The Steelers rebuilt their offensive line in an effort to get the offense turned around after a rocky 2022 that ended on a high note for the squad. But not everyone is sold that things will suddenly change, and most of that is tied to the fact that there are concerns about Matt Canada.
On The Ringer NFL Show, Steven Ruiz previewed the Steelers, and while there are some signs for optimism, Canada remains his biggest question. The team’s situation at offensive line should be better, but overall Ruiz believes there is not enough upside with Canada at the helm to believe the offense will reach their full potential.
“I have questions about Matt Canada,” Ruiz said. “Even if the line is better, it’s nowhere near the offensive lines around the league and I don’t think that Canada is good enough to get the most out of this offense. His stuff is very basic. His scheme is very complex with a lot of shifts and motions before the ball’s snapped at the expense of doing stuff after the snap. After that, it’s pretty basic stuff to catch on to. I think that works at the college level, which is where he’s been most of his career. NFL players and coaches are smart. They study the film and are ready for all that stuff. There is a point of diminishing returns and I think that Canada is way past that point. He is the equivalent of the Ravens averaging 41 seconds between plays. Like, you’ve had enough.”
Ruiz is not the first pundit to call out Canada and his offense. During the 2022 season, Steve Smith went as far to call Canada’s offense ‘Saturdayish‘ and ripped him for elementary plays. That was after the team knocked off the Las Vegas Raiders, but Smith was not impressed by the play design in the offense.
“It’s Saturdayish,” Smith said. “I’m saying his play calling is Saturday and this, even though today is Saturday, is Sunday football and it isn’t going to work here. Not on this level. He’s calling Saturday plays on Sunday.”
The tape and stats back a lot of these notions up. Canada’s not helped the offense at all. I think there are some serious questions if he is the only problem with the offense, but he is certainly a problem. There is little to point to about what Canada has done for the offense that has allowed him to lessen the team’s problems.