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In Rare Moment, Matt Canada Offers Detailed Explanation Of Steelers’ Second Half Failures

Matt Canada is typically the cliché king. To the point where I almost wrote a post playing “Matt Canada Bingo” with his favorite phrases of “we didn’t score more” and “we just gotta get better.” Throughout most of his interactions with the media this season, he’s kept his answers vague and open-ended, talking a lot but not saying much.

Maybe it was because it’s a holiday but a frustrated-sounded Matt Canada offered a detailed play-by-play of many of the Steelers’ second half failures in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Buckle up because Canada, for once, has plenty to say.

“We were not good enough for the second half,” he said in audio provided by the team site. “We called a screen on the first play of the second half, had two guys out there didn’t work. Called run on second down, didn’t work. Third down, somehow their corner…got his arm around Diontae’s hand warmer there. We were trying to get the ball to him so it didn’t work.”

After putting up 20 first-half points, the Steelers’ offense fell back on old ways over the final two frames, only amassing a field goal before a late touchdown when the game was essentially decided. Though Pittsburgh put up 30 points, easily their most of the season, it didn’t feel like a 30-point outing in large part due to their second half failures.

But Canada wasn’t finished explaining.

“Next series there, I think we ran the ball into a two shell look. That’s what we wanted to do. Had a good run. Called a screen into a blitz, which I’m sure you know is what you’d like to do. Didn’t work third down. I could do it the whole way through, but it is what it is. We did not produce.”

As we noted earlier in the week, the Steelers continue to be a bad screen team. Despite two good-looking opportunities early in the second half, poor blocking and miscommunication led to missed chances for good gains and additional yards. Though Pittsburgh ran too often on 2nd and long, in fairness to Canada, some of that is dictated by coverage. As he mentioned, watch Pickett check out of this pass into a run as the Bengals present a two-high look right before the snap.

Rarely does Canada offer this level of detail and if you listen to the audio – and you should – he’s a mean who clearly sounds frustrated both by his team’s lack of production and by the questions about the job he’s done. Few have been as critical of Canada as I have been but in recent weeks, the problems do seem more execution and personnel-related than they’ve been schematic or coaching-based.

That won’t stop most from placing all the blame on Canada and to be clear, he’s still the coach. The buck stops with him and the results go on his resume. But in a season of frustration vented by players, Canada seems just as upset. After their season ends, Art Rooney II and company will determine whether or not Canada will get a chance to right the ship in 2023.

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