Mitch Trubisky has not been very good this season, but there’s still a problem that is far greater for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense in 2022.
Mitch Trubisky is not the answer this team needs. The former second overall pick by the Chicago Bears back in 2017 has not panned out as planned. He averages just 6.6 yards per attempt in his career (6.4 adjusted), via Pro Football Reference, and after the three games we have witnessed to start the season, it’s clear that he’s really just a backup quarterback at this point.
But despite how inefficient Trubisky has been in 2022, the Pittsburgh Steelers have an issue that’s far greater: Matt Canada. I’ve said before that I don’t want to be that guy who pins all the blame on the offensive coordinator. However, Canada deserves a lion’s share of the blame so far for how this offense has performed.
Though the first three weeks, the Steelers are averaging just 15.6 offensive points per contest and Trubisky is averaging under 190 passing yards per game. Why is this happening? When you go back and watch the film, it’s pretty simple to dissect.
Why Matt Canada is to blame for Steelers struggles
Matt Canada’s game plan is not only remarkably simple, but it’s also uber-conservative. His poor route concepts on passing plays rarely allow Pittsburgh’s talented, young receivers any room to run after the catch, as most of the plays are designed to lead them to the sidelines.
As a result, the middle of the field has essentially been ignored by the passing game early in the 2022 season. While Mitch Trubisky is obviously deserving of some blame here, the first read is rarely designed to go over the middle.
By trying to protect his quarterback from turnover-worthy plays, Canada is actually severely handicapping this offense. If that’s his strategy, it’s been working. Trubisky has only been sacked five times on 103 pass attempts and has thrown just one interception so far on the year.
But what’s the point of taking good care of the football if you can’t put points on the board or even consistently move the chains, for that matter? This offense is grossly lacking in the creativity department. Nearly everything is designed to be thrown short of the sticks, and their idea of a third and manageable play is air-mailing the ball on a go route down the sidelines instead of utilizing the middle of the field.
We can’t expect things to change either. Fans thought that Canada’s vanilla offense in 2021 might have been the result of having a 39-year-old quarterback who lacked mobility, but it somehow got worse this year. This is who Matt Canada is, and Pittsburgh’s offense will never even come close to average until he’s eventually relieved of his duties.