Matt Canada moving to the sideline seemed like a big deal to the players
The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in Week 9, 20-16 winners over the Tennessee Titans, and there was plenty of discussion surrounding the team before kickoff. Of course, there was the mystery surrounding Chuks Okorafor being benched for Broderick Jones, but there was also the news of Matt Canada calling plays from the sideline instead of the press box.
Big deal, right? Or at least that’s what I thought, but after the game several players talked about how they felt it was a good move. Most notably, quarterback Kenny Pickett.
“We communicate really well on the headset. No one else really gets a chance to do that with him.” Pickett said after the game. “So I think him being able to go over to each position group and kind of get on the same page with them and let them know what we’re thinking going into each drive, I think it definitely was a positive.”
Did Pickett request the switch for the play caller?
“No, I didn’t.” said Pickett. “I just came to work and was told that.”
Wide receiver Diontae Johnson chimed in on the topic as well, suggesting everyone was just looking for a change.
“We were just trying to look for something different and get a spark going.” Johnson said post-game Thursday night. “Like I said, I support him. Whatever they [Steelers] do, I’m with it regardless.”
As for Mike Tomlin, he simple said the intent was to improve the offense.
“We’re making moves with the intent of getting better.” Tomlin said, but when asked if it would be permanent, he didn’t say yes or no. “We’ll see as we move forward.”
It was worth a shot, and most would admit the offense was better as a whole on Thursday night. If Pickett had been able to complete some passes in the first half, the outcome of the game, especially the final score, would have been drastically different…in a good way.
Will Canada stay on the sideline? As Tomlin said, he is non-committal about the suggestion. Otherwise, it looks like the team got the “spark” they wanted for Thursday night, but keeping that spart will be the true challenge.
Stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Green Bay Packers to invade Acrisure Stadium in Week 10.
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