Several weeks ago, Pittsburgh Steelers’ beat writer Ray Fittipaldo “fully expected” offensive coordinator Matt Canada to be fired. Revisiting those slam dunk odds, Fittipaldo is a little less sure today though still confident the team will have a new OC in 2023.
Appearing on 93.7 The Fan, Fittipaldo said there’s an 80% chance Canada is let go but noted no final decision has been made yet.
“Mike [Tomlin] hasn’t even finished the exit interviews with the players yet much less the coaches,” he said as transcribed by The Fan’s Liam O’Hara. “There is no inside info on which way he’s leaning…I’m still kind of like 80/20 that they will move on (from Matt Canada) and find another guy.”
Fittipaldo said it wasn’t an official report and his educated guess at the situation but coming from a beat writer who covers the team, it’s worth noting. However, his belief was far stronger just two weeks ago. On December 26th, he said to “fully expect” a change at coordinator and that the players in the building sensed a change was imminent.
So far, the Steelers have made no coaching changes. But as Mike Tomlin noted during his Monday press conference, the team is notoriously slow to make changes. Senior assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores is interviewing for the Cleveland Browns’ DC job today making for one potential subtraction among the coaching staff.
According to a resent ESPN report, Canada is under contract through 2023 and the Steelers have a strong history of not moving on from coaches until their deals expire. Todd Haley and Randy Fichtner weren’t fired, their contracts merely “not renewed” while DC Keith Butler signed a one-year deal for the 2021 season before retiring.
Canada led the Steelers to the 26th-ranked offense this year and a unit that threw a league-low 12 touchdown passes. But the offense improved the second half of the year and established a consistent running game, a key element to the team’s 7-2 finish after the bye week.
As recent history has dictated, a decision on Canada is likely to come within the next couple of days. Haley and Fichtner were officially out 4-5 days after the Steelers’ season ended. For Bruce Arians, it took longer though his situation was more complicated and unusual.
Based on that history, *if* Canada is fired, odds are it’ll be announced sometime tomorrow, a classic Friday news dump. Perhaps that could be stretched into Monday. But if he makes it through the weekend, he’ll have a pretty good chance of being the offensive coordinator next year. Of course, given that Canada is under contract, that history alone suggests the team won’t fire him.