The Pittsburgh Steelers have made the decision to stick with Matt Canada as offensive coordinator, but Mike Tomlin must take the blame if things go south.
Fans weren’t shy about voicing their distaste when the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that Matt Canada would be returning for the 2023 season. In his two years as the team’s offensive coordinator, the results proved to be far less than desirable.
Most fans extended grace to Canada in his first season as OC in 2021 — thinking that his offense was being dulled down as he catered to a 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger and dealt with a struggling offensive line. Because of this, many were hopeful that his real game plan was going to be much more creative. It was not.
Even with athletic quarterbacks leading the charge in Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett this year, Pittsburgh’s QBs were hamstrung by an offense with poor passing concepts that flat-out lacked creativity. The improved offensive line didn’t seem to help much in the grand scheme of things either.
Over his two-year sample as the Steelers offensive coordinator, the results have been hard to stomach. Canada’s offense finished with just 20.2 points per game in 2021. That number dropped all the way down to 18.1 points per game this season, according to Team Rankings.
Because of the stagnant offense and the immense struggle against good teams this year, fans were hoping for a change. That won’t happen this season. But if Canada struggles again in his third year as OC in 2023, the blame needs to fall on Mike Tomlin.
Mike Tomlin must be held accountable if Steelers struggle because of Matt Canada
While Matt Canada is taking a ton of criticism right now (and most of it is justified based on performance), Mike Tomlin once again seems to slip away without any of the blame falling on his shoulders. But who signs off on these big coaching decisions? That’s right; it’s Tomlin.
Remember, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach made the decision to promote QB coach, Randy Fichtner to offensive coordinator in 2018. When that fell through, Tomlin rinsed and repeated — promoting new QB coach, Matt Canada, to offensive coordinator. These in-house hirings have not all gone according to plan in recent years, and the Steelers could desperately use some creativity from outside of the organization.
After seeing what Matt Canada’s offense looked like for two seasons now, it’s highly unlikely that he’s going to turn into an offensive genius overnight. The biggest issue is that Pittsburgh’s philosophy is all wrong — one that begins with Mike Tomlin.
Instead of building a team that can compete with great quarterbacks and playoff contenders in the AFC, Tomlin’s plan is to run the ball nearly 40 times per game, play great defense, and ask his QB to do as little as possible. This works against bad teams in the regular season, but it will never give them enough firepower to go toe-to-toe with the best offenses in the league.
When everyone gets infuriated with Matt Canada early in the 2023 season for his poor passing concepts and lack of creativity, just remember that Mike Tomlin signed off on this. The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach will need to be held accountable if this goes south.