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Rooney: Steelers retained Canada due to Pickett's development

Joe Sargent / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Despite Pittsburgh's struggles under offensive coordinator Matt Canada, Steelers president Art Rooney II said Thursday that the team retained Canada based on quarterback Kenny Pickett's development.

"They seemed to work well together," Rooney said, according to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette's Gerry Dulac. "With a new offensive coordinator, you'd have to start all over again. We felt there was enough there to build on."

Canada has been at the helm of Pittsburgh's offense for the past two seasons. The Steelers' 18.1 points per game and 322.6 yards per contest during that span both rank 23rd in the league.

However, Pittsburgh's offense tallied at least 20 points in five games following the team's Week 9 bye. The Steelers went 7-2 during that stretch after beginning the season 2-6.

"I liked the way that the team kept fighting down the stretch and keeping us alive," Rooney said.

The 2022 campaign marked Pittsburgh's first season without Ben Roethlisberger on the roster since 2004. After taking over for Mitchell Trubisky, Pickett passed for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions with a 76.7 passer rating across 13 games, including 12 starts.

Rooney said it was "great to see" progress from the franchise's 2022 first-round pick. He also believes the offense - which includes players such as George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, and Mason Cole - has the necessary young weapons surrounding Pickett.

Pickett, for his part, has said he's pleased that Canada remains with the Steelers.

"I'm excited to continue to work with him this offseason," Pickett told teammate Cam Heyward earlier this month on "Not Just Football."

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