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Mike Tomlin Expresses Confidence In Matt Canada, But ‘Confidence Means Very Little; It’s What’s On Tape’

The Matt Canada era offensively for the Pittsburgh Steelers has been a poor one, to be blunt.

Sure, the Steelers made the playoffs in 2021, winning a lot of games late, but that had a lot to do with Ben Roethlisberger’s heroics down the stretch in his final season, which also saw him compile the most fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives in a single season in his career.

All of that was supposed to change in 2022 though as Canada, in his second season as offensive coordinator, finally had a quarterback or two that fit his scheme’s style in veteran free agent signee Mitch Trubisky and rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett.

Through five weeks, the offense remains one of the league’s worst, again leading to calls for change at the coordinator position for the Steelers. On Tuesday, head coach Mike Tomlin threw some support behind Canada, stating to reporters that he’s confident in the play-caller, but that confidence means very little in comparison to what’s on tape at the moment, according to video via the Steelers official YouTube page.

“Confident, but confidence means very little. It’s what’s on tape, and so, we understand that,” Tomlin stated to reporters Tuesday, according to video via the Steelers official YouTube page. “We understand the nature of your questioning. That’s just where I’m at with it right now. I’m not changing for the sake of changing. I’m changing if I feel like it produces a better desired outcome in any area. And so we’re looking at those things. We’re open to those things, but not in an effort to quell the masses or anything of that nature.”

Expecting the Steelers to break tradition or their standard business practice and fire a coach mid-season was just wasting time by anyone who believed they would do that. Making the argument of if the Steelers should do that regarding Canada is another discussion entirely.

Through 22 games as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator, Pittsburgh has scored just four first-quarter touchdowns. That’s not just first-drive touchdowns, that’s a full 15 minutes worth of first quarter action in 22 games. Four touchdowns!

On top of that, the passing game is regressing and the run game is an abject disaster. The offense labors to move the football, and then when it gets into the red zone it struggles to finish off drives. Seemingly everything is a mess, and what the Steelers are putting on tape offensively doesn’t inspire confidence whatsoever.

The last time the Steelers truly made an in-season change on the coaching staff at offensive coordinator came in 1998 when then-head coach Bill Cowher stripped offensive coordinator Ray Sherman of play-calling duties before Sherman then resigned at the end of the season.

“They came to a mutual conclusion that Ray would resign and pursue other NFL coaching opportunities,” Sherman’s agent Ray Anderson reportedly said at the time, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Reports at that time indicated that then-Steelers head coach Bill Cowher had planned to fire Sherman the following week had he not resigned as the team’s offensive coordinator in early January of 1999.

That could ultimately happen with Canada and the Steelers, but expecting significant changes like relieving Canada of his duties in the middle of the season, especially with Pickett at the helm, is just wasting time, at least for now.

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