PITTSBURGH — The decision to fire Matt Canada was not one that the Steelers made lightly, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday. That decision came after weeks of struggles for Kenny Pickett and the offense, and simply put, Tomlin changed coordinators because the results were not showing up for the team. He even opined that he ‘wants to see more points’ scored and that Canada could not deliver those.
“Did not come to this decision lightly to be transparent with you,” Tomlin said. “It’s just a personal belief of mine, my role to absorb and protect those that I work with. This doesn’t feel like that. I’m not interested in deflecting or assigning blame in some way. It’s more in my nature to absorb to be quite honest with you. I’ve been in this role for so long I’m quite comfortable absorbing it. So, just rest assured that this decision was not taken lightly. I’ve got a lot of respect for Matt personally and professionally but I thought it was necessary. This is a result-oriented business. And to be short, the improvements were not rapid enough or consistent enough for us to proceed. You gotta score touchdowns in this business, win games in this business, and just the totality of it as us where we are today.”
The Steelers had little to come back with for answers to their problems. That is where Canada’s firing had to happen. Players were caught off guard by the defense’s game plan multiple times, and Canada never made the necessary adjustments to assuage those concerns. For example, the Browns ran a ton of zone coverage when they ran mostly man coverage throughout the year, which caught Pickett and the offense by surprise. But the offense had no answers and was running man-beaters for much of the game.
With the team averaging just 16.6 points per game, the move seems like one that had to be made. Tomlin said he ‘just knew’ that the time was right now for them to make that change. He saw the results, and Pittsburgh had to make that change for something to change.
“Just having been in the role that I’ve been in for some time, you just know when you’re there,” Tomlin said. “It’s a totality of a myriad of variables.”
Now, that change will give Pittsburgh two new offensive coordinators Eddie Faulker and Mike Sullivan. Pittsburgh hopes that those changes will lead to more points.