Much to the dismay of fans, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not moving on from embattled offensive coordinator Matt Canada. One day after a January 17 report surfaced stating Mike Tomlin was tending to “a personal matter” that would delay any coaching decisions, Gerry Dulac reported Canada would be retained. Dulac’s report was confirmed by Burt Lauten, Steelers’ senior communications director.
If you think Steelers fans were salty when Tomlin didn’t fire Canada during the bye week, they’re even saltier that he’ll be around for (at least) one more season.
Melissa is tired of mediocrity in Pittsburgh.
93.7 The Fan’s Colin Dunlap has given up on a creative offense coming from Pittsburgh.
Blitzburgh tweeted, “All of YINZ after dealing with both Randy Fichtner and Matt Canada,” with a popular meme with ex-coordinator Todd Haley’s picture photoshopped.
Wayna thanks Mike Tomlin with her tweet: “@CoachTomlin screwed us keeping Matt Canada.”
Derrick pointed out that teams with offenses worse than the Steelers all canned their offensive coordinators.
93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi is just as upset as the next guy. He tweeted, “Matt Canada watch is OVER. Retweet if you’re f—king pissed that he’s back as offensive coordinator.”
Steel City Blitz‘s Scarps had fun with the Canada news, tweeting, “Matt Canada has never had a losing season.”
The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly believes that the conservative approach on offense was the doing of Mike Tomlin.
Steelers Takeaways responded to the Matt Canada news with, “This is the kind of decision that makes or breaks coaches.”
@PittsburghSport believes that the decision to keep Canada employed will make or break Mike Tomlin.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Will Not be Fired if Matt Canada Fails
If Matt Canada fails to bring the Pittsburgh Steelers offense up to a competitive standard, head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t need to fear for his job.
In April 2021, the Steelers extended Tomlin through the 2024 season, allowing him to surpass Bill Cowher as the longest-tenured head coach in franchise history.
The Steelers don’t fire head coaches — proven by Tomlin being only the third head coach in 54 years. Should the team fail to reach the postseason for the seventh time in Tomlin’s career in Pittsburgh, Canada will be made the scapegoat, and his contract “not renewed.”
And the process will start all over again that offseason.
It’s Only up From Here for the Pittsburgh Steelers Offense
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense will likely improve in 2023. It has to, right? The unit was one of the league’s worst in most statistical categories.
In two years under Canada, the Steelers’ offense averaged 24th in points scored and 23rd in total yards.
Scoring drives were hard to come by. Pickett only threw seven touchdowns (zero in six games) in 13 games and never once multiple scores. Only six teams scored fewer than Pittsburgh’s 18.1 average points per game.
Despite the odds, Pittsburgh closed the season with four consecutive victories and six wins in its final seven. While the Steelers don’t control who they play, only how they play, their opponents in the second half all finished with losing seasons. It could be (and has been) argued that had they faced winning teams, the result wouldn’t have been so favorable.
After the bye week, the Steelers also found their offensive identity as a run-heavy unit. After the bye, the Steelers posted 146 rushing yards (4.2 yards per carry) per game. During that stretch, they scored more than 23 points four times.
The Pittsburgh Steelers improved as the season wore on, and they can ride that momentum into next season. But to compete with the big dogs and even make a postseason run, Matt Canada needs to draw up drives that more consistently result in six points.