If Pittsburgh Steelers fans were prepping their Christmas list early, the number one item right now would probably be for the team to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada—but they certainly don’t want to wait until Christmas to get it.
While Canada’s long-term future does seem bleak, it has not been the team’s history to fire coaches in-season. Even in 2013, one-year offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. merely had his responsibilities stripped away and siphoned off to assistant Shaun Sarrett.
Well, according to NFL reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala, the second-year offensive coordinator very well may be on thin ice. Appearing on 93.7 The Fan this evening, she claims that another poor game this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles could cost him his job.
Asked by host Andrew Fillipponi if she thinks they will fire Canada if they get blown out by the Eagles, she responded unequivocally, “Yes”. She goes on, “I don’t think this is our grandfather’s Steelers”.
The Steelers rank 31st in the NFL in points scored thus far this season—and that does not account for teams having already had a bye week—mustering up just 107 points, averaging 15.3 points per game. They rank 30th in total yards, 24th in passing yards, and 27th in rushing yards.
There has, of course, been a change at quarterback. Mitch Trubisky started the first four games, playing in a fifth, and has thrown for 797 passing yards. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett has thrown for 771 yards in three starts over four games played. Each have accounted for four total touchdowns, Trubisky three as a passer and Pickett two.
Outside of the three rushing touchdowns by the quarterbacks as referenced above, the Steelers have had just one other, by starting running back Najee Harris, who also leads the team with two receiving touchdowns—nobody else has more than one.
The Steelers ranked 21st in points per game scored last season in Canada’s first year as offensive coordinator, averaging 20.2 points per game. They also ranked 23rd in yardage that year—15th in passing yards and 29th in rushing yards.
Canada was first hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2020. After Randy Fichtner was let go as coordinator, the former was promoted to that title in 2021, and he has remained in that post since then. How much longer remains to be seen.
Of course, it also remains to be seen how credible the report is. I don’t suspect there are many who anticipate the Steelers having a great offensive game on Sunday against the Eagles, so that will really put the report to the test.
UPDATE (6:52 PM): Kinkhabwala has responded to Fillipponit’s tweet, denying she was stating that claim in such certain terms.
It is worth pointing out that during the interview when asked, she said “yes” to her belief the team would make a change if the Steelers’ offense again struggles against the Eagles.