Sports

Matt Canada fired as Steelers offensive coordinator


Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that offensive coordinator Matt Canada was fired two days after another offensive struggle for the Black and Gold. “I appreciate Matt’s hard work and dedication, and I wish him the best for the rest of his career,” Tomlin said in a message on the team’s X account, formerly known as Twitter. Canada, who joined the team in 2020 as quarterbacks coach, became offensive coordinator the following year. The CO position will be filled by two people, Tomlin said: quarterback coach Mike Sullivan and running backs coach Eddie Faulkner. At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Tomlin said ousting Canada was not an easy decision, but added that the NFL is a “results-driven business.” “The improvements haven’t been fast enough or consistent enough for us to continue,” Tomlin said. “You’ve got to score touchdowns in this business, you’ve got to win games in this business. That’s all that gets us to where we are today.” Canada’s dismissal comes after the latest in a series of games in which the Steelers offense has struggled to produce points. The Steelers fell to Cleveland 13-10 on Sunday. That dedication, however, wasn’t enough to help Pittsburgh’s offense break out of the familiar pattern that has dogged the franchise in recent years. The Steelers (6-4) remained in playoff contention despite an offense that ranks 28th in yards and points. Frustration outside the organization has been growing for months. Fans chanted “Fire Canada” during the victory over Cleveland on September 18, a refrain that has become ubiquitous throughout the region and worthy of a remembrance on social media. While Tomlin defended Canada for weeks, the frustration inside the locker room may have reached a breaking point. after the Steelers were held to 249 yards — including just 106 passing — against the Browns. Running back Najee Harris said afterward that he was “fed up with all this,” while receiver Diontae Johnson responded simply, “you saw the game” when asked what was wrong. not. Perhaps most damning for Canada is how quarterback Kenny Pickett’s growth has stagnated. Drafted in the first round in 2022, Pickett had a promising rookie season a year ago and showed flashes of making a difference in the preseason this summer. It all disappeared once the games started counting. Pickett has thrown just six touchdown passes — just two since the start of October — and his accuracy has declined even after the Steelers recently moved Canada from coach field to the sideline in the aim to facilitate better communication and better fluidity. Although the decision was applauded by players in wins over Tennessee and Green Bay, the offense took another significant step back against the Browns. There was no immediate word on who will assume play-calling duties, although quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan — who previously was offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay and with the New York Giants — figures that will be seen entrust the position on an interim basis. The decision comes as the Steelers are about to enter a manageable stretch in their schedule. None of their next five opponents – Cincinnati (twice), New England, Arizona and Indianapolis – are currently over .500. Pittsburgh probably just needs a small increase in production to try to get back to the playoffs after narrowly missing out a year ago. The emergence of the running game last winter fueled a 7-2 surge that helped Canada hold on to its job. Yet the moves Tomlin expected from Pickett — and the rest of the offense — in 2023 haven’t materialized consistently. The Steelers have been outplayed in all 10 games this season, including last week in Cleveland when the Browns started rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback. Thompson-Robinson guided Cleveland to a game-winning drive late in the game, one that came after Pickett threw a three. Although Tomlin later said the team didn’t question decision-making during the game, less than 48 hours later he went ahead and made a move that was probably inevitable, but also surprising, if only because of the timing. Pittsburgh has long been a model of stability and rarely makes a coaching move during the season. But as Pickett seemed to regress and options became more and more limited, Tomlin decided there was just one big step left to make. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that offensive coordinator Matt Canada was fired two days after another offensive struggle for the Black and Gold.

“I appreciate Matt’s hard work and dedication, and I wish him the best for the rest of his career,” Tomlin said in a message on the team’s X account, formerly known as Twitter.

Canada, who joined the team in 2020 as quarterbacks coach, became offensive coordinator the following year.

The OC position will be filled by two people, Tomlin said: quarterback coach Mike Sullivan and running back coach Eddie Faulkner.

At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Tomlin said ousting Canada was not an easy decision, but added that the NFL is a “results-driven business.”

“The improvements have not been rapid enough or consistent enough for us to continue,” Tomlin said. “You’ve got to score touchdowns in this business, you’ve got to win games in this business. The totality of that gets us to where we are today.”

Canada’s dismissal comes after the latest in a series of games in which the Steelers’ offense has struggled to produce points. The Steelers fell to Cleveland 13-10 on Sunday.

That dedication, however, wasn’t enough to help Pittsburgh’s offense break out of the familiar pattern that has dogged the franchise in recent years. The Steelers (6-4) remained in playoff contention despite an offense that ranks 28th in yards and points.

Frustration outside the organization has been growing for months. Fans chanted “Fire Canada” during the win over Cleveland on September 18, a refrain that has become ubiquitous throughout the region and worthy of a social media remembrance.

While Tomlin defended Canada for weeks, frustration inside the locker room may have reached a breaking point after the Steelers were held to 249 yards — including just 106 passing — against the Browns. Running back Najee Harris said afterward that he was “sick of this (stuff),” with wide receiver Diontae Johnson simply saying, “you saw the game,” when asked what didn’t wasn’t going.

Perhaps most damning for Canada is how quarterback Kenny Pickett’s growth has stagnated. Drafted in the first round in 2022, Pickett put together a promising rookie season a year ago and showed flashes of making a difference in the preseason this summer.

It all disappeared once the games started counting. Pickett has thrown just six touchdown passes – just two since the start of October – and his accuracy has declined even after the Steelers recently moved Canada from the coach’s box to the sideline in the aim of facilitating better communication and better fluidity.

While the decision was applauded by players in wins over Tennessee and Green Bay, the offense took another significant step back against the Browns.

There was no immediate word on who will assume play-calling duties, although quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan – who previously served as offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay and with the New York Giants – is expected to see himself entrust the position on an interim basis.

The decision comes as the Steelers are about to enter a manageable stretch in their schedule. None of their next five opponents – Cincinnati (twice), New England, Arizona and Indianapolis – are currently above .500.

Pittsburgh probably just needs an uptick in production to try to get back to the playoffs after narrowly missing the event a year ago. The emergence of the running game last winter fueled a 7-2 surge that helped Canada hold on to its job.

Yet the moves Tomlin expected Pickett — and therefore the rest of the offense — to make in 2023 have not materialized consistently. The Steelers have been outscored in all 10 games this season, including last week in Cleveland when the Browns started rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback.

Thompson-Robinson guided Cleveland to a game-winning drive late in the game, a drive that came after Pickett threw three incompletions on Pittsburgh’s penultimate possession, none of them close to his target.

While Tomlin said afterward that the team didn’t question decision-making during the game, less than 48 hours later he went ahead and made a decision that was probably inevitable but also surprising , if only because of the timing.

Pittsburgh has long been a model of stability and rarely makes a coaching move during the season. But as Pickett seemed to regress and options became more and more limited, Tomlin decided there was only one big move left.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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