Pittsburgh Steelers OC Matt Canada cannot catch a break, and he may not deserve one.
Fans blasted Canada on Twitter for his questionable play calling in the Steelers’ 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 4. To add insult to injury, Pittsburgh Penguins fans erupted in ‘Fire Canada’ chants during their 4-2 season opening loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
A 17-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 has not helped his cause and for hockey fans to berate a subordinate coach in a different sport says it all. His fourth year with the franchise may very well be his last and a Super Bowl Champion is knocking on the door to bump him out of his position.
With the city and seemingly the NFL world at large turning against him, Canada’s best option at this juncture in the season is to dig deep and find a new play-calling solution to fuel his run game and get the most out of QB Kenny Pickett in Week 7 and beyond.
Where The Steelers Need Most Help on the Offensive Side of the Ball
It goes without saying that rushing attack failing to score a touchdown up until this point needs to change. Pickett wants to be better on third down, and that can’t happen with a run game that is only converting on first down opportunities 20.5% of the time.
The Steelers‘ offensive line isn’t giving Pickett enough time to throw in the pocket (2.95 seconds), and their receivers are middle of the pack at best in catch percentage with Allen Robinson leading the way at 65.38%.
Canada and head coach Mike Tomlin have a bye week to work on better play calling, but the former can get more out of all of his guys with intangibles that don’t show up on the clipboard.
Is Byron Leftwich Trying to Take Canada’s Job Leading the Steelers’ Offense?
Somewhere down the grapevine, Steelers beat reporter Mark Kaloby has heard that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich picked up the phone and called the Pittsburgh front office about a role on the team, as he told The Fan Morning Show.
He didn’t get a response on the other end of the line — surprising considering the state of the Steelers’ offense despite a 3-2 record, the uproar that the fans have caused, and Leftwich’s contributions in helping the franchise win Super Bowl XLIII as a player.
— The Fan Morning Show (@FanMorningShow) October 9, 2023
Leftwich helped QB Tom Brady avoid falling off of a cliff at age 43. He turned the Bucs into a well-oiled machine that got over a historic interception problem at the hands of QB Jameis Winston the season prior and advanced the ball down the field despite Brady not being the best deep-ball thrower.
Tampa Bay was top five in passing completions for 20 or more and 40 or more yards per game in their 2020 championship run, though their run game looked a lot like the Pittsburgh’s, save the barrenness in the touchdown department.
No further news has been released about a Letfwich pairing with the Steelers. Any more backlash headed Canada’s way could prompt a call back.