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Will the Steelers changing offensive coordinators stunt Kenny Pickett’s growth?

I have seen many discussions about Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada this week, but one stands out the most. Will the Steelers changing offensive coordinators stunt Kenny Pickett‘s growth?

The topic has flaws, and the idea is based on Quarterbacks who have failed after teams have changed offensive coordinators. We must realize that failure at the quarterback position is much more than just coaching.

Sometimes it just comes down to players not being as good as we think they are. Sometimes your team takes a year and a half to get the offensive coordinator’s “vision,” as Steelers Guard Kevin Dotson pointed out.

The point is many surrounding situations can affect a Quarterback’s growth. Changing coaches doesn’t guarantee the sky will fall.

Steelers former Hall of Fame Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did just fine with new offensive coordinators.

Ben came into the league in 2004 with Ken Whisenhunt as the Steelers offensive coordinator, and the two won Super Bowl XL the following year.

Fast forward to 2007, Ben not only got a new offensive coordinator in Bruce Arians, but he also got a new head coach with Mike Tomlin. With a significant change to the coaching staff, Ben and the Steelers would win Super Bowl XLIII the following year.

Under Todd Haley, Ben Roethlisberger had some of the best seasons passing the ball between 2014 and 2017. In 2018 the Steelers moved to Randy Fichtner as the offensive coordinator. Ben threw for 5,129 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 16 picks that year which was a career-high.

Changing Kenny Pickett’s OC does not guarantee he will fail or promise him success.

No matter how you look at it, we’re all playing the what-if game. There is no guarantee Kenny Pickett will find the same success under new offensive coordinators as Ben Roethlisberger did. I offered an opposite opinion of the regurgitated argument that Kenny will fail by removing Matt Canada. It’s just not true to suggest he will fail if the Steelers move on from Canada.

No matter which side you choose, it does not change the fact that Matt Canada’s offense has been basic, predictable, and unproductive in the red zone.

The improvements people have been gloating about come from the second half of a season where the Steelers faced mid-level to poor-level teams.

We have to move on, or Matt Canada will need to adjust his playbook and playcalling for the Steelers to hang with the best in the league in 2023.


Justin Otstott
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