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Ben Roethlisberger shares insight on Matt Canada the offensive coordinator

Last week, prior to the Week 12 road game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburgh Steelers did something they haven’t done in decades. They fired a coach mid-season. When news hit just over a week ago the team had terminated Matt Canada’s contract, the fan base was abuzz with excitement of what a Matt Canada-less offense might look like.

At this point, everyone knows the offensive output the team put on display last Sunday was noteworthy, and feeds the narrative the problem wasn’t the players, but more the scheme.

In the wake of the 400+ yard outburst, a former player who knows Matt Canada, Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan well gave insight into the situation the Steelers find themselves in without Canada. Of course, you should know the player I’m talking about is Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger had Canada as a quarterbacks coach, but also the offensive coordinator his final season with the team.

Through 18 years of experience, Roethlisberger has been through his share of coordinators. Bruce Arians, Todd Haley, Randy Fichtner, and Canada to end his career, just to name a few. On his “Footbahlin’ with Ben” podcast Wednesday, Roethlisberger spoke about the change the Steelers made, but also shared some insights on how the now-former coordinator handles his business compared to others.

“As long as I’ve been there, I’ve worked really closely with the offensive coordinator.” Roethlisberger said. “And that was intentional. Almost to the point where at one point, BA [Bruce Arians] early on didn’t want a QB coach.

“QB coaches are the go-between. When you’re butting heads with a coordinator, if I want to complain I’m going to tell the QB coach. If the coordinator has something wrong with me, he’s going to go tell the QB coach. He’s a mediator, it’s just how it works.

“I’ve always worked closely with the coordinator.” said Roethlisberger. “Even when I had a QB coach. I’ve always worked closely with the coordinator. I didn’t feel that with Matt, even when he was my coordinator. It almost felt like Matt wanted to let the QB coach coach me, or coach the QBs.

“For right or wrong, it was the way he did it. Maybe it was different this year, maybe he didn’t want to do it with me, I don’t really know that, but that was the first year I felt I wasn’t directly with the coordinator as much. Which seems weird.”

There will be those who feel Roethlisberger is cherry-picking narratives with Canada now gone, but if anyone has first-hand insight into how Canada does things, it would be a player who not only knows the system but knows everyone involved in the situation.

Roethlisberger added how the only reason he makes the point is based on Kenny Pickett being comfortable with Sullivan, the man now tasked with play-calling duties on game days.

“I’m just making that point because maybe that’s why Kenny feels more comfortable with Sully.”

Matt Canada has always done things differently, and has done so at every stop of his coaching journey. The question now is whether or not we’ll ever know why he lasted as long as he did with so little production.

Nonetheless, the move has been made, and now fans are curious if the team can continue to improve in the coming weeks as the team hopes to make the AFC Playoffs and be in the mix for an AFC North division title.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 of the regular season.


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