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Steelers Internal Candidates Favored to Replace Matt Canada

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely have a full coaching search to replace offensive coordinator Matt Canada next offseason, but the oddsmakers say the two internal candidates that have replaced him will have a leg up on the competition.

According to odds released this week by PennStakes.com, interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan are the favorites to replace Canada as the Steelersโ€™ next full-time offensive coordinator. Both Sullivan and Faulkner have +700 odds to replace Canada, well ahead of any external candidate.

Of those from outside the organization, a pair of former Steelers quarterbacks are also listed. Ex-Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was most recently the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has the third-best odds at +1000.

And even though he has never held a coaching position, former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is also on the board at +1750.

Three candidates without obvious ties to the Steelers organization are also on the board. Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Scott Tolzien and Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Alex Tanney are tied at +1500 odds. Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is tied with Roethlisberger at +1750.

The Steelers are not expected to make any hire until the offseason, with head coach Mike Tomlin saying on Tuesday that he didnโ€™t even consider looking at external candidates when replacing Canada.

The Steelers have never fired an offensive coordinator in-season, dating back to at least World War II, so everyone is operating in untrodden ground in terms of attempting to predict what the club will do next and how it will treat its interim coaches compared to external candidates.

But under traditional hiring practices, the Steelers have certainly shown a level of favoritism toward internal candidates.

Canada was Steelers quarterbacks coach before he was promoted. Randy Fichtner spent 11 years on the staff as wide receivers and quarterbacks coach before becoming offensive coordinator. Bruce Arians was promoted after a three-year stint as wide receivers coach. Ken Whisenhunt was tight ends coach for three seasons before becoming coordinator in 2004, and Mike Mularkey took the same career path before him.

In total, five of the Steelersโ€™ last six offensive coordinators were internal hires, which certainly gives credence to the notion that Faulkner and Sullivan should be near the top of the line when considering who will be the next full-time coordinator.

FULL COVERAGE of the Steelers Firing of Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada

๐Ÿˆ 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?

๐Ÿˆ 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.

๐Ÿˆ Sights & Sounds: First look at new offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner running practice on Wednesday.

๐Ÿˆ News & Links: National reaction to the firing of Matt Canada. Is the pressure on Kenny Pickett now?

๐Ÿˆ Mike Tomlin said the decision to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada was “mine and mine alone.”

๐Ÿˆ Steelers Afternoon Drive: The Steelers fired Matt Canada. Now what?

๐Ÿˆ 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.

๐Ÿˆ Why did things go wrong between the Steelers and offensive coordinator, and what mistakes made along the way could have been avoided?

ย ๐Ÿˆ 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.”

ย ๐Ÿˆ Mike Tomlin said the Steelers did not consider bringing in someone from outside the organization to replace Matt Canada as offensive coordinator.

ย ๐Ÿˆ 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.

ย ๐Ÿˆ 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.