The calls for the firing of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada started during his first few months after his promotion from quarterbacks coach. Initially, there was talk of Canada’s offenses being creative schemes that boggled defenses. Instead, it was a dink-and-dunk style that proved predictable and ineffective.
The Steelers are Canada’s first foray into the NFL. He came to Pittsburgh with a strictly collegiate coaching background, which is how it usually works, but offers some perspective into why the Steelers offense has issues. Like players, there are plenty of coaches who have success at the collegiate level that doesn’t translate into the pros. This could be the case for Canada.
The total yards per game, on average, are 255, per ESPN — only the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears are worse.
Any time something isn’t working, especially to this extent, fans want action taken.
One went so far as to suggest Ben Roethlisberger come out of retirement to take on the Steelers’ coordinator gig. The fan tweeted, “Steelers Start Kenny Pickett, fire Matt Canada bring back Ben Roethlisberger to be OC who says no?”
Responses to this fan’s tweet were mainly not in favor of the fantasy becoming reality, citing the need to “keep Big Ben away a while.”
This fan’s suggestion wouldn’t be half bad if Brian Flores wasn’t a defensive-minded coach.
Little can be done to make changes in a four-day turnaround like the Steelers have to do this week. There are 10 days off, the longest period outside the Bye week, between the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. Even still, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers don’t fire coordinators in-season. Pittsburgh will have to improve in 2022 or you can bet Canada won’t be around to see 2023.
Ben Roethlisberger Was Not the Steelers’ Problem
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense does have some good things going. Their receiving corps is lights-out when they actually get the ball. With Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Pat Freiermuth and George Pickens, they have the potential to be one of the league’s best when this offense eventually comes together.
Many surmised that Ben Roethlisberger was the problem with the Steelers’ offense in 2021, suggesting he was old and washed when, in actuality, he wasn’t the problem.
As soon as Roethlisberger became experienced and comfortable enough to call his own plays, he often would. “Backyard football,” he would call it. And Pittsburgh was better for it. When his freedom to call audibles or no-huddles became limited after Randy Fichtner left, the offense suffered.
It appears that new Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky is also hamstrung by not being able to call plays at the line of scrimmage.
Trubisky said in a Sept. 20 press conference that he’d “like to get into a different play at the line of scrimmage.”
“We’re evolving to that, too,” Canada said in a Sept. 20 press conference. “You have a guy who played 18 years [Ben Roethlisberger] and a guy who just got here [Mitch Trubisky] with a bunch of young players. We’re slowly building to that. We’re not where we want to be, and we’re building to that.”
Trubisky may be new to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he’s played in this league for seven seasons, one of which he was a Pro Bowler and two others where he took the Bears to the playoffs.
It’s time to give Trubisky more freedom. It can’t get any worse, right?