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Steelers Daily Links: Remembering ’08 Defense, Is Canada Biggest Question Mark?



Steelers OC Matt Canada

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report thinks Matt Canada is the biggest question mark for the Steelers heading into the 2023 season.

“Mike Tomlin has been the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 16 years and they’ve never had a losing season. If things don’t go well in 2023, he’s likely safe. The same can not be said for offensive coordinator Matt Canada,” Balletine wrote. “The 51-year-old is entering his third season as the man behind the Steelers offense and they’ve ranked 23rd in yardage both seasons and aren’t much better than that by any other metric.

“There have been built-in reasons for that thus far. Ben Roethlisberger was clearly past his prime in Canada’s first season then he had to help Kenny Pickett along in his rookie season with Mitch Trusbisky also starting five games. Pickett is now entering Year 2. Broderick Jones and Isaac Seumalo were added to the offensive line. The list of excuses for Canada not to produce a better offense in 2023 is shrinking.”

RELATED: Farabaugh: This is the Problem with Matt Canada Returning

🏈  All Things Covered podcastA much anticipated “All Things Covered” episode with former Steelers strong safety and Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu will drop on Monday. Polamalu and Bryant McFadden played in the secondary together in the 2000s, winning Super Bowl titles in 2005 and 2008.

🏈 The NFL on CBS Twitter account looked back at the Steelers’ legendary 2008 defense, asking if the unit was the best NFL defense over the last 20 years. Former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor thinks it was a top-5 defense of all-time. The Steelers’ 2008 defense, which led Pittsburgh to a Super Bowl title that season, ranked first in points per game (13.9), yards per game (237.2), yards per play (3.9), passing yards per game (156.9) and second in run defense (80.3).

🏈 Next Gen Stats: In 2022, Najee Harris was in the bottom seven for rushing yards over expected per carry at -0.3 (minimum 100 carries).

🏈 Pro Football Focus: Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace had the ninth-best passer rating allowed (74.6) last season, according to PFF.

“Wallace led the entire league in passer rating against when in man coverage (41.8). When in man coverage, Wallace allowed zero touchdowns while forcing four incompletions and snagging three interceptions,” Braxton Howard of PFF wrote.

“As previously stated, this stat does not paint the entire picture; Wallace earned a 59.3 coverage grade in 2022. The five-year cornerback will likely take a backseat to rookie Joey Porter Jr. in 2023 but will be able to help him along the way and rotate in, as well. Between Wallace and veteran Patrick Peterson, Porter will have some good experience alongside him to help ease his transition into the league.”

🎂 Happy 36th birthday to former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Mike Mitchell. Born on June 10, 1987 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Mitchell was a second round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in the 2009 NFL Draft.He played four seasons with the Raiders and one with the Indianapolis Colts before joining the Steelers as a free agent in 2014. In four seasons in Pittsburgh, he started 61 out of a possible 64 games and recorded 281 tackles, defended 23 passes, forced four fumbles and caught four interceptions. Mitchell played one final season with the Indianapolis Colts before retiring in 2019.

🎥 Steel City Star shared exclusive coaches film of L.C. Greenwood at Steelers training camp in 1976.

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