Introduction About Steelers:
The Pittsburgh Steelers, once known for their offensive prowess, faced a daunting challenge with the inability to find a spark under the guidance of Matt Canada. After over two and a half seasons as the offensive coordinator, the Steelers made a bold move, officially parting ways with Canada on a Tuesday that would mark a turning point for the team.
The Transition: Out with Canada, In with Change
In the wake of Canada’s departure, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media, expressing the gravity of the decision. “I did not come to this decision lightly,” he asserted, emphasizing his responsibility to protect and elevate the team. This pivotal move signifies a seismic shift in the Steelers’ offensive strategy.
New Leadership: Sullivan and Faulkner Take the Helm
Following Canada’s exit, the Steelers tapped into their coaching staff for a collaborative effort. Mike Sullivan and Eddie Faulkner stepped up to share the coordinator duties. Sullivan, with previous experience as a coordinator, brings a wealth of knowledge to handle play-calling duties. Tomlin affirmed this decision, making it clear that the responsibility fell squarely on his shoulders.
Canada’s Rise and Fall: A Disjointed Offensive Scheme
Matt Canada, once the quarterbacks coach in 2020, ascended to the role of offensive coordinator in 2021, tasked with modernizing Pittsburgh’s offense. However, the envisioned upgrade turned into a knockoff scheme, lacking cohesion and consistency. In 44 games under Canada, the Steelers struggled, never ranking higher than 23rd in yards and 21st in points. The 2023 season saw a further decline, currently ranking 28th in both categories.
Pickett’s Plight: Struggling in the Limelight
The impact of Canada’s tenure extended to the performance of quarterback Kenny Pickett. The passing game, particularly under Pickett’s command, faltered, ranking 31st in yards and touchdowns in 2023. Despite the Steelers’ persistent struggles, Tomlin maintained faith in Pickett, emphasizing the quarterback’s dedication and unwavering work ethic.
Critical Moments: The Browns Showdown and a Season in Peril
The Steelers’ offensive struggles came to a head in a brutal 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Generating a mere 77 net passing yards, the team’s offensive woes reached a new low. Tomlin acknowledged the multifaceted nature of the decision to part ways with Canada, citing a totality of variables and the team’s recent performance.
Faith in the Future: Pickett Remains the Anchor
Despite the turbulence, Tomlin affirmed Pickett as the team’s starting quarterback, with Mitchell Trubisky in the backup role. Tomlin’s steadfast faith in Pickett stems from daily interactions and the belief in football justice—a testament to the quarterback’s unwavering commitment to growth and development.
Fan Demands Answered: The End of Canada’s Reign
The decision to let go of Canada was long overdue, echoing the sentiments of Steelers fans who had called for change for over a year. Tomlin, despite previous resistance, acknowledged the pressing need for a transformation, especially with the looming threat of a slipping playoff season.
Playoff Aspirations: A Glimmer of Hope Amidst Challenges
As the Steelers stand at 6-4, securing the 7th spot in the AFC despite a challenging point differential, the departure of Canada signals a potential turnaround. As the only two teams in 2023 with winning records and a negative point differential through Week 11, the Steelers and Seattle defy the odds.
Conclusion: Optimistic About the Future
The period of Canada after Matt is ushered in with apprehension and uncertainty. Can Faulkner and Sullivan lead the Steelers to offensive excellence? Will Pickett’s tenacity lead the club to a comeback in the playoffs? The Steelers are committed to redefining their offensive identity, despite the difficult road ahead.
#Steelers Overhaul Offense, Part Ways with Matt Canada