Citing a lack of progress and persistent issues within the offensive unit, the Pittsburgh Steelers have relieved offensive coordinator Matt Canada of his duties, according to an announcement by head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday.
In a transparent and candid statement, Tomlin expressed the gravity of the decision, highlighting the necessity of results in the competitive nature of the business. Tomlin emphasized that the decision was made independently, without consultation with general manager Omar Khan or team president and owner Art Rooney II, underscoring the solitary nature of leadership.
During his weekly news conference, Tomlin revealed that running backs coach Eddie Faulkner would assume the role of offensive coordinator while quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan would shoulder the majority of playcalling responsibilities. This unique arrangement makes the Steelers the only team in the league where the offensive play-caller is neither the offensive coordinator nor the head coach.
Matt Canada, 51, has held the position of offensive coordinator since 2021. His dismissal represents a significant midseason change, the first of its kind for the Steelers since 1941. The team has struggled offensively under Canada’s tenure, failing to surpass 400 yards in any of the 45 games, including playoffs. The Steelers’ offense consistently lagged behind, being outgained in 31 of those 45 games.
The decision to relieve Canada of his duties was hastened by the team’s recent 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, where offensive struggles were once again evident. Tomlin acknowledged that the performance was a factor but maintained that the decision was a culmination of broader concerns.
Najee Harris, the team’s running back, expressed frustration with the offense after the loss, questioning the sustainability of the team’s winning record given the ongoing struggles. Tomlin, however, declined to share the exact timing of the decision and kept the locker room uninformed until the official announcement on social media.
Despite a 6-4 record, the Steelers face challenges with a negative point differential and being outgained in every game this season. Their offensive rankings are notably low, with the team currently placed 28th in points per game, offensive yards per game, and 31st in passing yards per game.
Looking ahead, Tomlin stressed the need for improvement in scoring touchdowns and engineering victories more consistently. He confirmed that Kenny Pickett, in his second year as quarterback, will retain his starting position, downplaying the notion that the remaining seven games under a new offensive coordinator will be pivotal for Pickett’s long-term development.
In summary, the decision to part ways with Matt Canada reflects the Steelers’ commitment to addressing offensive inconsistencies and striving for better results in the remainder of the season.