Though the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense has shown improvement since the bye week, at least one beat writer believes OC Matt Canada hasn’t done enough to save his job. The PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo appeared on 93.7 The Fan with Andrew Fillipponi yesterday and said he expects Canada to be gone when the Steelers’ season ends.
Here’s the quote from Fillippoini.
To be clear, I don’t think Fittipaldo was implying the Steelers have actually been told but they likely have the sense the move is coming.
Canada and the Steelers’ offense haven’t been quite as brutal after a terrible first month to the season, struggling with both their execution and their gameplan. Since the bye, Pittsburgh’s found their run game roots though the offense has still been among the lowest-scoring units in football. Until their game-winning drive, the Steelers did little against the Raiders, held to six points until the final minute.
On the season, the Steelers have the 29th-ranked offense averaging just 17.6 points per game, a worse mark than the team registered in 2019 when they slogged through the season with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges after losing Ben Roethlisberger to an elbow injury. This year, the offense has scored more than 25 points just once, a 37-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and they’ve been held to 20 or fewer points in all but four of their contests. Throughout the year, players have vented their frustration with the offense and taken not-so-subtle shots at Canada. Even Ben Roethlisberger, now in retirement, has done the same.
Canada’s had the difficult task of replacing Ben Roethlisberger and the team, be it due to execution or injury, has rotated through Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett this season. For the first half of the year, they had no semblance of a running game which only compounded the problem and put too much stress on quarterbacks not capable of shouldering the load.
If Canada is replaced, it would be a rare move for the Steelers. Presumably under contract through 2023, the Steelers don’t often fire coordinators. Instead, they opt to let their contracts expire. It happened with Randy Fichtner, Todd Haley, and Keith Butler. The last coordinator to be fired after a season appears to be DC Tim Lewis in the early 2000s while STs Coach Al Everest was let go right before the 2012 season.
Should Pittsburgh make a move, it’ll likely come within days of their 2022 season ending. Internally, QBs Coach Mike Sullivan is a logical option to replace Canada and Pittsburgh has had a habit of looking to in-house options instead of going with an outsider. But they haven’t gotten the results they wanted promoting from within and would be wise to strongly consider an outside name. If Canada is let go, we’ll have a list of candidates that make sense.