The calls for firing 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, plenty of coaches who have collegiate-level success don’t translate into the pros. This could be the case for Canada.
On average, the total yards per game 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 a reality, citing the need to “keep Big Ben away a while.”
Overall, the calls to fire Matt Canada are loud and clear.
One fan didn’t mince words with his tweet: “Short pass after short pass after short pass. Please fire Matt Canada. Every single f****** game is like this. The dude is literally incapable of calling a pass play longer than 5 yards.”
This fan is anxious to get a notification on his phone: “Sometime this week… I wanna see a alert come across my phone that says: Pittsburgh fires Matt Canada.”
This fan’s suggestion wouldn’t be bad if Brian Flores weren’t a defensive-minded coach.
Colin Dunlap of The Fan Morning Show suggests Mike Tomlin hates “assts with high profile.” And he could be right, given his history of good-to-great coordinators who were let go.
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.
Why Ben Roethlisberger to Steelers Isn’t a Stretch
Of course, this is all fodder, but it’s fun to fantasize about anyway.
There’s no question that the Steelers had a good thing going with Ben Roethlisberger for the majority of his Hall of Fame-worthy 18-year career in Pittsburgh. Whether it was coming from 20 points behind or keeping a lead, Roethlisberger called many of his own plays.
Roethlisberger seems pretty content right now golfing, podcasting and being a family man. Maybe he would want to coach down the road in the NFL. How weird would it be to see him on the sideline as a coach?
Why it is a stretch is coaches (usually) need to pay their dues to earn a coaching job in the professional ranks. Roethlisberger has no coaching experience. Then again, Hines Ward was part of the New York Jets coaching staff for a couple of years.
Ben Roethlisberger Wasn’t the Steelers’ Problem
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.
Roethlisberger often would call his own plays once he became more experienced and comfortable. “Backyard football,” he would call it. And Pittsburgh was better for it. The offense suffered when his freedom to call audibles or no-huddles became limited after Randy Fichtner left.
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.