Canada joined the Steelers as quarterbacks coach in 2020 and was elevated to OC in 2021, replacing Randy Fichtner. A long-time college offensive coordinator, Canada was expected to modernize Pittsburgh’s offense, utilizing motions and updating the passing operation. Instead, the Steelers got a knockoff scheme that lacked any semblance of cohesion, rarely pressured the defense deep, and lacked consistency across the board.
In 44 games as the OC, the Steelers never ranked better than 23rd in yards and 21st in points under Canada. In 2023, Pittsburgh currently ranks 28th in yards and points. The passing game with Kenny Pickett under center has been particularly brutal, with Pittsburgh ranking 31st in yards and 31st in TDs in 2023 (finished 32nd in TD passes last season).
The Steelers have generated fewer than 400 total yards in 58 straight contests, including the entirety of Canada’s run a play-caller.
Sunday’s 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns was particularly brutal. The Steelers generated 64 total yards, including 15 net pass yards, in the first half — the second time the Steelers had zero points and fewer than 70 total yards in the first half of a game this season. For the game, Pittsburgh generated 77 net passing yards, the fewest since Devlin Hodges was under center in Week 17, 2019.
In the offseason, the Steelers stuck with Canada despite obvious struggles on offense, believing the continuity would be good for Pickett as a growing QB. That faith has been washed away as the young quarterback has struggled brutally through 10 games of his second season.
Caranda’s firing is one Steelers fans have called for over a year. Tomlin had resisted a change at every turn, backing his OC repeatedly and brushing aside criticism. Ultimately, the moribund offense was too much to ignore as a potential playoff season could slip away.
Pittsburgh sits at 6-4, No. 7 in the AFC, despite a -29 point differential, joining Seattle, -2, as the only two teams in 2023 with winning records and a negative point differential through Week 11.
First appeared on www.nfl.com