The Pittsburgh Steelers have parted ways with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, marking the end of a two-plus-year tenure characterized by offensive struggles.
Following a disappointing loss to Cleveland where the Steelers managed only 10 points, Head Coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged Canada’s dedication but highlighted the ongoing offensive challenges. Despite maintaining a 6-4 record, the Steelers’ offense ranks 28th in both yards and points, prompting mounting frustration among fans, as evidenced by chants demanding Canada’s firing during a September win over Cleveland.
While Tomlin initially defended Canada amid external pressure, internal frustrations within the locker room intensified after a lackluster performance against the Browns, with running back Najee Harris expressing weariness, and wide receiver Diontae Johnson emphasizing the evident issues. Quarterback Kenny Pickett, drafted in the first round in 2022, experienced a stagnant growth, with only six touchdown passes, two since October, and a declining accuracy, even after Canada’s move to the sideline for improved communication and flow.
Despite positive player response to the change during wins over Tennessee and Green Bay, the offense regressed against the Browns, leading to Canada’s dismissal. The immediate successor for playcalling duties remains undisclosed, but quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, a former offensive coordinator with Tampa Bay and the New York Giants, is a potential interim candidate.
The decision comes as the Steelers enter a manageable stretch in their schedule, facing opponents with sub-.500 records. However, the team, which narrowly missed the playoffs last year, seeks a production boost to secure a postseason return.
While the run game’s emergence last winter contributed to a 7-2 push, the expected progress from Pickett and the offense in 2023 has not materialized consistently. The Steelers have been outgained in all 10 games this season, raising concerns about their competitiveness.
Despite Pittsburgh’s historical stability and reluctance to make in-season coaching changes, Tomlin deemed this move necessary, especially with Pickett’s apparent regression and limited options. The decision follows a disappointing trend for the Steelers’ offense, emphasizing the urgency to address issues and revitalize the team’s playoff aspirations.