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Matt Canada Sees Players Taking More ‘Accountability’ In Steelers’ Offense

Mike Tomlin likes to say there’s never a bad time for a bye week. But the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 9 off-week was perfect for the team to right the ship. Since then, they’re 3-1, climbing back into the playoff conversation, with an offense that looks far better than it had. Accountability was something players spoke on improving during the bye, bettering the culture in the room, and those are words and phrases OC Matt Canada attributed to the offensive success over the last month.

“We’re playing better,” Canada told reporters Thursday as transcribed by the team. “We’re executing better. We’re having less missed assignments. I think there’s more accountability amongst the players with each other.”

While the Steelers’ offense is far from the tops in football, it’s moving in the right direction. Their run game has gotten on track and shown consistency for the first time in years. To Canada’s point, the team has fewer missed assignments. They’ve also been less penalized, though it was a problem near the red zone against Atlanta, and they’ve taken care of the football. As we wrote earlier in the week, they’ve on a historic streak of having zero turnovers in four straight games, a first in franchise history.

Canada’s words call back to something RB Najee Harris said around the bye about the need for the offense to approach how it conducted its day-to-day business. A poor process during the week inevitably leads to poor results on Sundays.

“We’re taking a different approach here, and how to do things around the building, around just rebuilding the culture in a way,” Harris said nearly a month ago.

That process has changed results for the better. Pittsburgh’s gained traction offensively for the first time all year. They won’t be a unit that averages 30 points per game but they’re not the liability they once were. Their ability to maintain time of possession has kept the Steelers’ defense off the field, making their lives easier and allowing the Steelers to win low-scoring affairs. 20-10 over the Saints, 19-16 over the Falcons.

Still, Canada doesn’t believe any magic wand’s been waved to improve his unit.

“There’s no dramatic change. That’s not what everybody probably wants, but we’ve continued to get better. We’re nowhere near where we want to be yet.”

Pittsburgh will look to extend their winning-streak Sunday against the Ravens. Baltimore’s been among the strongest defenses in football. They’re 2nd in run defense allowing just 3.8 YPC. They’re near tops in the league in defensive takeaways while they have talent at all three levels of their defense, everyone from DL Calais Campbell to LB Roquan Smith to CB Marlon Humphrey and S Kyle Hamilton. Of just those names alone, three were former first round picks while the exception, Campbell, was a Top 50 pick. There’s pedigree, there’s talent. It’s Steelers/Ravens and everyone has to bring their best.

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