Steelers fire OC Canada amid offensive struggles
The Pittsburgh Steelers relieved offensive coordinator Matt Canada of his duties, head coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday.
"I did not make this decision lightly," Tomlin told reporters during his Tuesday press conference, according to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly and Mike DeFabo. Tomlin also noted that the team's improvements "were not rapid enough or consistent enough for us to proceed."
Tomlin says the front office was not consulted about Canada's dismissal and that the decision was solely his, per NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano. He described the change as "necessary" but not easy.
Canada's firing immediately follows the Steelers' 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, which dropped the former's record to 6-4. The defeat marked the fourth time this year that Pittsburgh was held to 10 points or less and the fifth time the team was limited to one offensive touchdown or less.
"You have to score touchdowns in this business," Tomlin added, per Kaboly and DeFabo.
The Steelers have been outgained by opponents in all 10 of their games this season. Pittsburgh's offense also ranked 28th in scoring (16.6 PPG) and yards per play (4.7) while placing 31st in passing yards per game (170 yards per game).
Canada's termination marks the first time the franchise has made an in-season coaching change since 1941, according to ESPN's Paul Hembekides.
Running backs coach Eddie Faulkner will be in charge of coordinating the Steelers' offense moving forward while quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan will handle the "bulk" of play-calling duties, according to Tomlin.
"I just want to see points," Tomlin replied when asked what schematic changes he wants, per ESPN's Brooke Pryor.
Former 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett's development seemingly stagnated under Canada. He's suffered a dip in completion percentage and passing yards per game in Year 2. The 25-year-old has completed just 60.5% of his passes this season for six touchdowns and four interceptions, garnering him a 79.2 passer rating.
Canada's offense received frequent criticism as the unit struggled to sustain drives and score points. "Fire Canada" chants even erupted from displeased fans during a Week 2 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Canada was hired by the Steelers as a quarterbacks coach in 2020 before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021.
Over his tenure, the Steelers were the only NFL team that failed to produce a 400-yard game and scored 30 points or more a league-low two times.