On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to part ways with their offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, following over two years of struggling to produce points and yards consistently.
This change, announced by head coach Mike Tomlin just two days after a disappointing loss to Cleveland, where the team only scored 10 points, acknowledges Canada’s dedication while highlighting the ongoing offensive challenges faced by the Steelers.
Despite Canada’s hard work, the team continued to grapple with familiar issues that have plagued their offensive performance in recent years. Even with a 6-4 record, the Steelers have remained in playoff contention despite their offense ranking 28th in both yards gained and points scored.
Outside the organization, frustration has been steadily growing for months. During a game against Cleveland on Sept. 18, fans were vocal in their calls to “Fire Canada,” a sentiment that echoed throughout the region and gained traction as a social media meme.
Tomlin backed the team during weeks of defending Canada, but tensions simmered in the locker room. The Steelers’ disappointing performance against the Browns, managing only 249 yards—merely 106 through the air—seemed to push frustration over the edge. Najee Harris expressed weariness with the situation, while Diontae Johnson’s cryptic response hinted at the team’s issues.
Canada faces significant criticism, notably regarding Kenny Pickett’s stalled progress. Despite an impressive rookie season and glimpses of his potential in the preseason, the quarterback’s development has hit a plateau after being drafted in the first round in 2022.
Once the games began to matter truly, everything seemed to evaporate. Pickett’s touchdown passes dwindled to just six, a mere two since the outset of October, with his accuracy waning further even after the Steelers relocated Canada from the coach’s box to the sideline, aiming for smoother communication and rhythm.
While lauded by the players in victories against Tennessee and Green Bay, the offense regressed notably in the face of the Browns.
There needs to be an immediate update on who will assume playcalling duties. Still, it’s likely that quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan—formerly an offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay and with the New York Giants—will step in on an interim basis.
This decision aligns with the Steelers gearing up for a favorable stretch in their schedule. None of their next five opponents—Cincinnati (twice), New England, Arizona, and Indianapolis—are currently above .500.