The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an inexcusably bad offense for the first seven weeks, and it’s well past time for Matt Canada to hit the road.
Football fans can certainly get emotional at times. We tend to figuratively ‘call for the head’ of the offensive coordinator when we think he isn’t performing up to snuff. Many times, saying an OC needs to get fired immediately after a game is a brash overreaction by a fan base. In this case, I can assure you it is not.
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Miami to face the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football in Week 7, and the offensive game plan that Matt Canada deployed was as dull and predictable as we could have imagined. After studying this inept offense for hours every week and reviewing the all-22 film game after game, there’s almost nothing about Canada’s game plan that I like.
It seems like nearly every route is designed to go to the sidelines — leaving no room for receivers to make plays after the catch. Speed rollouts and scripted four-yard out routes have never been more overused. Canada lives to get in third and manageable situations. Additionally, I was able to predict plays before they happened based on the personnel grouping and formations.
This garbage playbook may have worked in college, but he will find no success with it in the NFL. As a result of Canada’s incompetence and unwillingness to change things up, the Steelers managed just 5.8 yards per attempt passing the football and were 4 of 14 on third downs. This equated to just 10 points in four quarters of play against the Dolphins as Pittsburgh ultimately fell with a score of 16-10 — dropping to 2-5 on the season.
Steelers can’t go another game with Matt Canada calling plays
I know that many have argued that the Steelers need to stick it out with Matt Canada for the remainder of the season simply because there is no alternative. While I get where they are coming from, I legitimately wanted the offensive coordinator fired at halftime of the Dolphins game. If it were up to me, he wouldn’t have even traveled back to Pittsburgh on the team plane.
Obviously, he’s still with the organization for the time being, but he shouldn’t be. In an effort to protect his rookie quarterback with scripted plays and sideline passes, he has actually made things much worse. Kenny Pickett hasn’t been able to get into any sort of rhythm because of the robotic flow of the game. Yes, Pickett has made some poor decisions this year (as evidenced by another three-interception performance), but so much of this falls on the situation his coordinator has gotten him into.
In the second half, Canada’s offense was hardly able to cross midfield. Here’s how every second-half possession ended for the Steelers, according to ESPN stats:
Thanks to another lackluster showing in Week 7, Canada’s offense is mustering up just 14.4 offensive points per contest — good for dead last in the league. This is a fireable offense in itself. When you factor in that the Steelers are near the bottom of the league in yardage, yards after catch, yards per play, and DVOA, he should have been out the door weeks ago.
The alternative to Canada at this point may just be rolling with QB coach, Mike Sullivan, for the remainder of the season as the interim OC. This isn’t guaranteed to help anything, but I’m convinced that it can’t get worse. Perhaps Sullivan would allow Pickett to incorporate a few of his favorite plays he used at Pitt when he was so successful in 2021.
I’m sick of these dull route concepts. I’m sick of the utter lack of creativity on offense. And I’m sick of seeing scripted QB rollouts with one read designed to lead the receiver to the sidelines. This needs to end now.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are trending toward having the worst offense in the NFL this year, and all fingers have to be pointed at Matt Canada. He needs to be fired this week. I don’t even care if there’s not a good alternative at this point. This team simply cannot go one more week with this offensive game plan.