The fate of some members of the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff is “on hold” according to a report from The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly Tuesday as head coach Mike Tomlin is reportedly dealing with a personal issue.
After stating that the Steelers would move slowly in the offseason compared to other teams when it comes to personnel and coaching decisions, Tomlin is now dealing with a personal issues that has put any decisions regarding the staff on hold, Kaboly writes Tuesday for theathletic.com.
“Decisions about the staff have been put on hold, according to two members of the organization who were not authorized to speak publicly, because head coach Mike Tomlin has been tending to a personal matter,” Kaboly writes for theathletic.com. “Player exit meetings, which are expected to begin this week, will be conducted virtually for those who have left town since the end of the season, one person said.”
Though Canada has one year remaining on his contract as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers after being promoted to the position in 2021 (the franchise typically gives coordinators three-year contracts), the Steelers could decide to make a change after the offense struggled in the first half of the season before showing signs of progress in the second half of the year.
While Canada has been in the facility each day since the season ended, Tomlin had already stated in his season-ending press conference last Monday that he wasn’t in the at the point in the offseason where he was ready to determine — one way or another — what to do with coaching staff decisions, specifically with Canada.
“We’ll proceed methodically through this,” Tomlin said. “We’ll probably move a little slower than most of our peers, but we don’t worry about the Joneses. We’ve got a business model, one that we believe in, and we’ll be thorough in doing so and in assessing what transpired in an effort to tee up our next opportunity, and at the appropriate time we’ll start work in that area.”
Also during his year-end press conference, Tomlin said Canada – much like the rest of the young Steelers’ offense – improved as the season wore on.
“I thought he got better just like our team got better,” Tomlin said regarding the offense. “I’m not going to speculate about him or anyone as I stand here today. I’m just not there. We have some work to do, but largely I thought he got better in the ways that we got better, so it was encouraging.”
Despite stating that Canada got better as the offense improved, Tomlin did decline to answer if Canada would be the team’s offensive coordinator in 2023, stating that the Steelers would be methodical in their approach and not rush into any decisions.
That doesn’t deviate from the typical operational procedures the Steelers go through in the offseason. Remember, Todd Haley’s, Randy Fichtner’s, and Keith Butler’s departures weren’t announced until nearly a week after the team’s season ended.
Though Tomlin is dealing with a personal issue that has put everything on hold, it’s hard to imagine that this occurring has truly thrown everything to a halt. If Canada is or is not going to be the OC next season, he likely has some sort of initial understanding one way or another from Tomlin.
At this point, with Canada still remaining employed, it’s hard to imagine the Steelers all of a sudden firing him now and jumping into what should be a very busy, hectic market for offensive coordinators in the coming weeks. Stranger things have happened with this franchise though.