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Art Rooney II could overrule Mike Tomlin on retaining OC Matt Canada

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Mike Tomlin is optimistic about offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s ability to run the Pittsburgh Steelers offense going forward. But is team president/owner Art Rooney II?

That’s who Canada’s future in Pittsburgh could depend on, according to Steelers insider Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And Dulac uses the Bruce Arians precedent as an example of Rooney’s power over who stays and who doesn’t in Pittsburgh.

All of that went down in 2012 — three Arians head coach gigs ago — so let’s recap.

  • The day after his team got Tim Tebow’ed in the 2011 wild card round, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin declared that Arians would remain in his role as offensive coordinator.

  • Two weeks later, Tomlin made the following statement: “Bruce Arians has informed me that he will retire from coaching. I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team’s offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers. I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

  • Later that same week, it was revealed that the Steelers forced Arians to retire by not renewing his contract.

  • Eight days after the Steelers announced Arians’ retirement, he joined the Colts as offensive coordinator and, soon, interim head coach.

While Tomlin swore up and down that he made the call on Arians and not Rooney, it’s clear that the final decision was ultimately Rooney’s.

Dulac believes that Rooney could pull rank again and show Canada the door.

In a January 21 chat, Dulac reminded Steelers fans (on two occasions) that Rooney stepped in to give Arians the old heave-ho when Tomlin — and Ben Roethlisberger — wanted the coordinator to remain in Pittsburgh.

Blame Canada or blame the personnel, the offensive scheme was severely flawed in 2021. How the Pittsburgh Steelers attempt to recover will undoubtedly be the most-watched storyline of the offseason.

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