The Pittsburgh Steelers have fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada, head coach Mike Tomlin announced in a statement on Tuesday morning.
Canada had served as the team’s offensive coordinator and primary play caller since the 2021 season. It’s the first time in team history that the club has fired an offensive coordinator in-season, dating back to the NFL merger and the emergence of full-time coordinators.
“Matt Canada has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator,” Tomlin said in a statement. “I appreciate Matt’s hard work and dedication, and I wish him the best moving forward in his career.”
Tomlin did not immediately name a replacement. He is scheduled to speak with the Pittsburgh media at noon on Tuesday.
Canada’s firing comes on the heels of one of the team’s worst offensive performances of the season, a 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
His tenure as the Steelers offensive coordinator was marked by average results for the team in the win-loss column, but near-league-low offensive totals. The Steelers finished 21st in scoring and 23 in total yards in 2021, 26th in scoring and 23rd in yards in 2022, and are currently 28th in scoring and 30th in yards.
Canada, 51, is an Indiana native, who came to national prominence as a college offensive coordinator last decade. Successful runs at Wisconsin, NC State and Pitt, with an innovate scheme, put Canada into the spotlight and he ended up landed the coveted job at LSU in 2017. Things did not work there, and quickly, as Canada and head coach Ed Oregon didn’t see eye to eye.
He was hired as the offensive coordinator at Maryland in 2018, but was promoted to interim head coach when D.J. Durkin was fired, following the on-field death of a player during Maryland’s pre-season conditioning. He lead the Terrapins to a 5-7 record, but was not retained. Canada joined the Steelers staff as quarterbacks in 2020 before being promoted to offensive coordinator to replace Randy Fichtner after his contract expired in 2021.
The change will be made with a tight turn around. The Steelers will fly to Cincinnati to face the Bengals in another key AFC North matchup this Sunday.
Quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan has been an NFL offensive coordinator twice before, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012-13 and the New York Giants in 2016-17. Offensive assistant Glenn Thomas was a college offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Pat Meyer called plays in the CFL.