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‘We Let Him Down’ Eddie Faulkner Bittersweet about Replacing Matt Canada as Steelers OC



Steelers OC Eddie Faulkner
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner at practice on Nov. 22, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — While much of Steelers nation was celebrating the firing of offensive coordinator Matt Canada on Tuesday, his replacement was not among them. Running backs coach Eddie Faulkner, who is the team’s interim offensive coordinator, called his promotion bittersweet in his first press conference, became it came along with the firing of his long friend.

 “Matt Canada is a friend of mine,” Faulkner said. “I care about his well-being. I care about his family. Our wives are friends. Our parents are friends. Our kids are friends. We spend a lot of time together. Love the dude. I couldn’t say enough good about Matt Canada. 

“And so it’s a little bit bittersweet in that way because when you when you sit back and you see all that goes on and all that’s being said about him and the offense, we all — and I’m speaking for the offense when I say this, the staff — we all felt that. We’re all part of that. And so nobody is absolving themselves from anything that’s happened in that regard. 

“We feel like we let him down. So I’ve got to say that because because that’s what a real one would do. That’s a friend of mine and that’s not going to change.”

The Steelers were the third stop together for Canada and Faulkner, after stops at Northern Illinois in 2011 and with NC State from 2013-15.

Despite his bittersweet feelings about taking over the role, Faulkner understands the opportunity at hand, both for the team’s offense to right its play with a 6-4 start built it, and for his career.

But he doesn’t exactly have time to wax rhapsodic about it. The Steelers made the change on Tuesday, and then got right back to practice on Wednesday as they prepare to face the Cincinnati Bengals in a crucial AFC North game this week.

“The way this all happened, there’s no time to even get caught up in any of that,” Faulkner said. “We’ve gotta play the Bengals in a couple days. That’s it. That was my sole focus. There was really no ‘this could segue into this or that.’ It’s all about getting ready for the Bengals and that’s my only focus.”

FULL COVERAGE of the Steelers Firing of Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada

🏈 Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan, the two internal candidates to replace Matt Canada, are currently the betting favorites. That makes sense, because five of the last six Steelers offensive coordinator hires have come from within the organization.

🏈 The Steelers will not be making “wholesale changes” to their offense, so what reasons are there for optimism that the unit will perform better after the firing of Matt Canada?

🏈 Pittsburgh players were surprised by the firing of Matt Canada, but hopeful that it can bring about big changes in the outcomes for the offense.

🏈 Sights & Sounds: First look at new offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner running practice on Wednesday.

🏈 News & Links: National reaction to the firing of Matt Canada. Is the pressure on Kenny Pickett now?

🏈 Mike Tomlin said the decision to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada was “mine and mine alone.”

🏈 Steelers Afternoon Drive: The Steelers fired Matt Canada. Now what?

🏈 The change at offensive coordinator might not tell us much that we already don’t know about quarterback Kenny Pickett. That is, unless it works, and his play improves this season.

🏈 Why did things go wrong between the Steelers and offensive coordinator, and what mistakes made along the way could have been avoided?

 🏈 Mike Tomlin explained why now was the time to fire Matt Canada: “This is a result-oriented business. And to be short, the improvements were not rapid enough or consistent enough for us to proceed.”

 🏈 Mike Tomlin said the Steelers did not consider bringing in someone from outside the organization to replace Matt Canada as offensive coordinator.

 🏈 Running backs coach Eddie Faulkner will be the offensive coordinator and Mike Sullivan will call plays after the Steelers’ firing of offensiver coordinator Matt Canada.

 🏈 After two and a half seasons, no 400-yard games, and no growth from Kenny Pickett, the Pittsburgh Steelers have finally fired offensive coordiantor Matt Canada.