One direction

Matt Canada is reluctant to talk about the impact he'll have on the Steelers' offense as a first-year NFL assistant, but the franchise quarterback and the offensive coordinator are absolutely interested in hearing what the new quarterbacks coach has to say.

"When it comes to ideas and when it comes to thoughts and things you can bring to the table every week, what he can bring to the table might be different than I would," offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner observed.

Fichtner anticipated a process of give-and-take exchanges that'll be "really fun to see and develop."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger perceived the misdirection game as an area in which Canada would be potentially impactful.

"We brought Coach Canada in to help with some of that stuff," Roethlisberger said.

Canada, who coached college football from 1994 through 2018 he started as a graduate assistant at Indiana and finished his last NCAA season as the interim head coach at Maryland has joined Mike Tomlin's staff intending to do nothing more than what's asked of him.

"I'm coming in and joining what we're doing here," Canada maintained. "I've always enjoyed that (misdirection) part of the game. We were doing it probably starting all the way back in 2009, or so (at Indiana). Certainly at Wisconsin in 2012 we started having some fun with it, so it's been part of what we've done in the past.

"But again, I'm coming in here and I'm just learning our system and getting going with what we're doing here."

Canada arrived having an already-established relationship with Fichtner, having shared the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex with the Steelers as an assistant at Pitt in 2016.

"I knew Randy a little bit when I was at Pitt across the hall there," Canada said. "I came over and visited with him a couple times. He's just such a good guy and good person, we've had no trouble getting along and getting together. All spring we talked football until we had to take the break, and then it was all done virtually.

"It's been great with him and our entire staff. Certainly enjoyed getting to know our system and he's done a great job bringing me up to speed with that. I've really enjoy Randy and the time I've been able to spend with him."

Canada was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Pitt in 2016. He's also handled both jobs at Northern Illinois (2003, 2011), Indiana (2007-10), Wisconsin (2012), N.C. State (2013-15), LSU (2017) and Maryland (2018).

Fichtner knows the feeling. He's been the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons for the Steelers.

"I think it's a big job," Fichtner acknowledged. "It's more knowledge in the room (with Canada on staff).

"It's one more opportunity to throw ideas around."

Take a look at the Steelers preparing for the 2020 regular season at Heinz Field