to find the best matchups. On Wednesday, JuJu Smith-Schuster echoed Washington’s sentiments.
“There have been plays where he (Canada) has put me in the best situation,” Smith-Schuster said. “And that’s not just for me. That’s for Chase (Claypool), Diontae (Johnson), James, and Ray-Ray (McCloud). Everyone is getting a few touches and moving around in this offense. I think this offense is going to help us a lot.”
The Steelers did keep their receivers mostly in a phone booth last year. Smith-Schuster was the primary slot option, while Johnson played the X-receiver spot, and Claypool, as well as Washington, worked at the Z-receiver spot. There is no telling just where each receiver will play the majority of their time this year, but it stands to say that they will move around with motion and create new formations every play.
One of the highlights of Canada’s offense is his ability to create so many different looks pre-snap. With that ability, he can read how defenses will react to certain looks and attack the way the defense reacts. All of this factors into what Washington and Smith-Schuster are noting.