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Charlie Batch: Matt Canada Could Return for 2023 if Kenny Pickett Continues to Improve

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Steelers OC Matt Canada Najee Harris

Could Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada save his job with the team’s recent offensive improvements? One former Steelers quarterback thinks so.

Charlie Batch, who was the Steelers backup quarterback from 2002-12, and currently works as an commentator for KDKA, said on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday that he thinks Canada could be earning a third season as Steelers offensive coordinator thanks to the improved overall offense and the development of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

“I know that’s not what everybody wants to hear but this is what we’re looking at,” Batch said. “You don’t want to start over with a new offensive coordinator. It allows [Pickett] to build on everything he’s done in the last nine weeks, and building on that in 2023 with the same offense that he’s in.”

Canada is in his second season as the Steelers offensive coordinator after spending the 2020 season as quarterbacks coach.

Pickett set a career high in passer rating in Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons with a 90.0. He has increased his passer rating in five consecutive games and hasn’t thrown an interception in four straight games. The rest of the offense appears to be playing better around him, as well.

“The game is slowing down for him,” Batch said. “It used to just be the first read and if his first read wasn’t there, he was looking to take off or maybe get to the second read. Right now, he’s standing in that pocket and he’s getting to the second, third and sometimes fourth read. If you start getting to the fourth read, that’s when you start going from pretty good to pretty damn good, and that’s where we’re at in the maturation process with Kenny Pickett.”

In the team’s first seven games, they ran for an average of 3.7 yards per carry. Over the last five, the Steelers’ rushers have averaged 4.8 yards per attempt. The Steelers have won three of their last four games, while the offense has scored 93 points in that span. They scored only 120 points in the first eight games of the season.

RELATED: Is Steelers Offense Trending Upward Under Matt Canada?

“If he continues this trend of not turning the ball over, the offense is kind of getting to that 20-point average and the running game is going in the matter that it is, hypothetically, I’m saying this right now, if he goes the next five games and doesn’t turn the ball over, it makes a strong case for offensive coordinator Matt Canada to be here in 2023.”

Batch believes Pickett’s progress over the final five games of the season will ultimately determine Canada’s fate for 2023.

“If it goes downhill, then the question is going to be (answered), yes, we’re going to get rid of Matt Canada,” Batch said. “If he continues to play well, now it increases Matt Canada’s chances of being here. They are both tied hand in hand, quarterback and offensive coordinator.”

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