The Steelers decided to part ways with offensive coordinator Matt Canada last week in the hopes of getting the offense back on track. The group was floundering, and Canada had failed to achieve any success as a coordinator. With Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes on the line, this team opted to make a change.
While some expected wide-sweeping changes, this offense did perform better than they had been playing. Will this trend continue? Time will tell, but despite the improvement, there was still a lot lacking from this group. Here is a quick assessment of this offense after the Canada firing.
Steelers used the middle of the field
It had become almost a running gag for a long time that the Steelers weren’t utilizing the middle of the field at all. This wasn’t just an issue with Canada, as Ben Roethlisberger began to rely on shorter passes and sideline throws towards the end of his career. This left a lot of potential plays off the table though, and it was further limiting this offense.
The Steelers seemed to plan to fix that though, as they finally started to incorporate some middle-of-the-field passes. The first big play was a seam shot to the tight end, a play I can’t recall this offense making in recent years. A similar pass occurred later in the game for a similar big gain.
No, every pass won’t attack the middle of the field, but you have some big and physical players who can make an impact there. Having those passes as options stresses the defense and allows for the short passes and sideline shots to open up. It was great seeing the passing game use the middle of the field and it needs to continue moving forward.