The Steelers’ offense was anything but sterling in 2021. They were 21st in points per game, 30th in rushing yards per game, 22nd in red zone offense, and the worst first-down offense in the NFL. It was a recipe for disaster, and the offense was dragged along by some high-end defensive performances into the playoffs. Still, it ended up being the Steelers’ undoing at their apex, and they could not recover.
There will be a new quarterback and turnover on the offense. However, moreover, the Steelers could have changed coaches. Mike Tomlin implied a week ago that Matt Canada would return. Now team president Art Rooney II backed up that sentiment. That, however, does not mean it was a ringing endorsement of Canada’s job.
“Well, you know, we had a number of young players, rookie players playing on offense this year,” Rooney said. Look, we didn’t achieve the kind of offense that we would like to have, but we had some good moments. They kept us in a lot of games. We needed to be more consistent probably more than anything else. We had a lot of games where we were good for a quarter or a half but not really for four quarters. I think that’s something that Matt is going to want to address this off-season. Having so many young players, different pieces coming together, including a new coordinator, there were some challenges there that I think we tried to make the best of it, but again, we didn’t meet all of our goals for sure.”
While Canada will be back, there has to be some level of growth for this offense. Tomlin’s ‘when you have red paint, you paint the barn red’ metaphor was one that was revealing when he said it. Clearly, many of these issues are being chalked down to a personnel standpoint. It will now be up to Canada to answer the bell and prove his doubters wrong in 2022.