The Steelers’ offensive struggles, Pittsburgh has ultimately parted ways with offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
The Steelers officially dismissed Canada on Tuesday, only two seasons after serving as the aggressive coordinator.
Head coach Mike Tomlin stated in a statement on Tuesday, “Matt Canada has been released from his duties as offensive coordinator.” “I commend Matt for his hard work and dedication, and I wish him well as he continues his career.”
NFL Network insiders Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported that Steelers quarterback coach Mike Sullivan and quarterbacks coach Eddie Faulkner will share the coordinator duties in the wake of Canada’s firing. Faulkner is expected to take on the interim OC role, and Sullivan, who has previous experience as a coordinator with the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will handle play-calling responsibilities.
In 2020, Canada joined the Steelers as the quarterback coach and was promoted to the position of offensive coordinator in 2021, replacing Randy Fichtner. Known for his long tenure as a college offensive coordinator, Canada was expected to modernize Pittsburgh’s offense, utilize motion, and update the passing operation. Instead, the Steelers ended up with a playoff plan where there was no lack of harmony, rarely faced deep defensive pressure, and lacked stability across the board.
In his tenure as offensive coordinator spanning 44 games, the Steelers never ranked higher than 23rd in yards and 21st in points under Canada. In 2023, Pittsburgh currently ranks 28th in both yards and points. The passing game, particularly with quarterback Kenny Pickett at the helm, has been particularly harsh, as Pittsburgh ranked 31st in yards and 31st in touchdowns in 2023 (it ranked 32nd in passing touchdowns the previous season).
Despite the struggles on offense, the Steelers have made less than 400 total yards in 58 straight games, including the entire tenure of Canada as the play-caller.
The loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday was particularly harsh, with the Steelers scoring just 64 yards in the first half, marking the second time this season they had zero points and less than 70 total yards in the first half of a game. For the entire game, Pittsburgh managed only 77 net passing yards, the lowest since Devlin Hodges stayed at center in Week 17, 2019.
Throughout the season, despite clear struggles on offense, Canada has remained with the Steelers, believing that consistency with rising quarterback Kenny Pickett will be beneficial. Confidence has waned as the offensive struggles persist, and the demand for Canada’s dismissal by Steelers fans has been ongoing for over a year. Despite the outcry, head coach Mike Tomlin has consistently supported Canada, resisting changes at every turn and deflecting criticism. The faith has dwindled as ignoring the glaring offensive issues became increasingly difficult, especially with a potential playoff season on the line.
Despite a point differential of -29, the Steelers are 6-4 in the AFC, ranking 7th in the AFC, alongside Seattle, with a record and just two teams with a better record than -2 in 2023, joining teams that have a positive record and only a negative point differential during Week 11.